Things Happen – May 28, 2022 – The Balance Beam Situation


A. The three-headed national team

This week, USAG announced the three people who have never said anything too mean about the organization that it was able to entice into taking jobs at the top of the women’s national team as it attempts to perform the very difficult Reverse Beyonce and move on from solo artist. to the pop trio.

Well, in 21 years, the position of sole coordinator of the national team has never been a disaster – whether from a results point of view, from a person point of view or (the more fun) of both. ! – So… good job trying something different.

In this new system designed to ensure that all “internet was mean to me” injury charges receive a 33% split (or, I mean, to best help athletes?), leadership will now be held by valued advice. of three – a development manager, a technical manager and a strategic manager – presumably all holding scepters and seated around a triangular obsidian table wearing gold garments.

The head of development will be Dan Baker, who is the least notable of the three hires because he’s not a hire and he’s had exactly this job before. He just wasn’t part of a V IMPORTANT TRIO until now. So that’s it.

The technical lead will be Chellsie Memmel, and it’s potentially encouraging that USAG has chosen a judge for this position, because a defining feature of the last few years of top-level American women’s routines has been the recurring need for lineup interventions that don’t never happened. Hopefully Memmel will be empowered to judge all over the place and have important “get rid of that double tuck, it’s not worth the tenth” and “I literally never credited that switch” conversations early in the process.

The strategic direction will be Alicia Sacramone Quinn, who I think is the most interesting and mysterious of the three selections. The job description contains many nonsense phrases that are very descriptive of the position such as “to guide the general direction of the program”, which on the one hand could mean a full HBIC, or it could be like that period of my college internship where I gave myself the title Critical Project Coordinator and I still have no idea what that means. The word ‘strategic’ has led to speculation that this position will take the helm of things like team selection and selection procedures, which is the weight of the ‘public has ideas on this aspect’ aspect of the or jobs, which she should have the temperament to handle better than the predecessor.

I just hope his presence serves as a subtle FU to the whole concept of using the overall standings to select teams. It would help a lot. The complete scrapping and rewriting of selection procedures to make them both more objective and more logical, while being completely clear and transparent, is another essential task for the new regime.

In the current era, USAG would be better suited employing a clear “plug the numbers into X competitions and there’s your highest 3-up, 3-count team” approach that combines objectivity and strategy and avoids a single individual (or three) make unclear judgment calls as much as humanly possible. You don’t want a situation where Sacramone and Memmel head to the back room and Martha is a team. You want a bot on the team and then everyone does a group dance or whatever. Because if we’ve learned anything from gymnastics, it’s that you stick a group dance at the end of things when you want people to tweet that athletes look happy.

It’s worth noting what a departure this is for USAG, which until very recently had a deep commitment to seniority and history for positions like this, requiring the program leadership has a proven track record of coaching athletes at World Championships and Olympic Games. Memmel and Sacramone certainly don’t have that, and the lack of experience is kind of an asset as they’re not part of the old guard, but also causes most questions about their hires, fairly or unfairly. These young people without decades of leadership experience are going to have to work closely with several entrenched human scum. Will they have the power to make the law? Would they be listened to? Or will they be reduced to figureheads – beloved former athletes who won’t make waves and are there to be bluntly criticized because IT’S CHELLSIE AND ALICIA – as everyone continues to do what that he wants ?

It will be a journey of one quad sorting.

B. Alabama what?

Gasp! As Alabama finally turned the schedule around in July 2020, news came that Dana Duckworth had definitely voluntarily stepped down as head coach to spend more time doing shoulder presses. The very odd moment of this – not coming directly after the end of the season, but rather after a remarkable national U10 championship that Alabama rookies entirely dominated – left us all waiting to see if there is yet another stylus that will fall. Or if it’s going to be a secret stiletto forever.

Travel back a month and tell yourself that by May 20, Kupets would still have a job and Duckworth wouldn’t.


Just 11 seconds later, Alabama announced that Ashley Priess Johnston would take over as head coach. . You would have considered her the favorite if you had had time to think about anything. Along with Sacramone and Memmel, Priess was a member of the 2006 World Championship team that apparently just inherited the land now. Guys, is Jana Bieger going to be the president?

The speed of this hiring, however, is… fascinating… because there was no time to do an actual hiring process. You would think there would have been outside interest in one of the most lavish jobs in gymnastics. Either you called or you had been planning this for a while.


C. Global Qualifiers

The first team and AA quotas for the World Championship qualification process were booked at last week’s Oceania Championship, with Australia taking the women’s and men’s team places. On the women’s side, New Zealand did not send a full squad, although New Zealanders Keira Rolston-Larking and Reece Cobb competed, which should mean they can take the two quota places available in Oceania for those who don’t have a team. It’s somewhat disappointing that we don’t see full teams for New Zealand, who are also not sending any WAGs to the Commonwealth Games despite sending a full MAG team.

For the men, Team New Zealand gave Australia a little test, like they did when we saw the two go head-to-head in 2018 World Championships qualifying, but Team Australia succeeded by a margin of about five points to qualify a team for the world championships. . For New Zealand, Misha Koudinov and William Fu-Allen were the top 2 all-rounders and qualified for the World Championships as individuals.

The Oceania Championship was held alongside the Australian Nationals, where Georgia Godwin took the lead in the Women’s AA by just over a point over fellow Olympian Emily Whitehead over two days of competition.

For comparison to the state of the women’s national teams several weeks ago, Australia’s best-performing team in 2022 so far would nestle just behind Japan and France. So take that for what you want.

Skip Bars Shine Floor
Georgia Godwin 14,000 13,633 13,600 13.166
kate mcdonald 13,200 13,600 13.466 12,900
Breanna Scott 13.466 12.533 13,633 12.866
Emilie Whitehead 13,900 13.233 13.066 13.533
Romi Brown 13,400 13,700 12.466 13.033
41.366 40.933 40,699 39.732 162.730

The Canadian Championship this weekend should give us a good framework to compare the current situation of these two countries. So stick with it.

The next major test for Australia will be the Commonwealth Games in late July. Speaking of what…

D. FIG, learn a book

Breaking with its own precedent and the precedent of everything, the FIG have informed Rhys McClenaghan that he will not be able to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games as he represents Ireland internationally.

Among other things, this is a departure from the FIG’s own history as Rhys competed at international level representing Ireland as a junior before the 2018 Commonwealth Games and later represented Northern Ireland. North at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and then represented Ireland at later events for years. This is normal, athletes do this in all kinds of sports, and competing for Ireland and Northern Ireland in events where Northern Ireland can compete independently is a special case and does not constitute a change of nationality as the FIG suddenly decided to see it. . The idea that the FIG would try to wade into this is really the dumbest. Hopefully public pressure will kick in and fix this, because we know public pressure is the only reason the FIG would do or change anything.

E. And finally…

Tatiana Nabieva and Maria Paseka coach the Chinese national team. The end.


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