Rounding Off: The week that was in gymnastics for 6 November

Sunisa Lee on staying positive, Simone Biles speaks up in support of LGBTQ community, rarely seen routines from Amy Chow at Sydney 2000

By Scott Bregman

In recent years, Simone Biles has never shied away from using her enormous platform on social media to speak her mind. She's done everything from share her story of abuse to encourage Americans to vote.

This week, she spoke up in support of the LGBTQ community after criticism from conservative groups in the United States after she appeared in a new ad campaign with 'Queer Eye' star Jonathan Van Ness.

"The LGBTQIA will always have my support," wrote the four-time Olympic gymnastics gold medallist, "and feel welcome on my socials."

U.S. gymnast Sunisa Lee: “I’ll never forget 2020.”

Sunisa Lee, who helped Team USA win team gold at last year’s 2019 World Championships, says she’ll “never forget 2020,” according to the New York Times.

And how could she? On top of a worldwide pandemic that postponed her biggest goal in life – a trip to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – she lost her aunt and uncle, with whom she was very close, to the virus.

But despite the hardships, Lee says she’s staying positive as 2021 nears.

“A couple of months ago, I decided to focus on being more positive, and I think it definitely helps me if I really have a bad day — or a bad year,” says Lee. “It helps to remind yourself that things don’t stay bad forever. So 2021 has to be better than 2020. I just know it will be.”

COVID causes more European withdrawals, event cancellations

Switzerland is the latest country to announce it will skip this year’s European Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The event has been through a saga in 2020, originally scheduled for late April and early May.

The coronavirus pandemic caused postponement, followed by a change in venue, and then another new site announced last month. Previously, the event served as a Tokyo 2020 qualifier but no more.

Last week, Russia and Belgium pulled out of the event, leaving France as the only country to have won a gold medal at the 2019 edition still set to participate.

Switzerland’s announcement came as they said they’re also no longer holding their national championships. Germany later in the week said they’d skip their champs as well.

Look no further than Olympic Channel

In case you missed it, here’s a quick look at our gymnastics coverage this week right here at Olympic Channel.

1️⃣ YouTube content galore! This week, we shared all eight of the gold medal-winning routines of Russian rhythmic gymnast Evgeniya Kanaeva from Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Also, don’t miss Catalina Ponor in our ‘Music Monday’ and four times the Simone Biles floor exercise action.

2️⃣ We caught up to American Shilese Jones before her 2020 debut at this weekend’s Friendship and Solidarity competition in Tokyo.

3️⃣ French gymnast Samir Ait Said stars in an emotional episode of the Olympic Channel series ‘What Moves Me,’ sharing his inspiring journey back from injury at Rio 2016 and the death of his father.

Also, stay tuned over the weekend for coverage from Tokyo and the Friendship and Solidarity event.

From the vault…

This week, we’re featuring a trio of requested routines featuring Olympic gold medallist Amy Chow. The American helped Team USA win its first Olympic team gold medal in women’s gymnastics at Atlanta 1996 and went on to pick up silver on bars in front of her home country crowd.

Four years later, she returned to the Games as a team leader, helping the U.S. women win bronze. Today, we feature her balance beam and floor exercise from qualifications at Sydney 2000, as well as her team final performance on floor.