Simone withdrew from Vault & Bars

MyKayla Skinner will replace her on Vault.

Melanie de Jesus dos Santos will go in on Bars.

gymnasts commiserate with Simone

Mental blocks are common in Gymnastics.

Simone’s could not have popped up at a worse time.

The one upside of all this publicity is preventing future injuries.

Every gymnast will remember the time the G.O.A.T. withdrew from the Olympics rather than risk getting lost in the air.

Gaar Adams , for example, trained at the Gym that produced the Hamm brothers:

… I tried to push myself past a “twisties” block at the end of one practice in September 2001.

Lost in the air, I fell on my neck and required spinal surgery, a halo brace and four months in a hospital bed.

A shade away from quadriplegia at the age of 13, my dreams of pursuing collegiate and elite gymnastics were over. …

The twisties: My gymnastics career may not have ended in hospital if I’d had a role model like Simone Biles

I’ve seen over a dozen similar stories recounted over recent days.

Victoria Moors, for example.

If it can happen to Simone, it can happen to anyone.

Simone did the right thing

How many gymnasts in future will remember the time Simone withdrew from an Olympic final because she didn’t feel right?

This is a win for safer Gymnastics in future.

An example for coaches — in future — when uncertain about whether or not to include that difficult skill in the routine. Err on the side of caution.

Recall that tennis star Naomi Osaka recently took time off from competition. Smart.

A psychological problem can be just as debilitating as a physical injury.

WAG Olympic finalists – AA

  1. Simone Biles USA 57.731
  2. Rebeca Andrade BRA 57.399
  3. Sunisa Lee USA 57.166
  4. Angelina Melnikova RUS 57.132
  5. Vladislava Urazova RUS 57.099
    • Viktoriia Listunova RUS 56.932
  6. Nina Derwael BEL 56.598
  7. Tang Xijing CHN 56.432
    • Jade Carey USA 56.265
  8. Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos FRA 55.431
    • Mykayla Skinner USA 55.398
  9. Jessica Gadirova GBR 55.199
  10. Lu Yufei CHN 55.066
    • Zhang Jin CHN 54.932
  11. Zsofia Kovacs HUN 54.732
  12. Jennifer Gadirova GBR 54.699
  13. Carolann Heduit FRA 54.299
  14. Elisabeth Seitz GER 54.232
  15. Alice D’Amato ITA 54.199
  16. Roxana Popa ESP 54.099
  17. Brooklyn Moors CAN 53.966
  18. Murakami Mai 53.965
  19. Ellie Black CAN 53.699
    • Aline Friess FRA 53.632
  20. Jutta Verkest BEL 53.632
  21. Martina Maggio ITA 53.566
    • Liliia Akhaimova RUS 53.565
  22. Lee Yun-seo KOR 53.540
  23. Giulia Steingruber SUI 53.533
  24. Kim Bui GER 53.398

Alternates Lieke Wevers (32nd, 53.365), Eythora Thorsdottir (36th, 52.899), Georgia Godwin (37th, 52.865), and Hatakeda Hitomi (39th, 52.732).

As always, you have to feel badly for those gymnasts who had a fantastic meet but still did not qualify because only 2 / nation go to the final. Jade Carey and Mykayla Skinner are two of those.

Samir Ait Said’s Olympic story

Nancy Armour:

In Rio, Ait Said’s left leg snapped on his vault landing during qualifying, the sharp crack echoing throughout the arena. As he rolled over, clutching his leg just below the knee, his foot and the lower half of his shin dangled in the opposite direction of the rest of his leg.

It was not the first time his Olympic dreams had been disrupted by injury. He missed the London Games after suffering three fractures in his right tibia at the European championships. But this was a particularly gruesome injury, one that has ended the career of other athletes.

Even as he lay in a Brazilian hospital, his leg immobilized, Ait Said vowed that he would return for Tokyo. …

Opinion: French gymnast Samir Ait Said’s resilience a reminder of the power of the Olympics

“Golden” – USA Elite documentary

The final episode in the 6-part series arrives July 21st.

It airs on Free for those who appear to be in the USA and who have a U.S. zip code.


The best recent documentary I can recall.

A real time look at changing Elite culture. For the better, I’d say.

Simply having Camp open to the video crew is a credit to Tom Forster and USAG. This is the kind of transparency we’ve always wanted.

I LOVE seeing regular training rather than only Instagram highlights. It’s mostly a grind. Golden shows that accurately.

I love seeing family life. Konnor’s problems, for example, and her family’s support.

I love seeing OTHER issues in their lives. Morgan’s social activism, for example.

Golden is not perfect.

Episode 3 should have explained to viewers the logic of selecting Gabby Douglas for Rio. It’s what I would have recommended. Instead, editors made it look like McKayla was personally unselected.

I was pleased they showed how misses are COMMON in training. But did we need to see DOZENS of Bar release misses? Also, I felt too many REALLY bad falls were included. Some of those could have been edited better or left out entirely.

“Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts” follows Rio gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, 2017 World all-around champion Morgan Hurd, 2019 World Championships team members Sunisa Lee and MyKayla Skinner and first-year senior gymnast Konnor McClain.

The series, with hour-long episodes, follows the gymnasts over a five-month period as they train to vie for four Olympic spots …


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Inspiring – “WHAT AGNES SAW”

“What Agnes Saw” tells the story of 100-year-old Agnes Keleti. Hungarian went on to become a 10-time Olympic medallist in gymnastics and later a long-time gymnastics coach and educator.

In the film, we see the changing world through her eyes – highlighting all the moments of humanity through the decades of Olympics since her time in the Olympic spotlight. It closes with a look at the next generation of athletes, with a focus on teenage skateboarder Sky Brown.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Sam Mikulak on happiness

I blamed gymnastics for so much of my unhappiness.

It wasn’t gymnastics that I was unhappy with, it was myself.

Now I’m thankful for gymnastics and all my struggles because the resiliency I’ve gained is greater than any accomplishment or medal. It’s helped me love myself again.

I’m finally understanding the idea that it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.


Angelina’s Olympic prep has changed

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Angelina Romanovna Melnikova talks to the Olympic Channel about her evolution since the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, she was 16 years old and now 5 years later she finds herself captain of a team of newcomers. She is ready to take on her new responsibilities as a leader to help the younger generation succeed.