Hardships: blood disease, homelessness, moved to Iowa, injuries. Guess who.

The Flying Monkey seems to have landed

And now we’ll wait and see what kind of black mark she’ll put on this sport

The smile will last exactly as long as the money.

The smile will last exactly as long as the money.

A WestDesMoinesPatch.com article on January 7, 2013 says that Gabby Douglas has been out of the gym for eight months, and the reporter wonders, “Can [she] still make Rio in 2016?”  This shows you the journalistic intellect that comes out of Cornfield County.

Of course The FM can’t make Rio in 2016, any more than Nasty, or Gabby’s West Des Moines sidekick dimwit Shawn could make London in 2012.  The Patch reporter, Beth Dalbey, notes that Gabby “likely won’t be returning the [sic] gym in the foreseeable future.”  Staying out of the gym = staying out of the Olympics, so don’t ask dumb questions, Beth.

Instead, Gabby’s enjoying “for herself all the sunshine stuff,” her coach, Chalkbucket Chow, was quoted in the article as saying.

Blood disease, homeless, Iowa, injuries

At least she didn't say anything about an endorsement product making her taco pop.

At least she didn’t say anything about an endorsement product making her taco pop.

After a few paragraphs on everything Gabby won in London and her endorsement deals with Procter & Gamble, Nike, Kellogg Co. and AT&T, Dalbey quotes Gabby in The Christian Post: “Stories about [the fact they were homeless, according to her mother], that was my motivation. … People are out there going through tough times. I went through hardships like a blood disease, homelessness, moved to Iowa, injuries and I had to overcome all of those things to get to where I am today.”

I like how she includes “moved to Iowa” along with a blood disease, homelessness and injuries.  She’s obviously forgotten that moving to Iowa is what got her in the position to be interviewed by The Christian Post in the first place.  That move got her a book and endorsement deals and no telling how much cash.  Chow pulled off a miracle, and if moving to Iowa was a hardship, I can line up about five million girls Gabby’s age who would kill to have it so bad.

(I wouldn’t be one of the girls, although I would appreciate the money.)

God gives “God-given talent”

God sure has a lot to give you when you're on a roll.  He gave the mother of this baby a child with leukemia.  No Corn Flakes endorsement for this one, sad to say.

God sure has a lot to give you when you’re on a roll. To the mother of the baby above, He gave a child with leukemia. No Corn Flakes endorsement for this one, sad to say.

Dalbey then explains that The Flying Monkey is a “devout Christian,” which is no surprise: every black person who bursts into the public eye is a “devout Christian.”  Gabby tells The Christian Post that it’s important for her to praise God “because He’s given me this God-given talent to go out there and represent Him and share my faith with everyone.”

God gave her God-given talent.  (Rolling eyes.)  So now she’s representing God by collecting money.  Hey, I’m not knocking her for wanting to be rich – we should all have a similar aspiration.  It’s just that so far, in her whirlwind, post-Olympic antics, I haven’t seen much of the evangelist in her.  If she wants to share her faith with everyone, she should become a Jehovah’s Witness.

Then she says something even more idiotic: “I would hope that people take away from my legacy, my story or even my book, Grace, Gold and Glory that you can achieve your dreams if you just trust and believe in yourself 100 percent.”

“Legacy”?  She turned 17 on December 31.  Seventeen-year-olds don’t have “legacies.”  They have books and endorsement deals.  Miriam-Webster.com says a “legacy” is:

“Something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past <the legacy of the ancient philosophers>”

Gabby’s been set back 32 months

Gabby's about as likely to compete in Rio as these three are, although on Team USA, they'd probably fit right in.

Gabby’s about as likely to compete in Rio as these three are, although on Team USA, they’d probably fit right in.

Dalbey wonders if Gabby’s chances of competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are diminished by being out of the gym for eight months.  Octavian Bellu answered this question somewhere, can’t remember where (paraphrase): If you miss a week of training, it sets you back a month.

Assuming Bellu knows what he’s talking about, Gabby so far has been set back about 32 months.  And anyway, as it is (incorrectly) pointed out in the Patch article, “No Olympic champion has gone on to compete at the next Summer Games.”  (Nadia was in Montreal and Moscow.)  Age was likely the reason for Davydova, Shushunova and Nasty to not come back, whether or not any of them will admit it.

Age didn’t have to be a factor for Mary Who, Gutsu, Andreea Raducan and Karen Carpenter Patterson.  Here are the ages of all the Olympic AA gold-medalists in the modern era, at the time they won:

Nadia 14

Elena Davydova 18

Mary Lou Retton 16

Elena Shushunova 19

Tatiana Gutsu 15 (unless her age was falsified)

Lilia Podkopayeva 17

Andreea Raducan 16

Vanessa Atler 17 (Ha ha – just kidding.)

Carly Patterson 16

Nastia Liukin 18

The Flying Monkey 16

As you can see from this list, only one gymnast pushing 20 won the Olympic title, and the only reason she won it was because she had the best night of her entire career, which can happen to anybody at any time.  (See Nasty in Beijing.)

Aside from the fat one on the left and the old one on the right, here are a bunch of fast twitchers.

Minus the fat one on the left and the old one on the right, here’s a nice collection of fast little twitchers.

By 20 years old, a gymnast no longer has what it takes to compete and win across four events.  Fast twitch muscle fibers are not as fast, reaction time has slowed down, old age is setting in and the joints are becoming stiff.  Of course, I mean this all relatively – a 20-year-old international-level gymnast in training is in far better shape than 97 percent of the population.

But she’s not in the same shape she was in at 16.  Or 14.  Or 9 (see Kim Gawng Suk).

I think I got sidetracked.  The point of all this is that whether or not Gabby’s “God-given gifts” hold up and she gets back in the gym and starts using them, her mortal body isn’t going to hold up, making it unlikely she’ll be on the floor in Rio.  Instant celebrity and the inevitable social crash that’s on the way make it even less likely.

Which is good news for most of us here.

Finally, Chalkbucket Chow says he’s not holding his breath, that he’s not making any predictions about Gabby until she’s back in the gym.  Dalbey of the Patch quotes Bela Karolyi – but doesn’t give the context, so this may or may not pertain to The FM – as saying, “Gymnastics at this level cannot be done halfway or not even 90 percent dedication.”

Meanwhile, Chow has turned his attention to three upcoming protégés, Norah Flatley, Alexis Vasquez and Rachel Gowry, who are “promising for Rio,” according to Dalbey.

Alexis Vasquez.  A Mexican.  Just what we need after Gabby.



Posted on January 15, 2013, in Gabrielle Douglas, USA. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. 8 months out of the gym? It’s only been 6 months since the olympics. Maybe I’m missing something.

    • I didn’t even do the math, I just went with what they said. You’re right. Well, like I said, it comes out of Cornfield County, so it’s lucky they even got the people’s names right.


      • Yeah if it comes from cornfield county, it’s probably wrong. If Elena Shushunova had continued to compete if would had been her 3rd olympics, she was on the 84 team and took third in the all round at the alternate games. I think most reigning all around champions don’t go on to the next olympics becuase of injury or money, not age. The dumb age limited doesn’t help either. It’s weird that so many of the top girls quit. 10 year of training for a few minutes of glory and there done. Sucks for the fans.

      • Because of “injury or money” the AA champs don’t go on, you say. I don’t know about money, but in many cases, age causes injury. A less flexible, less quick-to-react body, especially in this dangerous sport, can lead to all kinds of serious problems.

        For example, I believe that had Shannon not been 23 and shackled with knockers and excess “woman-weight” and a joint/tendon/nerve system that was a fraction of a second too slow to respond, she would not have embarrassed herself and seriously injured herself at the 2000 trials. She had the knowledge, skill and expertise, but she didn’t have the body.

        And this is why Chusovitina needs to donate her body to science, so man can figure out what the fuck went wrong.

        Read about how the body begins breaking down in the late teens. A person begins dying. The peak has been hit, and it’s all downhill from there. For the “average” person, i.e., a person who isn’t an elite athlete, it’s not noticeable at 18, 20, 25 years old. For elite-level international gymnasts, who compete in a sport of fractions, it’s noticeable.

        And then there’s Khorkina, so my theory might be up the ass. But I don’t think it is.

        I have never heard of this “alternate games.” What’s that all about?

        I appreciate you for making me think. Actually most of you regulars make me think. I read what you write and I say to myself, “Shit, now I’m going to have to think about this before I can reply.” Compare this to some gym websites where the typical comment is “lol” or a fucking happy face.


      • PS: Since you’re the king of gymnast letters, what did you think of Lithi and my collaboration on the Moceanu letter?


      • It’s not just age that causes injury though. It’s the accumulation of abuse to the body, combined with age and all sorts of other factors. If a gymnast stays in the gym training and stays relatively heathy, I think we could see them compete in there mid 20’s. Human growth hormone starts to decline in your early 20’s, which is why we all age. Every person is different of course, some earlier and some later then others.

        You know way more about Shannon then I do, but between early 97 through 2000 was she training? or did she take time off and gain a lot of body fat that resulted in some serious knocker issues. She was making a comback of sorts and that never goes well.

        Gymnastic’s is the most demanding of all sports on the body, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. But if an AA champion has the opportunity to earn money away from gymnastic training and competitions, they’re always going to take it rather then continue the abuse to themselves.

        Chusovitina is just a freak, but she is a vault specialist who always stayed in shape, even after having her son. Khorkina wanted that AA gold so bad she pushed herself past her height and age barrier. Ponor did pretty well this past olympic’s even after a few years off at the age of 25. Very few Gymnasts even try to compete at an elite level into there 20’s, all I’m saying is I think they could.

        The alternate games were held by the countries that boycotted the 84 Olympic’s. I don’t know all the countries that were there, but the Soviets, East Germans and Czechoslovakia were the womens teams that medaled. The Soviet team might of been the best team ever assembled.

        Ha, your comments back are why I like posting on your site. Your lucky if you get a comment back some places.

      • Before I reply, I need to know what this means:

        “Ha, your comments back are why I like posting on your site. Your lucky if you get a comment back some places.”


      • It means I enjoy reading the comments you make back to me and to your other readers. Some blogs just approve your comment and thats it. It was in reply to the last paragraph your wrote about making you think.

        I loved the Moceanu letter, especially the part when Bela called Dom Mary Lou then Dawes. It really made me laugh.

      • I’m glad you like reading replies. I rarely approve a comment without replying – I leave it up to you guys to end the threads. But since I almost always reply, a lot of the time comments sit for awhile until I can get the time to write back. WordPress has a function that allows for all comments to be automatically approved. I would never do that.

        Lithi gets the majority of the credit for the Moceanu letter. She wrote the whole thing – I just went in and added a few things and re-did a few things.


      • I see how you could of taken that last sentence in my long post the wrong way. I didn’t mean your lucky to get a comment back. I meant readers on other blogs are lucky to get a comment back from the writer.

      • Yes, I understand now. I’m a little confused with comments this morning because I’m reading and replying to so many. It gets confusing sometimes.


    • Daniel, I’m replying to your second comment here. (For some reason there was no reply button for it.)

      About Shushunova, I know she was still up for it physically, but mentally she wanted some time off. Unfortunately, the head coach, Alexandrov, was all FUCK NO MOAR PRACTICE. She just broke down and quit. I know this happened a long time ago but I still have this urge to kick Alexandrov in the shins for that.

      And about the AA Champs quitting soon afterward? In the case of Mary Lou, yes, I think money was most likely the big factor. Being the first American Olympic AA champ with a bubbly personality and a smile three miles wide can open some doors. Sarah is right in saying getting older hampers things right quick, and with a sport like gymnastics it can happen by the following year. Kristie Phillips was the best hope for the US in 1987, and everyone was gaga about her. Unfortunately, her body betrayed her and the next year she was the non-traveling alternate for Seoul. Sometimes I wonder if some quit due to the fact that since they won the Olympic AA, what’s left? The top prize has been bagged. In the days of Casavskla trying again was feasible, not anymore.

      Just my two pence.

      • I know this is for Daniel, but I want to point out the most logical element in this whole discussion that you brought up: once you win the top prize, some of the “fire” may be lost. It takes a lot of fire for a lot of years – yes, even for The Flying Monkey, Nasty and Karen Carpenter Patterson – to make it to the Olympic AA medal stand with a gold medal. How many want to crank that fire up again for four more years, when there’s nothing more they can win?

        I’m curious if anyone thinks we’ll ever see a back-to-back Olympic AA champion. (There may have been one before Nadia, but I’m not even interested in it enough to go find out.)


  2. Ugh, Iowa. I’d rank it as a pretty terrible place (but I’m from Nebraska, and biased :) but moved East and then West)

    She shouldn’t knock moving there. Moving to that gym opened up a vast amount of opportunities. The Romanian girls sure as hell don’t complain about moving to Deva when I’m sure they all would have loved to have gone to Paris instead.

    And as far as ages go, gymnast wise-Khorkina should have won. There is a woman who was fantastic well into her twenties. Ponor, had she trained all 4 events with the intention to win an all around, would have been a great contender, personally.

    • Nebraska, wow. It gets pretty cold there, doesn’t it?

      Yeah, Gabby moving to Iowa was the key to her temporary future. The Romanian girls WANTED to move to Deva, because they know it could be the key to their eternal futures.

      I’m not exactly sure about the context of your last paragraph. But I will mention this: Deluxe sent the AA scores in Athens of Khorkina, Ponor and Karen Carpenter Patterson . . . (I wrote this in another reply a few minutes ago, but I lose track sometimes of some things I say and to whom, so sorry if this is a repeat – I’ve been going through a LOT of comments this morning) . . . anyway –

      Point is if Catalina had scored even a 9.5 on bars, she would have won the gold medal.

      Now I remember, I said that to Felicia because she sent a video of Andreea Iridon from the Romanian junior team on bars. And it’s still up, so I guess I’ll paste it here. It’s a good routine. Romanians need good bars workers.


  3. I have a feeling that by Rio we’re gonna see some scandal with that clan. I’m thinking along the lines of misappropriation of Gabby’s funds by certain family members. *cough* her mother *cough* Major court drama is a possibility.

    And of course when there’s USA gymnastics controversy Moceanu will insert herself into it, as always. Anytime the goddamn spotlight is around she runs right for it.

    By the way, nice work with our collaboration. :)

    • A scandal with that “clan” (nice word) is inevitable, I think. Gabby’s money is a very likely place it will start, and of course her knocker-laden mother will be in the middle of it.

      Moceanu could find a way to insert herself into a controversy over day old bread if she thought it would further her non-career.

      Nice work for writing the Moceanu letter. It all worked out perfectly.


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