A world championships that reflected the world — Other gym news — Thoughts from international gymnasts via GymCastic
The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, Oct. 14, 2023
Simone Biles officially has the most world and Olympic medals of any gymnast, male or female. The United States has won seven straight world team titles, something no other team has ever done. And for the first time ever, the women’s all-around podium featured three Black gymnasts, including two Americans: Biles, silver medalist Rebeca Andrade of Brazil, and Shilese Jones, who took bronze.
And while the U.S. shone in Antwerp last week, it was truly a showcase of the best the world has to offer, gymnastics-wise, which is not always the case at the world championships. And it was a particularly vital showing by gymnasts of color and gymnasts from smaller programs.
In addition to Andrade’s all-around medal, Brazil won its first-ever team medal and Andrade won the country’s first beam medal, a bronze.
Kaylia Nemour, competing for Algeria, became the first African gymnast to win a worlds medal with her bars silver.
Yeo Seojeong won South Korea’s first worlds medal with her vault bronze.
Lynnzee Brown became the first gymnast to represent Haiti at worlds.
Gymnasts from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Panama earned Olympic berths.
Writing about worlds a week after it ended, with so much else going on in the world this week, has been tough, but I did want to emphasize that this year’s competition seemed far more representative of the world than in previous years.
And while this newsletter is about women’s gymnastics, I would like to note that Artem Dolgopyat of Israel won gold in men’s floor exercise on Saturday, Oct. 7, roughly seven hours after Hamas invaded his country. I wish Dolgopyat, and the rest of the Israeli delegation, all the best.
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Other gym news
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Russian Olympic Committee after the latter’s attempts to create regional Olympic councils in annexed Ukrainian territories.
Mary Lou Retton is in the hospital with pneumonia, her four daughters said this week when they launched a fundraiser to pay for her care, as Retton is apparently uninsured.
Flavia Saraiva and her surgeon talk about the ankle surgery that saved Saraiva’s career.
Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos will become a Dior ambassador ahead of the Paris Games.
This is a TikTok of Simone Biles and Zoe Miller doing each other’s makeup before Classic. It’s the best.
Ondine Achampong of Great Britain made a TikTok about worlds.
Gabby Douglas doing a standing full!
Oksana Chusovitina gave an interview to International Gymnast after the Asian Games.
Kentucky head coach Tim Garrison signed a contract extension through 2027.
Maddy Hargrave becomes assistant coach at Clemson.
Florida’s Victoria Nguyen made a TikTok about her scary vault fall last season.
McKenzie Estep committed to Oklahoma.
South Stadium Productions, which released LSU’s documentary The Climb, earned three regional Emmy nominations.
Five at The IX: GymCastic at Worlds
The team behind the GymCastic podcast, including host Jessica O’Beirne and her cohost Spencer Barnes, were in Antwerp at the world championships. With the help of videographer Deanna Hong, they captured some really great moments from competitors and coaches. I’m posting a few of my favorites from non-American (or Americans competing for other nations, in the case of Lynnzee Brown and Haiti) gymnasts here.
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|By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer|