Gymnastics, Olympics

The Consequences of “Cocky”

If you go through my blog archives, you’ll see that Gabby Douglas is probably my most featured individual. First off, I’m a fan. Furthermore, even for all the success other Black gymnasts had before her, Gabby was the first to ascend to the pinnacle of my longtime favorite sport that looks like me. Despite me being older than she is, her experiences resonate with me more than any other gymnast I’ve followed.

2016 was an interesting year if you are/were a Gabby fan. It started off well with her winning all around titles at the American Cup and in Jesolo. However, by Nationals and Olympic Trials you could tell something was off — and that was before a surprising coaching change days before Trials. She seemed listless and not as engaged as you would expect an athlete to be weeks away from the Olympic Games.

Flash forward to July 2017 when, in an interview with Teen Vogue, she pulled back the curtain and crystallized much of what could be called an open secret in 2016: Continue reading “The Consequences of “Cocky””


Thoughts After 2017 U.S. Classics

I love Sunisa Lee’s beam routine.
Well. Classics went like Classics do. The HOPES session gave us a look at the wee ones which may or may not go the elite track. The junior session had 8382934 competitors, and the senior session featured a lot of reintroduction to competition jitters for the gymnasts — and hopefully, the working out of them.

But before I get to the elites…one of the HOPES gymnasts caught my attention. Her name is Kaliya Lincoln.

It always amazes me when younger gymnasts have senior elite level poise on beam. This is great for 10-11 yrs old. Honestly, it’s good for a gymnast of any age.

As for the elites, the beginning of this quad (2017-2020) feels a bit like the 2009-2012 one for the U.S. team, where there were only a few returning gymnasts from the previous season and the gymnasts that would eventually contend the London Olympic team weren’t due to become seniors until the middle of the quad (or, in the case of Alicia Sacramone or Anna Li, not make a comeback to elite until the middle of the quad).

My point is kind of bolstered by a junior, Emma Malabuyo, outscoring the top senior all-arounder Alyona Shchennikova (56.750 to 54.950). Emma also posted the highest score of both elite sessions on floor. Granted Ragan Smith didn’t do all around at Classics, which is customary for the front-running seniors. It underlines the fact that the current women’s U.S. National Team is really young, and fans are going to have to be patient while this group gains the experience and depth the previous National Team had.

Speaking of Ragan, this competition was only confirmation for me that she’s ready to be the leader of the U.S. team. The two events she competed looked great — she even won bars! However, it was her beam that stole the show.

Continue reading “Thoughts After 2017 U.S. Classics”


4 U.S. Gymnasts I’m Looking Forward to Seeing as Nationals Approach

With Classics happening this upcoming Saturday, the late spring/early summer hiatus is nearly done for U.S. gymnasts. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone compete, but these are the 4 senior elites I’m most curious about as competition picks back up.

Ragan Smith
Since all but a few of the gymnasts who went through the Olympic Trials process last year have moved onto NCAA or are taking a break, the primary spotlight has settled itself on Ragan. It’s always interesting to see how athletes do when the expectations increase. I don’t think it will be an issue for her at all.

Jade Carey
Kinda like what happened with Ashton Locklear a few years ago, Jade is someone who is always on the camp rosters and has a lot of buzz, yet is still a mystery because she hasn’t been in a big competition to-date. If the scores she’s getting at camp materialize at Classics and Nationals, she could pull a Kayla Williams and go from unknown to (possible) World Champ at a lightening-fast speed.

Jordan Chiles
Since Nationals last year, each time Jordan has tried to compete something has come up — be it injury or something else. I’m so hoping her (delayed) senior elite debut goes well. If she competes up to her potential, she’ll make World team selection real interesting.

Margzetta Frazier
I’m also really rooting for Marz. We’ve seen the social media clips of all the skills she’s been training, but it’s been nearly a year since she competed. Hopefully, she’s at full strength. If she hits the upgrades, she could make World team selection interesting too.


Good Mood Music: Stronger

Did you see these scars
Trying to eat through this flesh?
Making its way to my heart
Wanting to destroy what’s left.
What you saw was at the start
Of destruction at its best…

Tank is one of a myriad of singers that probably doesn’t get the play that is deserved for how talented he is (the story of present-day R&B, right?).

The former Ginuwine backup singer has been singing solo since the early 2000s (in addition to limited engagements with Ginuwine and Tyrese as TGT). “Stronger” is his ode to the transformative power of love from his 2014 release that bears the same name as the song.

…Wait ’til you see my smile
Wait ’til you see what’s next
Wait ’til you see this light
That’s burning through my chest…


Classic Movie Musical Number Pick Me Ups

Found myself in a classic movie mood recently. More specifically, in the mood to watch two of my favorite classic movie musical numbers.

The first is “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” featuring Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers from the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade.

The second is the infamous dance break in Stormy Weather (1943) featuring the Nicholas Brothers, considered by many to be the best dance break ever. It’s the crescendo that ends Cab Calloway’s “Jumpin’ Jive.”

Each time I watch these numbers, I’m a bit happier than before I pressed play. They both exude joy to me.


Good Mood Music: The 30-Day Music Challenge Part 4

This is the 4th and final part of the songs I chose for the 30-Day Music Challenge I completed on Twitter last month. Part 1 (songs 1-7) is here. Part 2 (songs 8-15) is here. Part 3 (songs 16-22) is here.

DAY 23: A song that you think everybody should listen to

DAY 24: A song by a band/group you wish was still together

DAY 25: A song by an artist no longer living

Continue reading “Good Mood Music: The 30-Day Music Challenge Part 4”


Good Mood Music: The 30-Day Music Challenge Part 3

This is part 3 of the songs I chose for the 30-Day Music Challenge I completed on Twitter last month. Part 1 (songs 1-7) is here. Part 2 (songs 8-15) is here. Part 4 (songs 23-30) is here.

DAY 16: One of your favorite songs from a movie

DAY 17: A song that features your favorite artist

DAY 18: A song from the year that you were born

Continue reading “Good Mood Music: The 30-Day Music Challenge Part 3”