So I went to the famed Kellogs Tour of Gymnastics Champions last night. Thank the sweet lord, I went with someone who knows gymnastics, because I think only someone else who knows the sport could really appreciate the horridness and lurid spectacle.
First there were a group of kids from local clubs doing some sort of weird dance and waving red flags. Then the gymnasts came out, all wearing that absurd flag leo Aly sported in EFs. The star visitors–one boy and one girl, from local clubs–did a little on bars. The girl was clearly level 5, maybe, didn’t even do a flyaway, although she was cute and Jordyn and Aly were “spotting.” Oh, one of them on beam did something too. The boy actually did a full out off HB while Jo-Ho (that’s what I am calling Horton these days) “spotted” although she did a poor job not catching the kid when he handsplatted. Still, that part was cute.
Then…Chellsie I think came out and did some floor! Chellsie, I love you. Girl is a stone cold badass. I want to put Chels at her peak against Aliya Mustafina at her peak. Gymgasm just thinking about it. She did her arabian! She looked good. COME BACK CHELLSIE. God, USAG did fuck her over. Anyway.
John Macready was sadly already there, wearing his flag suit and looking like an idiot, although not as utterly moronic as he would look later. Then OMG. Aly, Jordyn and Gabby came out in tiny tiny black and pink shorts and pink bras and did some sort of “dance” to some song about girls running the world. A bunch of the girls then chalked up in disco ball chalk bins and hopped on UB, and wow. Just wow. Becca Bross, who I always have a soft spot for, was there, and easily recognizable from her knees. Anna Li was on tour but sadly apparently not allowed to do anything b/xc of her neck–my companion thinks USAG is afraid she’ll sue which would be awesome. Sue, Anna, sue! So no Li on bars. But a few of the girls actually did real dismounts–I think I saw a DLO from Gabby, and there were several decent releases. Both Becca and I think Aly fell, which I found amusing. Then the girls did more “dancing” and then the boys brought out their mushrooms. They were apparently pretending to be all “street” in their hoodies, because in the ghetto everyone does pommel skills. McCready came out and for reasons I will never understand whipped off his suit to reveal a red skirted leo, so that was a nice bit of absurd misogyny. THEN the boys started “dancing” to some song about being sexy as they ripped off their shirts. The takeaway here is that girls have vaginas, boys have muscles.
Anyway.Jordyn did a watered down floor routine that included, I believe, at least a double pike. But otherwise it was all layouts all the time. Then the rhythmic and acro folks came out and I must say I do not understand rhythmic but acro can be cool. Then Nastia, with her very blonde very Texas hair extensions, decided to pretend that she too was a rhythmic gymnast, which, ok, whatever. More fake floor from Aly, although I think she did a full in? Maybe? Her floor routine is oddly less offensive then Gabby’s.
The boys came out in what looked like a combo of tinfoil and saran rap to do p-bars. There was a little real gymnastics although pbars doesn’t do a lot for me. Then OMG. Nastia “I’m still relevant dammit” Luikin came out and did something in a silk in which she was lifted to the ceiling? doing splits and spinning a lot? It is true that I don’t understand how she didn’t get dizzy. Oh lord, then everyone–except McKayla who really can’t do much of anything–came out in absurd costumes and “danced” and somebdoy else got lifted to the ceiling, and THEN Jordyn, Aly and Gabby came out and did MORE fake, really horrid dancing. Oh my god it was awful.Also, Gabby is just really, really, really tiny.
There was a little tumbling though, including Chellsie BAMF Memmel and her DLO.Blah blah the boys did stuff on rings while fawning scantily clad girls watched. The acro pair did something. And then BEAM HOLY SHIT. So for beam, the beams were arranged in a cross and the girls were wearing all white. Nastia, in flesh colored sparkles, did nonsense on the silk in the middle while the girls were on beam. Gabby did a nice front tuck. Becca did a front aerial, wobbled and caught herself the exact same way she always does, and then did a BHS LOSO. Aly and Jo both did basic tumbling as well. Then they all stopped and stared at Nastia in the middle, and wow, who the hell thought it was a good idea to put Nastia in charge? Girlfriend, it’s NICE that you can still do a front aerial, but please, enough. Go back to Texas. I;m over you.
As usual high bar featured the most actual gymnastics, with a few of what I think were Kovacs and even a triple back dismount! Gabby did her AWFUL floor routine, which is usually good only for the tumbling but her “passes” were: bhs LO, double back, and…BHS LO. So. not exciting. Then because somebody put Nastia in charge she climbed into the Olympic rings with the other Fierce Five (Kyla is not on tour) and they arched their backs. Luckily, Chellsie had a turn on the rings as well, with the rhythmic girls; unluckily her costume was just…unspeakable. The shirtless boys hopped on the rings, Becca did a little more bars (she actually looked better here then she did at Trials, maybe because Valeri was not in attendance; side note, I really, really want to take Becca home, feed her milkshakes, and reassure her that she does have worth. They were all “introduced”–Anna Li was out finally–and then the remaining Fierce Five hopped in the rings. McKayla is moving OK–she didn’t have any sort of boot or cast on, which is a good sign. She really needs to master a TTY or Y double back and get that shit in the CoP next Worlds.
I didn’t mention John McCready’s stupid, stupid baby act–in which he came out TWICE wearing a “diaper” and pretending to be a baby, if babies can shake their hips suggestively–because it was just so disgusting and offensive that the only redemptive thing would have been for him to just splat. Ugh. I have no idea how that man is married.
So. Was it worth it? Well, I wouldn’t have paid to see it, that’s for damn sure. We need to stop pretending that ANY of these girls can dance. They cannot. And we also need to stop wildly appropriating rich white Texans ideas of “urban” culture. That said, it is always fun for me to see Chellsie, and Sac, and Li, and Becca, and the Fierce Five. I really wish they had done more actual gymnastics though. Nastia did nothing but front aerials and butt shelves, and the other girls did more (except McKayla and Anna, but they are injured, so) but surely not what they COULD do. If I were in charge we’d do more gymnastics–even if it were basics, it can be gussied up in a cool way–and less pretending to dance. and John Macready would never, ever be allowed out in public again.
The pics are pretty bad because of the lighting but might give you a sense. You should be able to find Becca from her knees and Aly from her feet!