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Has anyone read this story ?

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kayjaybe

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Jul 19, 2012
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I also totally disagree with this, but I have a spin-off question.

My dd is new to optionals. Last year, we hosted a state meet which had qualifiers for regionals. Some girls from our state were awarded a regional position but for a different state. For example, one of our girls competed for Delaware, I think, even though we are in PA. Is that a similar (but less offensive) version of the same thing? Is it possible that Delaware literally did not have 6 gymnasts at that age and level to send to regionals? Or, I'm assuming, I just don't really understand how it works --- representing a different state at regionals. I guess the states they represented must have already completed their state meet before ours because otherwise how would you know how many could go?
 

4theloveofsports

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Mar 16, 2011
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I also totally disagree with this, but I have a spin-off question.

My dd is new to optionals. Last year, we hosted a state meet which had qualifiers for regionals. Some girls from our state were awarded a regional position but for a different state. For example, one of our girls competed for Delaware, I think, even though we are in PA. Is that a similar (but less offensive) version of the same thing? Is it possible that Delaware literally did not have 6 gymnasts at that age and level to send to regionals? Or, I'm assuming, I just don't really understand how it works --- representing a different state at regionals. I guess the states they represented must have already completed their state meet before ours because otherwise how would you know how many could go?
Yes, that is actually standard procedure. If a region does not have enough gymnasts to fill a team, gymnasts from other regions/states may be pulled to fill the team. I don't know exact procedure. I am sure someone can fill you in on the proper protocol.
 
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Ausi_poppet

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Apr 16, 2015
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I really wonder how well these girls will go at Worlds. It's only their second senior competition, isn't it? And what a stage to do that on! From looking at the Secret Classic results they both scored in the 51's, which you would wonder whether that will be enough to secure a position at the games for Belarus.

I think some adults have made some awful decisions that will not only impact on the sport itself, but are going to harm these two girls and the girls in Belarus. Talk about collateral damage.

As my daughter said, I hope someone teaches them the Belarus national anthem pretty quick! We've already decided that there is nothing worse than looking like a goose on the podium because you don't actually know the words of national anthem.
 

gymdog

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Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,115
I also totally disagree with this, but I have a spin-off question.

My dd is new to optionals. Last year, we hosted a state meet which had qualifiers for regionals. Some girls from our state were awarded a regional position but for a different state. For example, one of our girls competed for Delaware, I think, even though we are in PA. Is that a similar (but less offensive) version of the same thing? Is it possible that Delaware literally did not have 6 gymnasts at that age and level to send to regionals? Or, I'm assuming, I just don't really understand how it works --- representing a different state at regionals. I guess the states they represented must have already completed their state meet before ours because otherwise how would you know how many could go?
They don't. WVA usually needs a few extras too, although not as much as before. This is why we need to go to the format of having anyone who gets a certain score qualify to all star sessions and then have one session of "super team" qualifiers regardless of age. It is kind of silly to have state competitions at all ages when one state consistently is filled with kids from VA and PA.
 
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gymyogimom

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I recall when I got my US citizenship, I had to sign a document stating I can only pledge allegiance to the US flag and renounce any other citizenship I may have. My native country allows for dual citizenship but how does it work on the American side? I didn't think I had a choice.
US actually doesn't prohibit dual citizenship. Other countries allow it specifically though... Some countries also require renunciation, US doesnt but does say that you must fight for the US and not a foreign country/other. http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/citizenship-and-dual-nationality/dual-nationality.html
 
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Bess

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Jul 18, 2013
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After reading a different article, that included quotes from an official in Belarus, it also seems that Belarus is a bit mislead on the talent of these girls.
If it is the case where Belarus thinks they are better than they are I wouldn't chalk it up to them being misled. It took all of us 2.2 seconds to find information about these 2 children and their past scores. It's on Belarus if they didn't do their homework before passing out dual citizenships
 

GymBoyzMom

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Sep 17, 2011
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My sons could be dual citizens, but just as I was about to fill out the application the coach stopped me. He explained that would affect their ability to compete at a world level in the future (if they go that far).
 

gymdog

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US actually doesn't prohibit dual citizenship. Other countries allow it specifically though... Some countries also require renunciation, US doesnt but does say that you must fight for the US and not a foreign country/other. http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/citizenship-and-dual-nationality/dual-nationality.html
When people naturalize, they are asked to renounce foreign citizenship though. I believe this has been challenged in specific court case and there have been exceptions. It's a bit different when you're a natural born citizen of the US, then basically the other country's law is the default.
 
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gymdilettante

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Nov 23, 2014
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Maybe everyone involved knows this is exactly what is going on? That promising junior elite from Belurus will not get to compete in Rio if the senior Bel girls don't place well enough at worlds this year to secure an all-around spot for their country(I don't know their skill level, but perhaps Bel officials know they can't place high enough). So the Bel powers that be reach out to the All Olympia coaches who have girls that have a better chance to secure that future Olympic spot. The US girls get to compete on the International stage(something that would never happen for them in the US) before they move on to their NCAA careers and that talented junior elite from Belurus might get a chance to compete in an Olympic AA final. I am in no way trying to say that all of this isn't all kinds of wrong. But I would not assume that all coaches and officials involved in this transaction don't know EXACTLY what they are going.
As I understand it though the individual gymnast that places in the top 24 earns the Olympic berth, not her country. ...so in the fairly unlikely event that one of these girls makes the top 24, BEL wouldn't even be allowed to reallocate that spot to the promising junior. ..instead the AO girl would go. If I'm not correct someone please let me know but that's my understanding.

I agree that this is heartbreaking for the BEL girls. And embarrassing for me as an American. The girls' interview made it sound like they didn't know there already was anelite senior team in BEL (ie there is no need for "inspiration" particularly when they're not even going to BEL so it's dubious that their performance will be inspiring anyone there anyway).
 

bookworm

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Oct 3, 2009
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On my couch either reading or doing nothing...
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I don't know how much press coaching they had ...

Interviewer: " how does it feel to be competing for Belarus?"
Dickson: " it's super exciting, i think it's awesome , it's a great opportunity.....I'm honored ..."

So far so good...and then :

Kwan: " yeah its different, obviously it wasn't our first choice, but we just wanted to go out there and compete for a country and get some experience on the world stage"....

Ouch Alaina! I'm sure it would have been the Belarusian national team members FIRST CHOICE to compete for their country .....
 

dynamicduo

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Oct 8, 2013
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Just watched that interview. Seemed way too awkward for me and like bookworm said above about Kwan saying Belarus wasn't her first choice, Ouch indeed!!
 

Jenny

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Sep 17, 2012
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They are going to carry the stigma of this for ever aren't they ? Very sad really.
 
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