Archive for October, 2008

She loves rock and roll too

October 20, 2008

Maricela Cantu Mata of Mexico used a version of “I Love Rock and Roll” for her floor exercise music in Beijing.  It was different than Chellsie’s music and I liked it better.  Maricela’s version used a violin for the vocal parts and I think the rest of the music was changed or subdued somehow so it went with the violin better.  

Sorry, sports fans.  I could not find Maricela’s Olympic routine on youtube.  She had two different ones in 2007 and early 2008.  Here’s a cute gala routine.

No more sporty leos?

October 15, 2008

The C score wrote a post about changes for the 2009 code.  When I looked at the provisional code, I was paying more attention to changes for the routines.  I didn’t notice this.  

Change Most Likely to Affect Spain
In the section where attire is described, leotards now “must be of elegant design” (vs “may be of elegant design” from the previous Code). 

The C score seems to think that this will keep teams from showing up in leotards that have gaudy colors.  Maybe.  I think it effects sporty leotards more though.  

I recall an article from 2006 where Martha Karolyi explains the hot pink leotards the US girls wore in prelims.  

Karolyi bypassed the traditional red-white-and-blue look this year for a bold blast of pink. She said it was a response to a request from the International Gymnastics Federation to have the women’s sport look more, well, feminine.

“I think we pleased FIG,” Karolyi said.

I thought then and I still think now that that was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard.  The FIG requesting “feminine” leotards?  If a woman is in a leotard or swimsuit and doesn’t look feminine, a different leotard or swimsuit is not going to change anything.  There’s a thread on IG forum which asks how are they going to enforce this?   

I hope that this is just some weird little mistranslation or if it’s not I hope the last time we see it is in this provisional code.

Why compulsories can be entertaining

October 14, 2008

The Couch Gymnast explains compulsories and lists some reasons why they are cool.  I totally agree with all the reasons.  It also warms my heart that CG doesn’t mention the tired myth that compulsories force gymnasts to focus on basics.  This is simply not true.  Compulsories give a huge edge to gymnasts who have coaches that focus on basics but they don’t force gymnasts and coaches to work on them.  

One thing that CG doesn’t get quite right.  

You could tell who hadn’t been doing their homework. Apparently the compulsories were set after each Olympics, so gymnasts had a long, long time to practice them. But that doesn’t mean they did! Watch the 1996 Compulsories and see the U.S.A fall apart on the beam. You have to wonder if they were putting in the hours. They weren’t the only ones either. A lot of gymnasts were tripped up by their compulsories.

The US team paid a lot of attention to those compulsories starting from the beginning of the quad and by 1996, the US was one of the best compulsory teams.  From the start of the quad, the elite coaches and staff got together and developed a long term plan to make great elite compulsory gymnasts.  As I recall, each year, they focused on different parts of the compulsories and scored for different things.  In meets the girls were almost competing drills instead of actual skills.  As the quad progressed, the girls were gradually competing more and more compulsory skills perfected through those drills.  I remember an interview in IG  with Murial Grossfeld, I believe.  She stated that they almost dropped the ball on compulsory vault by introducing the whole vault into competition too soon.  

What happened on beam was unfortunate but it wasn’t for lack of preparation.

Gymnastics software

October 14, 2008

Renuka Perera is making the gymnastics world a better place.  He works in information technology and has written some new software to help with judging.  

The new software allows accurate results and is easy to administer and it also stores the records of a gymnast during his entire career and is able to come up with future predictions. Its transparency allows an accurate selection process too.

The first

October 14, 2008

I don’t usually follow men’s gymnastics but I noticed this story because it claimed that Lous Smith was the first black or mixed race man to win a medal in gymnastics.  I thought I remembered that that was really Jair Lynch who won silver on Parallel Bars in 1996.  

Louis compares winning an Olympic bronze medal to being caught red handed in a murder.  Okay, then.  

I found a page on Jair Lynch and that page said he was the second African American to compete in Olympic gymnastics.   When I first read it, I thought it said Jair was the first and that didn’t seem right so I tried to find who was the first.  This page from USA gymnastics says that it was Charles Lakes who was the first black American competitor in men’s gymnastics.  If it hadn’t been for the boycott of 1980, Ron Galimore would’ve been the first.

::UPDATE::

The article has been amended.

• This article was amended on Tuesday October 14 2008. Louis Smith was not, in fact, the first black or mixed-race man in history to win an Olympic gymnastics medal. This has been changed.

I had to amend my article too because instead of putting “the first black or mixed race man” in the first paragrap I only had “the first”.

People keep blaming Alicia

October 14, 2008

And they are stoopid for doing so.  It was Alicia’s falls AND mistakes from the rest of the team that added up to silver.  

When Alicia Sacramone took the mat in Beijing, there was no doubt in her mind she’d have a flawless routine. As team captain, and the oldest girl on the squad, this was her show. But two falls, one on balance beam and another on floor exercise, cost the Americans a gold medal.

America’s Sweetheart

October 12, 2008

“”I found (gymnastics) because my brother came home one day and said ‘Cathy, there’s a trampoline at the local youth center. Do you want to jump on it?’ And I said, ‘Are you nuts?‘ ” – Cathy Rigby

Rigby won the silver medal for Balance Beam at the 1970 World Championships.  Yes, it’s true.  The US started winning medals before Karolyi showed up.

South Africans in Albany

October 12, 2008

“Their week-long stay in Albany has been a respite from the chaos back home.”

Malyasian gymnastics

October 12, 2008

“Russian Mikhail Gutsalyuk is known as the coach with a Midas touch for Malacca.”  He’s going to be coaching their artistic women’s team.

Alicia’s 24 Hour Fitness commercial

October 4, 2008

I didn’t know Alicia had a commercial until recently.  I couldn’t find it on youtube but I did find it here.