And Now, A Short History of Gymnasts Being Bad-Ass

Hard truth: Gymnasts are the most bad-ass athletes. They were no protective garments, they fling themselves around, and they usually incorporate personal style and generally wonderful fashions into their work. This morning a phenomenal video of Lloimincia Hall, an LSU gymnast, is making the rounds, and it's another example of why gymnasts are some of the premiere bad-asses of our time. Let us learn five major lessons in badassitude from these kickass ladies.

1. Lloimincia Hall teaches us that stank is as powerful on the floor as stamina.

This is a woman takes time out from her incredible flipping to let you know she can jive harder to Earth, Wind, and Fire than you can. She is right to do this.

2. Look, McKayla Maroney defies gravity just because.

Look. McKayla jumps and elevates for what seems like minutes in the middle of her jump. Incredibly high, incredibly controlled. Color us “impressed,” McKayla.

3. Dominique Moceanu proved you can command the world's attention while rocking out to a hick anthem.

What to do when you're in Atlanta vying for a gymnastics gold medal? Little Dominique Moceanu knew: pick the roughest, coldest, most devil-damning country ballad you know and turn the Olympics into an adrenalized hootenanny.

4. Never forget that Nadia Comaneci and Olga Korbut spent a lot of time slamming their pelvises into bars. 

We remember that Nadia Comaneci and Olga Korbut were world-class '70s gymnasts, but casual gymnastics viewers may not remember that the uneven bars used to be, somehow, more brutal and more unsafe. In this vintage clips, watch as Nadia and Olga literally slam their bodies from the higher bar into the lower bar. Modern-day gymnasts work with bars that are much more separated; there's no chance now that you can, y'know, careen your pelvic bone into a slab of wood and ruin your life forever. 

5. You can be a gymnastic gold-medalist while being four months pregnant. 

Gymnastics legend Larisa Latynina wasn't just a Soviet national hero for her stunning work at the '56, '60, and '64 Olympics (where she became the most medal-decorated Olympian ever and kept that record until Michael Phelps came along); she was also a total bad-ass for scoring a national championship title while being four months pregnant. Yes, that's right: Latynina hid her pregnancy from her coach and still managed to score five gold medals and a silver at the '58 national championships in Moscow. If there is a more bad-ass accomplishment, Bob Costas has certainly not narrated a segment about it yet.