But the international judging – Other gym news – Thoughts from Grace McCallum

The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, Oct. 1, 2022

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Before USA Gymnastics sent gymnasts to the Paris World Challenge Cup last weekend, there were many questions about how those American gymnasts and their routines would fare against international competition, and with international judges.

Ever since the Tokyo Olympics, where we saw Jade Carey and Suni Lee revamping their routines at the eleventh hour to remove elements that were getting battered by international judges, there has been speculation that the latest generation of American gymnasts would not be received well on the global stage.

In particular, the much-ballyhooed (I really love that word, and I’m so excited I get to use it in the context of gymnastics writing) Artistry Deduction was thrown around. The new Code of Points for this Olympic quad triad introduced deductions on beam and floor for routines. If you have a spare hour or two, you can watch a seminar for judges that explains what this means.

But in a nutshell, judges are supposed to evaluate a number of body-position issues (posture, feet), the rhythm and tempo of movement and music, and the fluency of the routine as a whole and can take up to 1.6 points on floor and one point on beam for lack of artistry.

There was a lot of rumbling on the gymternet when the new COP was released. Many thought that American gymnasts would be slammed by international judges for lack of artistry, that they had relied too long on difficult tumbling and not enough on the quality of movement.

Carey, who once appeared very stiff and uncomfortable on floor (you know, before she won an Olympic gold medal), and Jordan Chiles, whose floor routine was once derided by Tom Forster as “college-type” (you know, before she went to UCLA and got a 10 on her routine, then started podiuming in elite with it), were the main targets of this outcry. And maybe that’s why they got sent to Paris, who knows.

Either way, the American delegation to Paris sure showed them/us. Carey did not compete floor, but she got a silver on beam – a great sign for her, as beam has never been her strength in elite (we did all see this coming in NCAA, though!). Chiles did not compete beam, but she won floor with a performance that had the audience clapping and cheering along. Tom Forster’s worst nightmare became Chiles’ shiny gold medal.

And Shilese Jones, whose artistry was less in question than that of her teammates but who lacked much international competition experience relative to the two Olympians, won bars and captured silver on floor. Artistry praises all around.

The U.S. has rarely participated in World Cup events in years past. But this year’s performances should indicate that instead of fearing international judging, we should face it head-on.

Other gym news

The women’s results on all four apparatuses at the Paris World Cup, courtesy of Lauren Hopkins at The Gymternet. Lauren also liveblogged the finals.

And speaking of World Cups, watch the Szombathely World Challenge Cup this weekend right here. Qualifications and finals! Köszönöm, Hungarian federation!

And here is the nominative roster for Szombathely, but it’s likely going to change.

Ukraine will boycott the FIG Congress this year due to the participation of Russia and Belarus.

Jordan Chiles was interviewed by PopSugar about her return to elite and that historic nationals podium. 

Beth Tweddle revealed what the worlds medals will look like.

Joscelyn Roberson showed off a training video of a Cheng.

Florida’s Leah Clapper is utilizing blockchain technology to compose her new floor routine with the help of her fans.

The history behind the flashing of the Utah U. Spoiler: A gymnast started it.

Alice and Asia D’Amato’s father passed away.

The Medal Count translated Alice’s post (above) into English.

UCLA gymnastics went on their team retreat this week, and it’s all on YouTube.

Lots of verbal commitments to NCAA this week:

Elle Mueller to Oklahoma:

Kelsey Slade to Oklahoma

Kaliya Lincoln to LSU

Mya Witte to Utah State

Worlds teams are named

France: Marine Boyer, Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, Aline Friess, Carolann Heduit, and Coline Devillard.

Great Britain: Alice Kinsella, Jessica Gadirova, Jennifer Gadirova, Ondine Achampong, and Georgia-Mae Fenton.

Australia: Georgia Godwin, Georgia Rose Brown, Kate McDonald, Romi Brown, Breanna Scott, and Emily Whitehead (one of whom will be selected as an alternate at worlds).

Five at The IX: Grace McCallum

Grace McCallum made an adorable GRWM filled with (at least) five awesome Grace McCallum facts. If I could frame this and keep it as an example of all that is good and holy about gymnastics, I would. In the meantime, I have it saved to my phone to watch in times of trouble.

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Written by Lela Moore