Welcome to the first edition of 'Rounding Off' - Olympic Channel's weekly recap of all the happenings in the world of gymnastics. From competition news to the latest videos on social media, 'Rounding Off' will include the best of the best.
Plus, we'll always include a look back to a historic routine in Olympic gymnastics history from our archives.
Sports Illustrated names Simone Biles among ‘The Unrelenting’
Simone Biles, the four-time Olympic gymnastics champion and 19-time World championships gold medal winner, is part of Sport Illustrated’s “The Unrelenting” list. The list highlights the most powerful, influential and outstanding women in sports right now, according to SI's website.
In addition to her seemingly superhuman efforts on the field of play, Biles has increasingly used her platform to advocate for survivors of sexual assault and change in her sport. The 23-year-old came forward in early 2018 to say that she, too, had been assaulted by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
“I think it's really important to speak out and for kids to see that it's OK, you don't have to silence yourself,” Biles told Olympic Channel last year.
In the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Biles has used her platform to amplify messages to her more than 1 million followers on Twitter, including a post from actress Kerry Washington which took on President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy in a recent debate.
Along with Biles, Olympic champions Serena Williams, Maya Moore, Simone Manuel, Megan Rapinoe, Allyson Felix and others are also included in the SI list.
Europeans on the move
It’s been a never ending saga for the 2020 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Originally, the women’s event was scheduled for 30 April to 3 May in Paris with the men’s event set for Baku, Azerbaijan, set for 27 to 31 May.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the European Gymnastics Union (UEG) announced on 17 March that all of its events in the first half of 2020 would not go forward.
Then, new dates and an announcement that the women’s event would also be held in Baku came 4 June. But as the COVID-19 situation globally evolved, so, too, did questions about the events in Baku. A decision was expected last week, but was delayed until Monday.
That’s when the UEG announced that show will go on with the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships now scheduled for 9 to 13 December, men’s, and 17-20 December, women’s. Both events will now be in Mersin, Turkey. The event will no longer serve as a qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Questions about the event remain, as British Gymnastics announced even before the new location was unveiled Monday that they would not attend.
Other gymnastics stories you may have missed
Look no further than the Olympic Channel...
In case you’ve missed some of our gymnastics coverage recently, here’s a quick recap:
· 2012 Olympic team gold medallist Kyla Ross reflects on her career and shares a memory of her friend and teammate Simone Biles
· An exclusive interview with Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev, who won parallel bars gold at Rio 2016 and says he dreams of striking gold again at Tokyo 2020
· Jamaican gymnast Danusia Francis is looking to help empower others in her sport after finally achieving her dream of Olympic qualification. Plus, we even tried to make her laugh with some… erm… jokes
‘All Around’ star Angelina Melnikova joins us LIVE on Sunday
Reigning World all-around bronze medallist and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Angelina Melnikova of Russia will join us live on Sunday, 11 October at 4 pm Moscow time (3 pm Central European Time/9 am Eastern Time) on the @Olympics Instagram account.
Melnikova, who stars in the Olympic Channel original series ‘All Around,’ will give fans an inside look at her training, as we mark one year (and one day!) since her bronze medal win at Stuttgart 2019. Plus, she'll be taking fans questions so tweet 'em at us or ask in the insta chat during the live. Olympic Channel’s Ekaterina Kuznetsova will moderate and provide translations from Russian to English throughout.
Follow three of the world’s top gymnasts - Morgan Hurd (USA), Angelina Melnikova (Russia), Chen Yile (China) - as they balance life as teenagers with dreams of winning gold at Tokyo 2020. All Around gymnastics documentary series offers unique access to the every day lives of artistic gymnasts.
From the vault…
Each week, we’ll pull out footage from our archives, highlighting a rarely seen or special routine of the history of the Olympic Games.
First up, an iconic compulsory uneven bars routine from the double Olympic champ on the event Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina.