Being selected for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Gymnastics Team usually takes a lifetime of dedication and countless hours of grueling competition and training. Usually.
“It is rare that an athlete will display such incredible natural talent that we choose him on the spot,” says coach Mark Williams plainly. But that’s exactly what happened when Williams, scrolling through his Facebook newsfeed, saw National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) official Kevin Dean responding to CrossFit Inc.’s allegations that the NSCA published fraudulent data to harm their competition.
“It was some of the most impressive gymnastics I’ve seen outside of the Olympic arena,” Williams recalls. “These guys [the NSCA] had just knowingly published a study on CrossFit filled with false injury data, yet Dean twisted that fact around and accused CrossFit of spreading the claims of the false study themselves by publicly defending their reputation. You don’t see gymnastics like that every day.”
When asked if this type of mental gymnastics skill will transfer to real-world gymnastics competition, Williams seemed confident. “I expect Dean will require some technical refinement of his routine, and to be honest, I haven’t seen what kind of shape he is in, but based on his performance on social media, I expect we will be taking the gold in 2020.”