History of the Gymternet

Wwgym, Gymworld, Challbucket, Athlete’s website message boards, GGMB - where did you first get your start? For those who don’t know what some of those things are (and what became of them), let’s compile a gymternet!

Gymworld.de - This one was quite popular in the gym world and began around 2000 IIRC. Many fans were introduced to the gymternet through here. It contained multiple forums, separated by country. It was mostly in English. It was also a place to share videos of meets (Which is how I found Rafiki’s Hub!) before YouTube made it possible. Around 2009 the owner of Gymworld got in trouble with the law and the forum ceased to exist.

GGMB - Gym Gossip Message Board was a (very) lively group that claimed to have the inside scoop when it came to the elite gym scene. Sometimes they seemed to have info from someone in the inner gym circle, but it was all supposed to be top-secret. Even the message board was invite-only. I can’t remember how I came to get an invite. The owner, Abomb, wasn’t known for being kind or tolerant of those who had differing opinions, so it quickly became an abusive and toxic culture. To this day, I’m still low-key afraid to talk about Carly Patterson because of the moderator’s distain for her. You could get banned for literally anything, so many people have their own unique stories of how they were banned.
The server crashed occasionally, but crashed for the final time (to many people’s relief) in 2014. Some further info can be found here:

WWGym - I’m maybe the least qualified to explain this one since most of us were once part of this, but I believe that WWGym was born out of a response to a toxic GGMB, and strived to be a gym-focused place of friendly discussion and inclusion. I remember joining right at the start back in 2006 and it quickly gained popularity. From what I could tell, it was the biggest and most popular message board for gymnastics during most of its existence. It was categorized by entity, so WAG, MAG, Rythmic, and NCAA all had their own forums. WWGym died in 2020 for server reasons (unless I am mistaken), but rebranded into the current Gymnaverse.

Those are the ones I’ve been involved with, if anyone has more to add about the history of the Gymternet, please add (or correct my mistakes)!

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The very first was The Mogilny years ago followed by OOBness (gymn.com)

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Also International Gymnast had a board for many, many years.

The competition with GGMB was actually American Gymnast message board (Steve McCain and Jay Thorthon)

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The first message board I found on the internet was American Gymnast forum in 2002, then found GGMB from there when it was still on Delphi and anyone could join.

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Started with OOBNess and then GGMB, but does anyone else remember Gymnastics Tape Trading Club (GTTC) and ShanFan?

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ShanFan! I remember!

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I was on gymworld first.

Are you sure it was NBB who got into trouble with the law? There was the Dina/Daniel Vessey episode in around 07, and a lot of people did stop posting, but it was pretty busy again in Beijing and beyond. I got banned before it went pouf and hadn’t been bothered enough to sort new account, fake IP etc, but I seem to remember NBB just couldn’t be bothered any more. I might be wrong.

It wasn’t Niles the board owner that got in trouble. He accepted financial support for the board from Dan. After Dan’s legal troubles became public information the members wanted Dan banned. Then Niles took his access publicly was accused of still allowing him access. People quit then the board was ended after a lot of kerfuffle.

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I don’t think I knew about Dina/Dan providing financial support and NBB allowing access even after the nonce convictions. When did that all come out? The board itself went down in about 2010 I think, it was definitely still pretty busy in 08-09.

I read gymnastics stuff at the Television Without Pity message boards. I was only a casual viewer but people would discuss when there was a televised event, so that was nice. I was definitely there for the Olympic all-the-sports discussions. When TWOP sort of shut down, people suggested WWGym as being where you didn’t have to know your giengers from you jaegers (sp?) and they wouldn’t be mean to you about it. They were right.

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Going by memory:
Dan/Dina continued to have access to the board (read only IIRC) and was not outright banned by NBB.

Once various members found out that someone who was being investigated/linked to child porn was still on a gymnastics message board and not outright banned, the complaints came in. NBB defended Dina and that is what made a lot of folks upset, who in turn left the board. Eventually NBB caved and banned Dina outright but it left a bad impression for those who were left. NBB then closed the board as a results of people leaving and also people unhappy with him. Niles and Dan were quite close and Dan did provide monetary funds to support the board. IIRC Nora was also close to them and she quite abruptly ended all contact with Dan due to the allegations whereas Niles continued to defend.

I also recall a lot of people were upset because Dina would attend a lot of lower level meets and always took pictures of the younger gymnasts, photographs of which were found in the investigation, with many of them in questionable focus on certain areas. With all the evidence against him people were disappointed in how the whole scenario was handled by the Gymworld admin. People were shocked because they had met Dan before and often attended meets like Worlds with him.

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I was on GymZone way back when, likely, 2005. Then Chalkbucket and GGMB, was an admin at the CB until last year.

ShanFan I do remember.

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I created lots of gymnastics avatars back in the early days of message boards, and had a website for all of them at one point. Now that social media is easier to use and avatars are either easy to make on your own or irrelevant to certain message boards. I haven’t made any gym graphics in over a decade now.

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Okay, I last made an avatar in 2012…so 9 years ago :joy:

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What in the world did you get banned for? I’m guessing having an opposing opinion…

I started out at gymworld, but quickly made my way to wwgym in, I think, 2007.

Shan fan and the gifs of elements!!!

I found wwgym in 2007 IIRC not long after AG closed. Also was on gymworld and we forgot one: TAAF
The All Around Forum

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You made an avatar for me in the very early days of WWG!

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I began at OOBNess.

José M.

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It’s all memory now since we’ve never had an official or unofficial history of the Gymternet anywhere.

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Ahhh, memories! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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