Riley McCusker keeps smiling through another setback — Other gymnastics news — More NCAA schedule drops

The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, Dec. 2, 2023

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Every year, the excitement of the impending NCAA season is marred a bit by season-ending injuries that happen during pre-season training. I say that as an observer, of course; for the gymnast whose season ends, it’s surely more than a casual disappointment. 


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Which is why I have appreciated Riley McCusker’s social media posts about her season-ending injury over the last week. 

On November 21, McCusker posted this:

The TL;DR: A video of her beautiful bars followed by a shot of her left leg in a boot.

“Bummer, too bad you all have to wait until next year to see this,” she captioned it. 

I’m not going to guess how McCusker really feels about losing a season to injury, but I appreciate her gentle humor to her 147,000 Instagram followers at a time when she could reap as much or more interplay with her post with a sad, angry or remorseful caption. 

McCusker is a bit of a gymternet darling, given her history as someone who survived abusive coaching, sued said abusive coach, switched coaches in an Olympic year to try to make the team, didn’t make the team after a fall at Trials, went to Florida, and appeared in bars lineups her first year though it never felt like she really got her groove back. But she ultimately emerged as a bars and beam butterfly this past season for Florida. So this news felt like a gut-punch to many of us. 

But I think it’s time to stop viewing McCusker through this lens of gymternet emotions like frustration and disappointment.  

Here’s to handling a tough situation (and countless others before it) with grace and giving us a good example of dealing with public disappointment.

Other gym news

Just a few Olympians and world champions goofing off on TikTok, NBD. 

British Gymnastics bans coaches from weighing gymnasts, following the scathing Whyte Report last year that uncovered systemic abuse in the system. 

Elisabeth Seitz is back on bars following the injury that kept her out of worlds. 

Olivia Dunne will appear in next year’s 60th anniversary edition of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She did an interview with them.

U.S. junior national floor champion Reese Esponda posted a cool training video. 

NCAA gymnastics schedule drops

Washington

Ohio State

Southern Utah

Ball State

Brown

Southeast Missouri

Five at The IX

Five at The IX, gymnastics edition, is in a rebuilding week. I’m collecting interviews that will bring us into the NCAA season. In the meantime, in honor of Riley McCusker, here’s an interview she did back in the spring with the Olympic Channel, along with a video where she discusses how being at Florida has helped her mental game. Thanks for your patience this week! 

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By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
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Saturdays: Gymnastics
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Written by Lela Moore