Artistic Gymnastics

Rounding Off: The week that was in gymnastics for 23 October

Simone Biles says, "Don't sit on the sidelines", Russia focused on European Championships as Spain announces withdrawal

By Scott Bregman ·

Simone Biles wants you to vote.

That’s the message she delivered in an Instagram Reels post for Glamour magazine this week, joining other superstar athletes including Billie Jean King and Lindsey Vonn.

“Each and everyone of you should vote,” Biles says. “As an African American and a woman, we didn’t always have this right. Don’t sit on the sidelines.”

“Vote!” the video ends in unison. Though Biles has made use of massive social media followings to elevate voices in the run-up to the 3 November U.S. Presidential Election, the video marks perhaps the most explicit activism for the 30-time World and Olympic artistic gymnastics medallist.

Fellow Team USA gymnast and star of Olympic Channel original series ‘All Around’, Morgan Hurd made a similar plea this week, posting a photo of herself at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

"Basic human rights should NEVER be up for discussion. Get out and vote early or send in your absentee ballot. Our future depends on it.” - Morgan Hurd

Russia focusing on Euros, Spain out

The withdrawals from December’s European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan continue with Spain announcing this week they would join Great Britain, Germany and others in sitting out the event.

One country focused on taking part is Russia and they are taking steps, including keeping their top athletes out of the upcoming Russian Championships.

Russian national team coach Valentina Rodionenko told Tass she was concerned that athletes might contract coronavirus while travelling from their training base in Moscow to Penza for the event.

"If taken ill, they will run the risk of missing the European Championships. Preparations for the Olympics would be seriously affected too."

Russia’s top athletes are, however, planning to participate in a Friendship and Solidarity competition on 8 November in Tokyo.

Their roster will include Nikita Nagornyy and Artur Dalaloyan - first and second respectively in the all-around at last year’s Worlds - and Angelina Melnikova who took all-around bronze.

Look no further than Olympic Channel

In case you missed it, here's some of the recent artistic gymnastics coverage right here on OlympicChannel.com.

A look back at Tokyo 1964 which saw the home team take the second of five consecutive men’s Olympic team titles.

On the women’s side, Larisa Latynina came to those Games having won back-to-back titles in the all-around in 1956 and 1960.

But she was denied a third gold medal in the event by Vera Caslavska in one of the sport’s most epic battles.

Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez shared with ESPN the difficulties of coming forward with the emotional and verbal abuse she suffered under former coach Maggie Haney.

"It was really tough at first,” said Hernandez. “It's not like it was a taboo subject or that I had ignored it. However, still having to pull it apart at a time where mentally, I want to be the strongest I could be, especially during an Olympic year and peak at a certain time, to have something like that opened up was really difficult, and it made training pretty harsh.”

Flavia Saraiva: "Gymnastics is like air for me."

The Brazilian explained to Olympic Channel how her experiences at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and Rio 2016 have helped her in quest for an Olympic medal at Tokyo 2020.

Brazilian star Flavia Saraiva determined to win medal at Tokyo 2020

Saraiva has become famous in her homeland thanks to her exploits at Rio 201...

From the vault...

Our weekly dig through the Olympic archives for a routine requested by you - the readers! - brings us to Alexei Nemov's stunning and stylish compulsory floor exercise routine from the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

Russian Nemov, who won two golds in Atlanta and two at Sydney 2000, took bronze in the floor final in 1996.

Have a routine you want to see featured in an upcoming 'Rounding Off'? Make sure to tweet them at us @OlympicChannel!

Alexei Nemov performs his compulsory floor routine at Atlanta 1996

Watch four-time Olympic gold medallist Alexei Nemov's stylish compulsory fl...