The News: January 17th, 2021

For recent editions of The News click here. For a master list of all editions, click here.

News of the Week

Morgan Hurd will attend 2021 Winter Cup
As part of its All Around coverage, the Olympic Channel posted an update video from Morgan Hurd, the Twitter version can be found here. In the video Morgan comes off as upbeat, and incredibly mature regarding the circumstances of the past year. Morgan said 2021:

Obviously didn’t go the way I had hoped for at all. But at the same time I feel like I had the opportunity to kind of grow as a person and learn a lot of different things.

But at the end of the video Morgan dropped a mini-bombshell by announcing her intention to compete at the 2021 Winter Cup in February. She follows Laurie Hernandez who announced her own intention to compete in this competition a few days prior.

Simone Biles 2024 speculation
The Houston Chronicle made a minor comment that Nellie Biles would like to see her daughter continue high level competition as a specialist for the next Olympic cycle. Even though Simone outright rejected this notion in the very same article, it was enough to fuel widespread speculation that Simone could further her career and was posted everywhere on the Gymternet. To quote Simone herself:

Mom doesn’t know how my body feels on the inside.

If anything, this article does more to refute the notion that Simone will compete in 2024 than support it. But that’s not how this excerpt was broadcasted as fans shared the article all across the Gymternet. The Olympic Channel did a writeup on this story as well and made sure to emphasize the above quote.

Nile Wilson retirement
British gymnast Nile Wilson announced his retirement on Instagram. As an athlete his career was noteworthy highlighted by an individual medal which he won at the 2016 Olympics. However, he is more widely known thanks to his YouTube Channel which has 1.5 million subscribers. Nile’s YouTube channel helped bring new fans to the sport and for most Olympians, it is tough trying to obtain a livable income based exclusively on the value of their name recognition as Olympic athletes. Nile’s work is commendable based on what he was able to accomplish for both himself while managing to help grow the sport in the process.

Baumann, Baumann, and more Baumann
In football the rivalry between Georgia and Florida is called “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” In gymnastics it can simply be referred to as the “Battle of the Baumanns” due to the matchup featuring sisters Alyssa Baumann (Florida) and Rachel Baumann (Georgia) competing for opposite programs. As always, the family pictures are to die for.

COVID-19 cancellations and more COVID-19 cancellations
After the cancellation of Cottbus, it was only a matter of time before the other major German tournament the Stuttgart World Cup followed suit. Which it did a few days later on January 14th. For those wondering why Germany has two major gymnastics competitions, it is an old relic of the Cold War. Stuttgart was the traditional location of West Germany’s top competition whereas Cottbus was the location of East Germany’s top gymnastics competition.

Anyways, the FIG is insisting that Stuttgart isn’t cancelled, but rather the German Gymnastics Federation has the option to move it to a different German city. Which is like trying to steer the Titanic after it has already hit the iceberg. If FIG was unable to host gymnastics competitions in its two traditional German cities, how could they possibly think they won’t run into the same problems in yet a third German city? Meanwhile in the NCAA ranks the matchup between Michigan State and Maryland which had originally been scheduled for January 23rd has been postponed.

Shawn Johnson and MyKayla Skinner updates
MyKayla Skinner took to YouTube to provide an update on her recovery after being hospitalized due to COVID-19 related complications. Meanwhile on Instagram Shawn Johnson announced she is pregnant and the family is expecting their second child.

What gymnasts are doing on social media
Earlier in the week McKayla Maroney posted a social media update with a picture of herself wearing a T-Shirt that read “I’m so bad I’m good.” Obviously it spread like wildfire across the Gymternet. I figured since Maroney posts social media updates only once every few weeks, if not a full month, the rare post combined with the funny T-Shirt was relevant enough to include in an edition of The News.

Then Maroney unexpectedly posted a second social media update a few days later while this current edition of The News was still in my drafts. So consider this a 2 for 1 Maroney post. The final two pictures are a social media post from Dipa Karmakar and a picture of Kiya Johnson that LSU posted to their Twitter account.

Blog Update

I wrote an article where I make the case that the Gymternet should tone down its speculation regarding Simone Biles 2024. I also finalized the profile section of Bulgarian gymnast Maya Hristova.

What other People Wrote

Scott Bregman did a feature on Trinity Thomas. As previously mentioned, you can find Simone Biles content from both the Olympic Channel and the Houston Chronicle.

What I’m Reading This Week

Gymnovosti produced an op-ed on the COVID-19 vaccine and the Olympics. There is also the excellent NCAA coverage from College Gym News and Balance Beam Situation which I will talk about in more detail in the next edition of The News as they recap the weekend NCAA results.

In Case You Missed It

One story I had planned to include in my previous edition of The News but forgot about, the Gymternet enjoyed Maile O’Keefe’s commitment to #MaskUp. Leotards don’t have pockets, so Maile stored her mask inside her leotard. Footage of it spread across Twitter, and of course Maile responded by saying “Gotta do what you gotta do!”

Throwback Article of the Week

American Gymnasts Are Better Than You Think

I did an article analysis discussing the rise of American WAG from the 1990s to becoming 21st century superpower. The article proved to be quite popular on Facebook and readers seemed to enjoy the premise of the post which was to highlight the rise of the entire American program as a whole rather than celebrating the select few who win Olympic AA titles. One of my favorite comments on it was:

Amazing! The first gymnastics article I’ve read in years that didn’t even mention Simone Biles!

Picture of the Week

Olga Korbut & Nadia Comaneci

For recent editions of The News click here. For a master list of all editions, click here.

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