Board population

I wasn’t sure where to post this maybe odd question.

Do we think that any elite gymnasts, coaches of elite gymnasts, international judges, or journalists lurk or post on this board?

There are a lot of very knowledgeable, frank, candid, insightful opinions posted here that, at least for me, are pretty enlightening, and aren’t found in regular media.

Just wondering.

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Yes, some do

Yes. But not enough!

Calling Al Fong! People here can help you stop handicapping your gymnasts!

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Especially with athletes, I hope not too much, honestly. I love how much more interaction there is between creators and fans these days, but I really feel that both groups also need private spaces as well. Athletes need space to have personal lives, play around with things in the gym, and have successes and failures that aren’t hyperscrutinized by fans the moment they happen. They deserve privacy. Fans also need space to react, be excited, disappointed, and have frank conversations about things they love/hate/hope will change without the expectation that everything they say is going to be seen by the people in question.

Having lots of thoughts, feelings, and opinion is what fandoms are really all about, and fans are incredibly engaged in the things they love, but they’re engaged in a different way than the athletes (or authors, actors, etc). Just like a athlete should get to choose if and when they release a video of a thing they’re playing around with, fans should be able discussions about how much they hate thing Y in an athlete’s routine without worrying about the athlete reading it and being upset because they love thing Y, or they’ve been working on it forever and they just can’t get it and now people are piling on them about it.

How I write about gymnastics on Twitter is very different from how I write about it on Gymnaverse, because my assumption on Twitter is that an algorithm is going to take everything I say and funnel it straight to the person in question, whether they’re looking for it or not. I don’t critique much, I don’t get into detailed conversations, and I want to make sure the athletes know I support them–because even when I dislike something, or I’m disappointed by how something went, they’re doing incredible things and I love watching it. On Gymnaverse I can just react to something as it’s happening in competition and have detailed conversations about the good, the bad, and the ugly. My assumption is that I am in a fan space, where I can put being a fan first and indulge in all the minutia. If there were no space where that were possible, I would probably fade out of the fandom.

I actively try, on all platforms, to be constructive and thoughtful, and to avoid being cruel or unnecessarily critical. I was never on GGMB and I never wanted to be. I want how I approach the sport to be positive as a rule. But I also feel like creators need spaces where they can be private, and fans need spaces where they can just be fans, because they are two groups of people who are deeply involved and invested in the same thing, but in very different, both valid, ways that aren’t always completely compatible in the same space.

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The crazy thing is that these coaches don’t even need the advice from random international strangers on a faceless message board. They see and speak to coaches with good knowledge of the Code every fucking month at Camps. For example, Suni’s coach must be looking at Skinner doing her Double Wolfs and be thinking, internally, "if that was my gymnast, I would IMMEDIATELY nix that skill.

But, quite rightly, Suni’s coach doesn’t want to improve the scores of her domestic competitors. Skinner improving on floor might have kicked Suni off the team (obviously not - but in a hypothetical example).

This is why Tom’s failure to step in and provide BASIC routine construction guidance, based on advice and input from fucking FIG Cat 1 judges that he has on speed dial, is the largest part of my criticism towards his performance as HPC. Tom is the only person at Camp who has no vested interest in any particular gymnast over another (or at least, he shouldn’t have). And if you’re Lisa Spini, or Al Fong, you probably want to act on the guidance from the person picking the next World/Olympic team.

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The only way to find WWGym was through word of mouth or typing “gymnastics forum” into a search engine. It’s much easier for people to run into Gymnaverse through search engines now that posts are public. This must effect how aware gymnasts and coaches are of this forum.

QuietColours, awesome and very thoughtful post! Thank you.

Great post