Steve Butcher Interview

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Steve Butcher interview on GymCastic

MAG stuff

He talks like MAG going down to 8 skills is a done deal. He also thinks guys will throw more difficult skills.

He doesn’t think Uchimura should have gotten credit for his PH dismount in TF 2012

He doesn’t think choreography will end up being a MAG FX requirement, as he isn’t sure how anyone could judge it.

Kevin Mazeika tried to switch the 2012 MAG TF VT lineup because John Orozco was having issues. Per Butcher, by the rules it was too late (the real questions is why Orozco, and not Jon Horton was in that vault lineup to start with).
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I don’t remember, but Horton was pretty good at vault. Orozco really wasn’t.

Orozco managed to score a tad bit higher over the 2 days of Olympic Trials (by a tiny amount) so maybe that is why Mazeika picked the line up he did.

Most people were expecting Horton and were pretty surprised when it ended up being Orozco.
I just listened to it, and I was kind of surprised that Butcher stated that once the 3 designated athletes are submitted, that is it, no changes to the line up can occur without a doctor’s medical excuse.

I think it is a stupid and ridiculous rule. If there is a team of 5 and 3 are designated to compete, substitutions should be able to be made at any point without this silliness of getting a doctor note. That is why it is a team event, because there are multiple contributing members. Others sports allow for subbing in and out.

So a few questions I have are:
  1. Did this medical protocol take place in 2004 for Kupets? If so how was she allowed back to do floor exercise?
  2. In Rio, why didn’t the Ukrainian men opt to substitute Semiankiv, as they could have easily put in Verniaiev, using the same medical exit as Simone used in Tokyo.
Hopefully this changes in the future. It is unneeded and unnecessary.
It feels like the overly prescriptive bullshit FIG is known for. MTC isn’t quite as busybody micromanaging as WTC, but it’s still an overall culture the seems hellbent on creating overly exacting rules just because they can.
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I don’t think WAG had that rule in 04, because as well as Kupets, there was an embryonic gymternet kerfuffle about Russia initially only listing Khorkina for 1 event in TFs. I forget which. Then she ended up doing all four.
FIG, post-Athens: “Oh no, teams are exercising flexibility and not being needlessly penalized! WE MUST STOP THIS IMMEDIATELY!”
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I guess allowing the team for full discretion would actually make it more exciting, provided one knows what changes are being made of course. So i guess only the nerds would benefit from the added excitement, is what I’m saying
IF FIG is serious about the mental and physical health and safety of the gymnasts, they need to eliminate this rule and just allow for line up changes.

Things happen and if a gymnast has a bad warm up and feel like they can’t compete the event for their team, let them sub out. It doesn’t make sense to add to the anxiety already possibly present.
I actually have a feeling it might’ve been beam? She fucked it up in prelims, so Russia could have been playing silly buggers.
I was surprised he was candid about what he did with the medical evaluation for Simone, but I suppose his reputation (for fairness, likability, etc.) precedes him…

But yeah agree that once the core team (of 5 or whatever the number is) is confirmed, there’s no justifiable reason to require advanced submission of a line-up whatsoever, and hence no need for jumping through this hoop around ‘swapping’. You should be able to deploy your team at will – and that’s what they’re wearing numbers for, so they can be identified immediately on stepping up to the podium.

Yes, the “anxiety = medial” rationale obviously opens the door to make this rule so easy to circumvent as to be utterly useless, but I would argue that it already was useless – a doctor worth their title has no special ability to “prove” an injury in the short timespan allotted, and should be going off the word of the athlete/coach anyway, and so it’s all just pomp and circumstance either way.
Definitely. In practical terms, a doctor can hardly dispute an athlete’s assessment even of a physical health problem, can they? Everyone has something that flares up sometimes and might plausibly be bothering them during a given competition. It’s a pointless hoop jump.
I think Simone’s situation was a valid thing for this, too. You may not be able to quantifiably measure anxiety, but it was clear she had the twisties and was not safe out there. That vault was not safe. We know that anxiety can exacerbate the twisties. Sure, he had to put a name on it. But it was clearly a valid situation.
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