When We All Fall Where Do We Go? Men’s 2021 Winter Cup Day 1 Recap

When I think about Winter Cup one word usually comes to mind: meteorite. Why meteorite?

Because they fall. And well…

We saw that…

But it’s totally understandable. Besides the fact that it’s only February, the athletes competing here have been put through extraordinary circumstances never before seen in gymnastics. The pandemic has thrown the entire Olympic qualification process into the toilet, gyms around the country have been shut down, meets are being cancelled, and Texas is frozen. Many of the athletes who have a shot at making the Olympic team understandably opted out (Sam Mikulak, Akash Modi, Colin Van Wicklen, basically everyone from Stanford just to name a few). Although Winter Cup did have it’s lows, it would be unfair of me to only capitalize on those moments.

Because we also saw beautiful form

and tremendous difficulty

Alex Diab: Highest rings score of the night (14.850)

And don’t forget the opportunities for comedy

Stephen Nedoroscik said BYE

and incredible saves

At the end of the day Cameron Bock (Universtity of Michigan) was able to find the midpoint for both of those. While others made mistakes, Cameron capitalized on his consistency to finish in the top eight on every event. He combined competitive difficulty with clean execution to earn the 2021 Winter Cup all-around title.

Following closely behind was Riley Loos (the lone Stanford representative) who showed us he was NOT playing around during quarantine. Riley showed off huge upgrades, most notably on vault where he showed his new handspring 5/2.

Overall the men’s performance was a true testament to the strength and resilience of these athletes. 2020 has not been easy- the pandemic, the lack of competitions, the general uncertainty of the Olympics even happening that has uncomfortably been circulating in the air for a while. Not to mention the total dumpster fire situation going on with USA Gymnastics and the downfall of NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Programs. But for these athletes to still show up, adapt to the adversities, and compete to the best of their abilities, even when the world seems to be falling apart, shows the true qualities these athletes exemplify to the umpteenth degree.

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