History of the Gymternet

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I got started on ChalkBucket. Honestly I’m not sure when or how I came across that or Gymnaverse. I still use both and its all I’ve ever used.
The first gymnastics board I actually came across was the Monica Rosu fan forum in 2004, interestingly enough. That’s the first place I found that people actually talked about gymnastics online. That’s where I found out about Sri Ea, who had a website with a ton of clips from competitions that were happening. My mother had to fight me to make a phone call when I discovered that website.

I started on GymWorld in August 2005, I think. I had just started high school and it was the first time I found a place where thousands of people shared my biggest interest. It was such an eye-opener. Then a month later I found out about the hub (courtesy of @RAFIKI) where I started talking with people directly and making friends. And that also started my interest in creating my own gymnastics archive.

In the hub is where I met Craig and he really helped me with navigating high school and became a really good friend. There was a group of Brits in the hub, including the one and only @MaryClare. I didn’t always get along with everyone because I was so young and almost combative but we had fun.

And I remember the first time Aleksas came in and I found out he was the one whose websites would show at the end of routine clips. So I started asking him about capture software and he would send me the lists of tapes he was getting and I got previews of new footage he was gonna post as well as montages. I loved the videos he would make, him and misstady from Germany in particular had a style I really liked and I wanted make videos like they did. I even bought the program misstady used and I still use that program today for other things.

So once more, for old time’s sake, thank you @RAFIKI for the free hub! I think it ran until 2008 or 2009, maybe?
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Ah so many memories!

I joined Gymworld in late 2002, and GGMB around 2003 worlds (I was 13!).

I became moderator of the Russia forum at Gymworld and later, one of the original moderators at wwgym. That 2 separate entities saw fit to make me a moderator is one of the gymternet’s stranger moments. Literally the last person on earth you’d give power to is a Russian teenager.

I can’t believe it’s been 20 years. I’m still in touch with some people from the old days and it’s nice to still see some of the same usernames around.

I miss the days of the hub and the active chat rooms on various boards. Forums by their nature have to be very orderly and it’s much harder to form friendships and learn about other users.
You’re welcome 😊 @Yarotska It was fun to run and I enjoyed doing something for the community. I remember being so proud when the hub got it’s own subforum on Gymworld. Connecting fans and enabling everyone to share their videos was very rewarding.

After uni I moved to do a PhD and a while after that our internet service provider told me to stop running the hub or they’d disconnect us. I don’t remember exactly when but by that point YT had taken over anyway. I’m so glad that people have fond memories of the hub.
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Who was the ridiculous frequent contributor to Gymworld with very poor command of English… was Russian I think? or at a minimum just a super huge Khorkina fan, loved to talk shit about gymnasts a way that was sorta uncommon to Gymworld, a bit more GGMB in style – but personally I loved him (I think it was a gay man if memory serves? or a flamboyant man who wouldn’t admit he was gay – no idea how I knew or remember this). A lot of people wanted him banned but I thought he was kinda hilarious.

Anyway, so yeah I posted a ton on Gymworld from maybe 2002-2007.
Marco was also on WWGYM for a short minute.

I was never sure if he was legitimately bat-shit crazy or if he was just a talented troll.

He spelled gymnasts’ names wrong constantly.

I vividly recall him calling Shawn Johnson, Swan Johnson and would just use her “first name” of Swan over and over.

I’m trying to recall what other names he used.
He was legitimately crazy. The other Italians on GW said he was just as crazy when communicating in his native language!

I wonder what happened to him, he was a pretty committed fan but other than his brief appearance on wwgym, I’ve not seen or heard of him popping up anywhere else on the gymternet after Gymworld closed down
Marco posts as Marketoromagnolo on YouTube. We have had many delightful exchanges over Atlanta quad gymnastics. If you look up many of the big competition videos you can see our exchanges. I have stopped all social media such as YouTube now but did not have a problem with him.

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