What the 2019 European Championships Would Have Looked Like in 2020

While following the news of how COVID-19 is impacting the sporting world, I’ve been paying particular attention to the 2020 European Championships. It has been intriguing to watch the start list of this competition develop. The 1963 European Championships in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) has always stood out in the record books. In an era where every medal went to the Eastern Bloc, it is surprising to find a competition that was swept by the likes of Sweden, Yugoslavia, and the Netherlands.

The 1963 boycott was an event few gymnastics fans have heard of, but the standings of that particular competition were so out of place, gymnerds browsing Wikipedia saw the results and realized that something had disrupted the competition.

I’ve wondered whether the 2020 European Championships will have a similar legacy. This article is going to look at just how stark the contrast 2020 will have compared to the results from 2019. I’m going to take the 2019 results, and modify them to remove all the nations that have pulled out of the 2020 European Championships.

Note: The tally below represents only the nations that have pulled out as of the time of the writing of this article (October 29th). It is likely more nations will withdraw.

(A) In the women’s All-Around, 11 of 24 participants (46%) came from nations that have pulled out of 2020.

(B) In Event Finals, 13 of 32 spots (41%) in WAG went to a nation that has pulled out of 2020.

(C) In the final medal count, 9 of 15 medals (60%) went to a nation that has pulled out of 2020.

(D) In the final medal count, 3 of 5 gold medals (60%) went to a nation that has pulled out of 2020.

It is important to note that France has not yet officially pulled out and represents 5 of 6 medals that were won in WAG by countries that are still committed to the 2020 European Championships. On the men’s side…

(A) In the men’s All-Around, 11 of 24 participants (46%) came from nations that have pulled out of 2020.

(B) In Event Finals, 23 of 48 spots (48%) in MAG went to a nation that has pulled out of 2020.

(C) In the final medal count, 14 of 21 medals (67%) went to a nation that has pulled out of 2020.

(D) In the final medal count, 5 of 5 gold medals (100%) went to a nation that has pulled out of 2020.

Unlike WAG where there is one major power remaining (France) that has preserved the standings, in MAG that hasn’t happened. The pullouts in MAG have been particularly top heavy. Every single gold medal in 2019 went to a country that will not be participating in 2020. The All-Around has been hit particularly hard with every gymnast in the top-5, as well as the 7th, 8th, 11th, and 12th gymnasts all representing nations that have withdrawn.

This is all assuming the 2020 European Championships will even happen. Given the current state of affairs, there is the risk that event organizer will scrub the competition entirely.

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