Gymnasts fall a lot. Sometimes they fall in competition and we all get to watch but mostly they fall in practice, with only their teammates and coaches as witnesses. But everyone has a smart phone, which means that all the falls, whether they came in training or in competition, are invariably preserved for posterity. Or, more precisely, preserved for social media.
Earlier this week, Italian gymnast Sydney Saturnino started the #gymnasticsfailchallenge and uploaded two fall videos. Then she challenged other elite gymnasts, both in Italy and elsewhere, to do the same. More than a 1,000 gymnasts, running the gamut Olympians to club level gymnasts, have taken her up on it.
I can’t reassure you guys that no humans were hurt in creating these videos. But since the athletes themselves are uploading them, we can assume that they’re at least over these mistakes.
Here’s former Australian national team member Georgia Rose Brown hitting her foot on the low bar and then some.
Double Olympic silver medalist from the 2016 Olympics Danell Leyva shared some of his career “highlights.”
Sometimes leaps are tricky. (The failed leap comes near the end of the video.)
This coach made a really good catch.
Here are former British national team member and UCLA star Danusia Francis’ fails. (At least in the second video, she works out of it.)
In some of these videos, it’s not the gymnasts that fail so much as it’s the equipment.
In 1975, Ludmilla Tourischeva performed through what is arguably the most famous equipment malfunction in gymnastics history. The bars collapsed just as she was dismounting at the World Cup, but that didn’t stop the Soviet gymnast from landing his dismount and saluting the judges. She never even glanced back at the wreckage.
Okay, one last one: In 2013, the University of Michigan men’s gymnastics team put together a lengthy compilation of their practice falls over the years instead of a more traditional promo video.
In conclusion, gymnastics is extremely difficult and even people that are good at it get their asses kicked sometimes.