Fuck knows how long it will take to finish, but as is traditional, our worlds review. Yeah it’s late starting but whevs, that just gave you all time to marinate your views nicely.
We don’t do much MAG, but we know a king when we see one. After his frankly anorexic display in London, the least exciting Olympic AA performance since, well, Yang Wei, we were more than ready for him to show us the good shit here. He didn’t disappoint. Apparently he loves chocolate, and of course Belgium is famous for it. Coincidence? We think not.
2. Simone Biles
A dominant AA performance after an uneven year, competitively speaking. Didn’t put a foot wrong until the floor final, when she stuttered enough that she’d probably have given the title away had Izbasa not finished worlds in her traditional way.
And we can’t be the only ones to squeeze out a little tear watching her parents celebrate when her floor score came in at the end of the AA. Lovely moment.
3. Aliya Mustafina
I am big enough to admit that I did not see that beam title coming. It was another humble pie laced with Bronwyn’s finest catshit moment, actually.
But fuck me, that woman is a machine. We don’t know if viewers have been following the shenanigans in the Russian camp recently, but here is a short precis of what Aliya has had to deal with if not:
- Rodionenkos forcing her coach out all the way to Brazil whilst blaming her, the most decorated gymnast in the whole Olympics, for Russia’s underperformance.
- Bout of flu a couple of weeks earlier
- Having had to peak for Universiade because all the Russian sports federations were told to prioritise that over any other competition
-Being near enough the last Russian standing after Hicky Head Nabieva was done out of bars finals, Paseka withdrew due to injury and Grishina got chacked for being a lazy fucker.
So with that in mind, her performance was astonishing. The bars final was a surprisingly bad day for her, but the AA was a masterclass in It’ll Be Alright On The Night. Watch her face before she starts the beam routine.
This, more than anything, is the event that has been her nemesis. She dug deep and used every reserve, but she stayed on. The scent of bronze in her nostrils, she wasn’t going to let that one go. Like a lioness stalking her prey, but doing it whilst covered in glitter.
And don’t even get us started on the beam title. Sublime and ridiculous, all rolled into one. True that the acro series was a bit crap, but no more so than the ubiquitous bhs loso series chosen by the other medallists. Another masterclass in what it means to hit under pressure, and yet further proof that the entire allowance of headgame for the Russian team was doled out to her.
My 1 year old did a little dance to the Russian national anthem during the beam medal ceremony. She just gets it.
4. Yamilet Pena
Still standing, despite her best efforts to give herself a career ending injury.
5. Romanian choreography
More on the girls from Deva later in the series, but there was one aspect of their work that was an undiluted triumph. Floor. No, they didn’t hit as well as they could’ve, but the choreography and level of performance from Iordache and Izbasa was unmatched. Queen Sandra taking her (alleged) final bow, after falling on the final tumble and nobody giving a shit, was a magical moment.
6. Kyla Ross
Yeah it probably sucks at least a bit of arse to win silver on, like, everything, and no gold. But she did what she was taken to do, plus a cheeky floor finals berth in there too. A fine showing.
Another recklessly exhilirating display, another crap execution score, another gold. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s going to take a few more of those before the ghost of Zou Kai is exorcised, but if anyone can do it, Epke and still incredibly young looking BFF Fabien Hambuchen can. We can’t wait.