Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts

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This was not an apology but I appreciate that she addressed it.

Overall this may be the most balanced documentary I’ve seen.
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Golden chatter has been a bit scattered throughout other threads so thanks for starting this one. I have been impressed with this series so far. It’s similar in style to the BBC’s Gymnast doc (about 2008 selection A MUST SEE) with no overarching narration. Talking head journalists do appear for context and fulfil some of this function. There’s been a lot of honesty and interesting footage. It’s well filmed, edited and crafted. I was skeptical of the release schedule but it’s been fascinating to see the story with the benefit of hindsight. I binged the first three episodes so I’ll try and remember what stood out.
  • There was a lot of anxiety about winter cup being on TV and what the gymternet might say and think. Gymnasts and coaches were both talking about this and managing perception.
  • Interactions with Tom are very interesting. I enjoyed getting to hear how different coaches spoke to him about their athletes. The “is Tom mad?” refrain was sad.
  • I had forgotten SL’s UB fall at Classics, her coach was completely right!
  • Laurie has been so honest throughout.
  • It will be interesting to see how they deal with Konnor’s move. Her segments have been awkward to watch, especially the “we’ll be together until the end” comment.
  • The “this is the hardest team to make” narrative is getting so old. I think China and the US had the most options early this year and can make equal claim to this. However the core of the US team crystallised earlier so it has felt more routine.
  • Seeing the detail of Morgan’s injury situation make me even more impressed she got as far as she did.
I wish I could remember more right now. Looking forward to the next episode.
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I’m really enjoying this. Here are my thoughts:
  • List item Laurie and Morgan both seem immensely likable.
    I loved the footage of Morgan at the rallies. In one of the early episodes, she says she doesn’t really know who she is–that very poignant moment when she says, “Hey, Alexa, who is Morgan Hurd?” Once she starts attending the rallies, I think she finds her identity, and it’s clearly something larger than gymnastics. Good on her.
Laurie is so candid and funny. She is amazingly self-aware for such a young woman. (20-21 is NOT old, friends. Some of us are over 50 and would love to have that kind of psychological sophistication.) Her parents also seem like amazing people.
  • List item Suni was my favorite US gymnast even before I watched this, and now I like her even more. She seems so lovely and humble, and so dedicated to her family and her community.(Also, as a sort-of SE Asia scholar, I know a lot of Hmong history, so her story is that much more meaningful to me.) Her coaches also seem very reasonable.
  • List item I feel terrible for Konnor. I hesitate to speculate on anyone’s personal circumstances, but I feel like the so-called adults in her life have done all of her decision-making and goal-setting without duly considering her aspirations and needs. She’s clearly very talented, but maybe she doesn’t really want or need the Olympics. I hope she finds some joy and peace in her new training environment, and that she’s given the space to set her own priorities.
  • List item Nonsensical comment: I have a girl-crush on Jenny Liang? She reminds me of a beloved former colleague (who, like Jenny, spoke perfectly good English but preferred Chinese to express deeper ideas).
  • List item Negative comment here: Jessica O’Beirne is not a value-add, and I need her off my screen post-haste.
  • List item Another negative comment: Tom Forster does not inspire confidence. He’s a fucking nincompoop.
Can’t wait for the next episode!
I just caught up. I can’t believe it but myk is actually growing on me, which I never would have predicted! It’s weird to see Konnor and her coach knowing that she elected to make a major change just after this. Morgan really got screwed by her elbow timing. She was on my team all the way up through nationals and I’m still sad about her not making it. Her activism was great to see. I love Suni’s Hmong community talking about how she is kind of all their child and they are so proud of her.

Tom seems like an idiot. I asked on Twitter who should replace him and someone suggested Brian Carey, which is an interesting idea.

Very well done doc. I’m impressed.
I just got caught on this one and Simone vs Herself (which was gut wrenching this week). Thoughts so far:)
  • I’m really enjoying it so far. It seems to be a fairly honest look behind the scenes in the gym. It is also nice to the gymnasts interact with their families.
  • Agree that the “Is Tom mad?” refrain is sad; I hope it is a holdover from the previous regime and not a reflection of his actual reactions. It seems to come from multiple gymnasts.
    *It is sad to watch knowing what’s coming for a few of them
The gymnasts:
*Morgan-I can’t believe she made it as far as she did so soon after surgery. Timing for her was awful. I remember watching podium training on bars where she just kept missing her release move. Now that all makes sense. The “who is Morgan Hurd?” bit was hard to watch but she seems to be figuring out who she is outside of the gym and she is going to be an amazing college gymnast, student, and activist. Her relationship with Suni is great and it was funny when Suni told Morgan she wanted to see her coach more than Morgan;) Her coaches seems reasonable and supportive.
*Suni-Love seeing her with her family and out in the St. Paul community. She is articulate, kind, and funny. She seems to get along great with everyone. I love her coaches. They seem to be reasonable, treat her as a partner in process, and are calm at all times (and clever enough be looking at D scores for little tweaks.)
*Laurie-she has been vey honest about where she is and who she is. I’m glad she feels comfortable sharing how much work it takes to be the bouncing human emoji. I wish she had had a better ending than she got but also glad she got the chance to enjoy gym again. Her coaches are amazing. It’s clear they care about the person and the gymnasts. Again, it seems like a partnership
*Myk-I’ve been following her YouTube channel. We get to see a little more of the nervy side of her her. She’s still not my favorite but it’s frustrating to think what might have been with different coaches. Her coaches seem odd…
*Konnor- is breaking my heart. She just seems out of her depth and so unhappy and unsure. It’s clear she wasn’t ready for an Olympic run, mentally or physically. I wish she had been able to say that and take some of the pressure off. I’m not convinced WOGA is the place to rebuilt that but I hope it is. I’d love to see her at WCC or with Suni’s coach.

and yes, Jessica adds nothing.

Tom-he’s a place holder…Do we know who all he visited in the gym? He doesn’t seem to have an independent thought and isn’t clear or super supportive of the gymnasts. And get rid of the gross chanting thing at camp…yesterday.
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Konnor is so clearly talented and I hope she thrives at WOGA. Maybe we’ll get to see a happier and steady Konnor in this documentary.
The thing about Konnor is that there has been pressure and heavy focus put on her since she was a preschooler. I remember seeing her videos on YouTube years ago when she was just four and doing press handstands. She was on the Ellen show in elementary school. Now that she’s at the elite level, it’s all increased to an insane volume. There’s also the fact that she wasn’t at an elite established gym like WOGA, Hill’s, GAGE, or the like. So it also seems like she was the golden ticket for her gym. At least they pulled her from trying for the Olympics this go-round and waiting for 2024. Like I said in the gym switch thread, I don’t know about WOGA being the best option, but we’ll see.
The thing about Konnor is that there has been pressure and heavy focus put on her since she was a preschooler. I remember seeing her videos on YouTube years ago when she was just four and doing press handstands. She was on the Ellen show in elementary school.
This whole situation is making me increasingly uncomfortable. I hope my gut feeling is wrong.
You and me both. I was worried when she was a tiny preschooler going viral for back handsprings. Four year olds aren’t supposed to be doing back handsprings. But then she quietly rose through the ranks with increasingly nice gymnastics, and I thought maybe things were ok.
Clearly they are not.
I didn’t think much of the viral videos at the time, but the early media exposure and her demeanor in the gym makes me wonder if Konnor is in the driver’s seat of her career. I’m getting a Vanessa Atler vibe. That said, I don’t know her, her family or her coaches, and people and their lives are much more complex than what you see in a documentary. I hope she is happy training with Valeri, and if not, I hope she has the agency to make the changes she needs.
Yes. Watching from London and Moscow, took me a while to work out how. You can watch from laptop or pc. Tablets won’t work, as it won’t let you download the app.
  1. Add a VPN widget to your internet browser.
  2. Open and select US
  3. Go to peacock and register. It’s free to register but you’ll need a US zip code so just google any random zip code.
  4. You don’t need to purchase any sort of package or provide card details to watch golden
DM me if you need any help
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New episode. It starts with Konnor McClain’s move.

ETA If you are worried about her you have to watch this. Spoiler: politics plays a part.
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