Archive for July, 2008

Dang it!

July 28, 2008

I really wanted to see Paul Hamm beat Yang Tae Yun.  Paul has changed his mind about how well his comeback is going though so now he’s out.

Forget “Patterbot”

July 27, 2008

Carly Patterson is so full of crap I think her new nickname should be just that.  Carly “So full of crap” Patterson.  In this article she talks about “not becoming the next Mary Lou.”  

It’s hard to compare people 20 years apart,” she said. “We were doing such harder skills, harder tricks. Maybe it was easier to smile when the tricks weren’t as hard.

Shawn Johnson has hard tricks out the wazoo yet some people are annoyed that she smiles so much.  “Ugh”, they say, “Look at that cheesy grin!”  No joke.  Shawn is too chipper for some of the scrooges out there.  I’m not saying I’m not one of those scrooges.  I’m just saying that smiling and big tricks don’t necessarily cancel each other out.

NYT covers age fakery

July 27, 2008

The New York Times has an article about the Chinese age situation.  I think it’s interesting that the FIG and USAG tried to get some answers after they got tips by email from fans.   

Some good quotes:  

In Chinese newspaper profiles this year, He was listed as 14, too young for the Beijing Games.

The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.

I wish I knew what and where these official registration lists they are talking about are.  

The other gymnast, Jiang, is listed on her passport — issued March 2, 2006 — as having been born on Nov. 1, 1991, which would make her 16 and thus eligible to compete at the Beijing Games.

A different birth date, indicating Jiang is not yet 15, appears on a list of junior competitors from the Zhejiang Province sports administration. The list of athletes includes national identification card numbers into which birth dates are embedded. Jiang’s national card number as it appears on this list shows her birth date as Oct. 1, 1993, which indicates that she will turn 15 in the fall, and would thus be ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games.

That one is especially weird.  The wrong birthdate embedded into her national identification number.  I think if it’s true about the national identification number, China should be banned.  How does an athlete get a national ID number with the wrong birth date in it?  

Yang Yun of China won individual and team bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and later said in an interview on state-run television that she had been 14 at the time of those Games. A Hunan Province sports administration report also said later that she had been 14 when she competed in Sydney.

The interview I linked to is in Chinese with an English translation provided in the description.  So now you know for sure that they cheated before and got away with it.  Nothing to stop them from doing it this time.  Since the FIG can’t seem to do anything about cheating, they need to scrap the rule since they can’t enforce it.  It is unfair to countries who can’t don’t cheat.  

via: Gymnicetics and LBLGymnastics and Gymblog

::UPDATE::

Associated Press covers age fakery.  ESPN news site.

::UPDATE 2::

From China View

 A Chinese official said on Monday the Chinese Olympic gymnasts are old enough for the Beijing Games.

Also Chicago Sports/Chicago Tribune talks about underaged gymnasts and divers.  There’s also translations of some of the fabled Chinese message board postings concerning He.  

“It’s too late to He’s age. Many foreigners already knew it. It would need to change the name and use a false record to see if it can go through.”

The reply to this suggestion?

“It doesn’t matter. If He, Kexin’s skills are very good we Chinese can change her age very easily. I think this is pretty much the norm for Chinese teams.”

::UPDATE 3::

ABC News has some quotes from Chinese message boards too.  

Reply 2: “Age is definitely not a problem, in the national sports system, results are the most important. In America, age might be a problem, but there’s no way the Chinese team is that stupid….”

Wow.  Following the rules = stupid.

::UPDATE 4::

Epoch Times has a screenshots of the roster from Chengdu Sports Bureau which listed He Kexin’s 1994 birthday.

Emilia Eberle = Trudy Kollar?

July 26, 2008

Well, almost.  I found an article which talks about Emilia.  It states she’s not saying anything about “Ben” Karolyi and his wife, Martha or Dominique Moceanu’s statements.  

At age 44 she’s instructing young girls with Olympic dreams in Sacramento. She is married with a young son and changed her name to Trudy Kollar.

Trudy Kollar?  What’s up with that?  Her bio page from Pozsar’s has some answers. 

And it’s Trudi with an “I”.

NPR Darling Hill interview

July 22, 2008

Darling Hill’s powerful jumps and tumbles made her a favorite at the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials.

But shoulder injuries and a sprained ankle dashed her hopes of going to Beijing to compete this year.

Kim Bonos, owner and head coach of Will-Moore gymnastics, mentions that Dar’s grandmother and her would get on Dar’s case if things weren’t going right.  

Dar feels she has not reached her peak yet.  She says loves when the audience gets into her routines.  Kim Bonos loves excellent gymnastics and is driven by the beauty of the sport.  

Check out Will-Moor’s website.  They have videos of their gymnasts from 2007 Level 10 JO Nats.  Rebecca Best won first AA, 3rd on Bars, and first on Vault, Beam, and floor for her age group.

US women’s alternates don’t have visas

July 22, 2008

The alternates for the men’s team will be training in Tianjin.  The men’s program started trying to get the visa situation together sooner than the women’s program started.  The women’s alternates will be three hours away in Japan.  There better not be any last minute injuries.  The women’s program needs to keep working on those visas.

::UPDATE::

It looks like the women’s alternates will be able to train in China afterall.

Mattie Larson’s broken leg

July 22, 2008

This is a short article about Mattie’s leg.  

According to Eric, “Four doctors read the results. A broken tibia (the bigger leg bone) just above her ankle. When asked when the pain started in that area, Mattie said since the last day of Olympic trials in Philly. Her doctors informed her that was when she broke it — a month ago. She just couldn’t go anymore on Saturday with the pain.”

I wonder how much Shayla’s broken leg effected her.  I really wonder if more than not being able to go anymore, Shayla’s injury served as a wake up call that maybe she shouldn’t go anymore.  Somebody breaks their leg on a full turn, I think I’d reevaluate my priorities too.

Wee Gymnast

July 22, 2008

The last time these videos were uploaded, they were taken down fairly quickly.  So if you want to see them, act fast.

2008 post-Olympic tour

July 15, 2008

Information about Mike Burg’s tour is now available.  You have to register for a free two week trial on this site in order to view the article.  Mr.  Burg totally outmaneuvered USAG as far as signing top athletes for this year’s tour.  

An Edge Entertainment-produced TV special will showcase two of gymnastics’ biggest stars — Shawn Johnson and Paul Hamm — and musicians from Hollywood Records, a Disney label that includes the Jonas Brothers and the Cheetah Girls. Details of that broadcast and participating artists were still being worked out last week.

The broadcast will coincide with a 30-city tour beginning in September that marries gymnastics performances with Disney musical acts, making it one of the first arena events to combine sports and teen pop music. The events will visit members of the Arena Network, including San Diego, Phoenix, Anaheim, Denver, Houston, Chicago and others. Individual tickets for a similar tour in 2004 sold for $45, $35, $25 and $15. Sponsorships also will be sold to support the tour.

At the end of the article there is a quote from Sheryl Shade that is completely ridiculous.  

Shade said, “(Disney is) looking at (Johnson) very closely because she fits to a ‘T’ one of those teen idol-heroes that they love to build up. It’s her Midwest values.”

Midwest values, huh?  I’m sure it’s actually the fact that she wins which Disney is interested in.  

There is also a picture of Shawn doing a split jump in the article and no it’s not a good pic.

Shawn’s ugly face

July 15, 2008

International Gymnast magazine has chosen a picture of Shawn for their July cover photo.  She is in the middle of her double double or something and is making a funny face.  I really wonder why they chose this particular pic which makes Shawn look funny.  Maybe they really hate that Black and White leo she wears in the nice picture they have of her on the contents page.  Maybe they thought they’d use a pic of Shawn tumbling since that’s the strength of her gymnastics.  What I think is there are lots of nice pictures of Shawn out there and using one where her face is all scrunched up could’ve been avoided.