Monday, December 30, 2013

Uncle Tim's 8 Most Popular Posts in 2013


When I started this blog, I was drunk, and I had one goal in mind: to help women's gymnastics fans appreciate men's gymnastics.

In my vodka-soaked brain, that much was clear. The blog's trajectory, on the other hand, was much fuzzier. After writing my first post, I decided that I would let my subject matter evolve organically. By that I mean that I was going to sip some wine, wait for the gymnastics gods to appear to me in a theophany, and write down whatever Sexy Alexei told me to say.



Confession: Sexy Alexei never appeared to me in a theophany, so I've been making things up as I go. 

Yet, for whatever reason, you guys still read what I write.

Below, you'll find the most popular posts on this blog. (For the most up-to-date men's UTRS, click here, and for the most up-to-date women's UTRS, click here.)  I hope that you enjoy catching up on some posts that you may have missed, and I look forward to gym-nerding out with you in 2014!



During event finals, which gymnasts improved their scores from qualifications? And which gymnasts did worse?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Evolution of Artistry in Women's Gymnastics: 1981-1984


Yeah, yeah, yeah… It has been a while since I last wrote about the evolution of artistry. But I have good reason. I take my holiday baking very seriously, and since my inner fatty was busy baking roughly 500 cookies, I just didn't have time to think about artistry.

But now that I've consumed about 52% of those cookies, I'm back, and I'm going to continue looking at how "artistry" evolved over the years. Our next victim is the 1979 Code of Points.




Once again, there's no mention of the word "artistry" in the Code of Points. So, for those of you looking for a "return to artistry" in the Code, well, that's darn near impossible on the women's side because the term "artistry" was largely absent from the first versions of the Code of Points.

Instead, what the Women's Technical Committee regularly discussed was the idea of "elegance." In her introduction to the 1975 Code of Points, Ellen Berger, the FIG WTC President at the time, stated:

"The explosive development of Women's Artistic Gymnastics, not only making the sport feminine-elegant, but also technically complicated, has caused the FIG Women's Technical Committee to revise the current Code of Points."
Clearly, it took a while for the women's liberation movement to reach the International Gymnastics Federation. The phrase "feminine-elegant" stems from the essentialist notion that there is one way to be a woman, and you can bet that the FIG's ideal of femininity was not of bra-burning women. Why do you think women like Nelli Kim still want to see servile, smiling young girls on the competition floor?

That said, despite the emphasis on "feminine elegance," there was some progress in the early 1980s. After Olga and Nadia, we moved out of the era of pigtailed school girls, and we started seeing a larger variety of music choices and dance styles. More on this below.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Women's UTRS: The Best Scores of 2013 Updated December 15


Last year, The All Around created some handy dandy rankings, leading up to the Olympics. This year, not so much. So, I've decided to create the UTRS (Uncle Tim Ranking System), which, for those who care, is pronounced "uterus." Think of my ranking system as a surrogate until The All Around steps in and takes over.

As per usual, take these rankings with a grain of salt. (Pro Tip: Never bet your life savings based on my numbers–or my predictions for that matter.) Judging varies from meet to meet, and as you can see, I've culled these scores from several meets. I've included the competition names so that you can decide how much crack the judges smoked before handing out the scores.

More than anything, you should think of these tables like this: New quad, new Code of Points. What the H is a good score nowadays? Well, let me show you…

Key:

  • Bold Face: An update since the last iteration of the UTRS.
  • An asterisk (*): Usually denotes a routine for which I have a final score without a D score.
  • Links, when available, are provided for the top 5 routines.


Women's All-Around Rankings: Best Scores



Name
Country
Score
Meet
1. Simone BilesUSA60.500U.S. Nationals
1. Kyla RossUSA60.500U.S. Nationals
3. Aliya MustafinaRussia59.850Russian Nationals
4. Giulia SteingruberSwitzerland59.400Swiss Championships
5. Katelyn OhashiUSA59.199American Cup
6. Larisa IordacheRomania58.550Romanian Nationals
7. Brenna DowellUSA58.450U.S. Nationals
8. Peyton ErnstUSA58.250Secret Classic
9. Roxana PopaSpain58.083Spanish Nationals
10. Elizabeth PriceUSA58.032Stuttgart
11. Yao JinnanChina57.965Worlds
12. Anastasia GrishinaRussia57.932European Championships
13. Shang ChunsongChina57.801Chinese National Games
14. Maggie NicholsUSA57.750U.S. Nationals
15. Mykayla SkinnerUSA57.700U.S. Nationals



Men's UTRS: The Best Scores of 2013 Updated December 15

All hail King Oleg!
Kohei Uchimura may have won Worlds, but Oleg Verniaiev was the first gymnast to break 92 under the new Code. And he did it TWICE!


Last year, the All Around created some handy dandy rankings, leading up to the Olympics. This year, not so much. So, I've decided to create the UTRS (Uncle Tim Ranking System), which, for those who care, is pronounced "uterus." Think of my ranking system as a surrogate until The All Around steps in and takes over.

As per usual, take these rankings with a grain of salt. (Pro Tip: Never bet your life savings based on my numbers–or my predictions for that matter.) Judging varies from meet to meet, and as you can see, I've culled these scores from several meets. I've included the competition names so that you can decide how much crack the judges smoked before handing out the scores.

More than anything, you should think of these tables like this: New quad, new Code of Points. What the H is a good score nowadays? Well, let me show you…

Key:

  • Bold Face: An update since the last iteration of the UTRS.
  • An asterisk (*): Usually denotes a routine for which I have a final score without a D score.
  • Links, when available, are provided for the top 5 routines.
  • Parentheses ( ): The U.S. Nationals used a peculiar bonus system. (See image at the bottom.) Even though start value bonus was not in effect, the execution bonus was added to the D score. To the best of my ability, I have adjusted the scores for the U.S. men on the individual apparatus. However, I have not had time to adjust their all-around scores. Consequently, the U.S. men's all-around scores have parentheses around them. 
  • Many, many, many thanks to Chinese Gymnastics Tumblr for their help with the transliteration of names!!


Men's All-Around Rankings: Best Scores





NameCountryScoreMeet
1. Oleg Verniaiev
(Олег Верняєв)
Ukraine92.165Stuttgart
2. Kohei Uchimura
(内村航平)
Japan91.990Worlds
3. Sam MikulakUSA(91.650)U.S. Nationals
4. Liu Rongbing
(刘榕冰)
China90.650East Asian Games
5. Max WhitlockGreat Britain90.650British Championships
6. Alexander NaddourUSA(90.600)U.S. Nationals
7. Jossimar Calvo MorenoColombia90.500Mexican Open
8. John OrozcoUSA(90.400)U.S. Nationals
9. Deng Shudi
(邓书弟)
China90.350East Asian Games
10. Wataru TanigawaJapan90.300Valeri Liukin
11. Zhou Shixiong
(周施雄)
China90.269Chinese National Games
12. Fabian HambuechenGermany90.265Stuttgart
13. Ryohei Kato
(加藤凌平)
Japan90.250University Games
14. Oleg Stepko
(Олег Степко)
Ukraine90.050University Games
15. Cheng Ran
(程然)
China89.969Chinese National Games