Decade Retrospective: Top Wacky, Wild and Notable Moments

Only five days until the new year and the new decade! Today we’re taking it back to our favorite wacky, wild and most notable moments over the last 10 years, from accidental double-twisting Yurchenkos to wild hairstyles and everything in between.

Don’t agree with our rankings? Think we left some pivotal moments off our list? Let us know your most notable happenings of the decade in the comments or on social media!

10. Georgia Having to Replace the Entire Beam at a Meet in 2019: Equipment breaks sometimes in gymnastics. It happens. But rarely do teams have to replace an entire apparatus in the middle of a competition. Good thing Georgia had a spare waiting to go in the tunnel.

9. Michigan’s Talia Chiarelli Throwing Two E Passes During 2016 NCAA Semifinals: With nothing to lose having to qualified to nationals without her team, the former Canadian elite went all in when she decided to throw two difficult skills in her floor routine, before it was more common to do so thanks to MyKayla Skinner and McKenna Kelley.

8. Seattle Pacific Accidentally Leaving Two Gymnasts at Home for an Away Meet in 2019: Whatever the reason, we still like to laugh at the fact that the Falcons got all the way to the airport before realizing the whole team wasn’t en route. At least they weren’t crucial lineup gymnasts?

7. Georgia’s Kat Ding Winning the Floor Title in 2012: Known for her incredible bars, Ding did her job on the event at the 2012 event finals, winning the title for her routine with her signature sky-high Tkatchev. But then she decided to follow it up with a win on floor as well. We were just as shocked as she was.

6. Bridgeport’s Sasha Tsikhanovich Doing Her Mother’s Elite Floor Choreography: When your mother is Natalia Laschenova, you’d be remiss not to do her floor routine from 1989 worlds, right?

5. Georgia’s Brandie Jay Literally Accidentally Doing a DTY at NCAA Semifinals: Jay, who typically did a Yurchenko one and a half (and won the national title for it in 2016), was overheard asking a coach after her vault if she did a full or double. You know, normal questions after vaulting.

4. Arizona Suspending Half the Team, Scoring a 145: Props to head coach John Court for holding his team responsible for wrongdoings, and not just because it created this infamous meet with only two vaulters and three people on floor.

3. UCLA’s Samantha Peszek Throwing a Standing Full to Win Beam in 2015: We hope you miss event finals as much as we still do. Because you’re likely not going to see gymnasts throwing their most difficult skills during national semifinals where the team has everything to lose. Thank you Sam Peszek for sending the last event finals out with a bang.

2. UCLA’s Peng Peng Lee Scoring Two Perfect 10s to Close out Her Career: It’s pretty fitting Peng Peng Lee ended her storied career on a high note, with not one but two perfect marks to give her team the national championship. We get chills just thinking about it.

1. Stanford’s Event Final Hair in 2015: While perfect 10s, standing fulls and accidental DTYs are great and all, our most notable moment from the decade wasn’t really about gymnastics at all. It was a shock to everyone when the normally calm and stoic Stanford event finalists marched out with triple bun faux hawks and pigtails to compete in event finals. Who needs double buns when you can have three?

Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Emily Minehart and Rebecca Scally

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One comment

  1. Is there no vid of Chiarelli? What did she do a, a full in and double Arabian?

    I know its comparing elite to a not top L10 but the side by side mother-daughter showed how much the Soviets focused on the little dance details.

    I know this is only semi-related but Kristen Maloney throwing the FTDLO in EF in 2005 was absolutely insane. I’d say more so than Mykayla’s double-double. That skill at the time wasn’t even being thrown by elites really (she also stuck a DTY cold at the same meet). I miss EF

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