Giving thanks, gymnastically and otherwise — Other gym news — Thoughts from Peng Peng Lee

The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, Nov. 26, 2022

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And happy small business Saturday, from this small business to yours (please subscribe!).

I hope that everyone who celebrated had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday this week. I would also like to acknowledge that New Jersey, whence I am writing this, was once Native territory, and exists on Lenape land.

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This is going to be a short and sentimental essay. I am very thankful this year for the opportunity to write here each week about a sport that I love, for people who love it too. I’m thankful that The IX and Howard Megdal took a chance on a writer with a long career but less experience writing about sports in general and gymnastics in particular, and let me go for it. I’m thankful for the editors who polish everything up. And I’m thankful for my predecessor in the job, Jess Taylor Price, who recommended me to succeed her last spring. 

And I’m thankful that much of the news we have heard out of gymnastics this year has been for the better. The culture of gymnastics appears to be changing, slowly, for the better. Away from a focus on coaches and towards a focus on athletes and their health and wellness. That is not to say there is not concerning news out of the sport, domestically or internationally, but I do think the seeds of change have been planted. 

I’ve written about broad sports topics that affect gymnastics, and about gymnastics topics that reverberate across the greater sports landscape. I’ve been able to be angry, sad, and funny, nostalgic and forward-thinking, sometimes all at the same time, which is really how the best sportswriting should be. It is continually an honor to be in the presence of my fellow writers here at The IX

Other gym news

National Team Camp took place last week, and here’s the report from USAG. Twenty-six gymnasts attended, and it looks like there was a focus on injury prevention. We love to see it. 

Sam Welbourn was named Georgia’s interim assistant coach, replacing Jason Vonk. 

Catalina Ponor is pregnant, and just had her baby shower. 

Serena Lu made this cool reel about a day in the life at a national team camp for rhythmic gymnastics. 

An interesting and thought-provoking Reddit thread about which gymnasts were “set up to fail” by their federations or coaches. 

Social post of the week

This TikTok from Jordan Chiles guest-starring Margzetta Frazier and Sekai Wright. 


😂😂 always with me🤪 @sekai.kai @margzettaaa

♬ original sound – cench

Five at The IX: Peng-Peng Lee

This video is not new (it’s from 2018), but I remember watching it when it came out, and thought it would be a nice way to close out this little turkey of a newsletter. Peng Peng Lee is a former Canadian national team member, captain of the 2012 Canadian Olympic team and a former UCLA gymnast probably best known for a clutch beam 10 that won UCLA the 2018 NCAA championship. Lee has her own YouTube channel (160K followers!) and she made this as a way of saying thanks to her sport. Lee is always a fun, positive presence in the sport. 

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Lela Moore