Archive for March, 2013

The Skill That Chow Taught

March 22, 2013

Douglas has come out with a new book. It’s called “Raising The Bar”. I figured I might as well read the old one. So I went on down to the library and checked it out. Don’t you just love the library?

It’s been about a week since I read it. I skipped the boring bits. The part about Chow “teaching” Douglas the amanar makes me laugh. He basically tells her to try it and she manages to do it. Anybody who has ever learned anything new can tell you that sometimes at first, BAM, you can do it. But then your ability just turns itself off and for whatever reason you can’t do it anymore. That is you can’t do it again untill you have well and truly properly learned it. It has nothing to do with your coach, or even yourself. That’s just how learning new things is for most people. Apparently, nobody ever told Douglas that. From her book, “…after that one session with Chow, I hadn’t even been able to continue doing the vault he taught me.” If that means she wasn’t able to do the skill again, guess what, Chow didn’t teach her anything that day after all. If you want proof just look at 2011, the first year she was at Chow’s.

That year, Gabby competed vault at Jesolo, Nationals, and Worlds and she did DTY at all of these competitions. Chow did eventually teach her that skill and she may have been able to do it in 2011 but obviously it was at least a year before HE felt the skill was competition ready.

Aly Works Her British Accent

March 14, 2013

She also shows off some dance moves in this clip.

In another post, we learn that Aly can keep a secret. She found out in December that she was going to be on DWTS. Also, she started campaigning for her own Dancing Spot after she was on the show with Shawn last year.

Olena After All These Years

March 14, 2013

Remember Elena Vitrychenko? Awesome rhythmic gymnast? Well throw that big E out and buy yourself an “O”.

After retiring from competition, Olena managed a school in Spain for ten years. Now she will be coaching at Illinois Rhythmic Gymnastic Center.

Douglas Leaves Shade, Aly Goes Maccabiah

March 12, 2013

Douglas gets a new agent.

Gold-medal Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas is headed for what she hopes is greener pastures: She has left her agent Sheryl Shade for sports and entertainment behemoth Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA’s Olympic representation team is led by Lowell Taub.

I had no idea her book was on the New York Times bestseller list.

Okay, the big news in the post is that Aly supposedly is going to compete in the Maccabiah Games in July. I don’t really care what competition it is, I’m just glad she’s competing and I hope she actually does. A lot can happen between then and now.

Here’s an interview with Aly. She says she just went on her first family vacation ever to Mexico. This interview was from March 6th and they mentioned something about her coming back “next week” so there should be another one on their site somewhere soon enough if it’s not already on there.

Edit (like a million years later): Douglas’ former agent’s name was Shade, not Slade.

McMurtry’s Win Prompts Bashing

March 8, 2013

Or Should I say, more bashing. I don’t think there’s a post on Gymnastike showing her awesome skills that doesn’t have people wondering what the fuck she’s still doing in level 10.

On the face of it, it makes no sense when McMurtry says she doesn’t want to do elite because she wants to go to public school or doesn’t want to do more hours but that’s only if you think the question is to do elite or not to do elite. Personally, I thought that was the question myself at first, but then I took a little more time to consider the issue.

The real question in McMurtry’s case may be to switch gyms are not to switch gyms because it could be her coaches that are the ones that don’t want to do elite. People need to realize, the gymnasts are not the sole people in charge of whether or not they compete elite. Many coaches don’t want anything to do with elite. Or they’re like John Geddert who says they won’t do elite unless they have a gymnast who can not only win but crush the competition. McMurtry can crush her fellow level 10s all day long but let’s be honest, in elite she’d be the one under the wheel.

Many elites have gone to public school and there’s no rule that says you have to do more hours. But that’s where coaches come in. It’s not unusual for coaches to require more hours just as a matter of course when the gymnast moves up. They don’t look at doing elite (or any level) as just designing routines/training around what the gymnast has to give both time and skill-wise. They say, level (insert level here)s do x hours, therefore you must do x hours if you want to be a level (insert level here) gymnast in this gym. Level (insert level here)s do x skills, therefore you must do x skills if you want to be a level (insert level here) gymnast in this gym.

They may also say, “We have to go to camp” which is also not required at all but if the coach says the gymnast has to do it, then the gymnast has to do it and camp would definitely infringe on both time at school and social life.

McMurty’s decision in all this may not be to do elite or not to do elite. It might be to switch gyms are not to switch gyms in order to do elite. Switching gyms is a huge decision because gyms that do elite are not on every corner. A gym switch could mean commuting for hours each day or it could mean moving across the country away from family and friends. And that is something that McMurtry also has no control over. Her parents would be the ones to make that decision.

Wheel Gymnastics: US Open Jr. Championships

March 8, 2013

Lincoln Park 17-year-old Jack Gomberg is the top-ranked American in wheel gymnastics — a mesmerizing-to-watch discipline featuring a rubber-covered steel wheel from which athletes spin, roll and vault.

Apparently, it takes 20 hours a week of practice to be the nations top-ranked American in wheel gymnastics.

This July, the World Championship for Wheel Gymnastics will be in the US for the first time ever.

Boys in Illinois

March 8, 2013

Boys gymnastics is more popular in Illinois than in any other state. There are 54 schools in Illinois that field boys’ teams.

Gymnastics can be appealing for a high school athlete because previous experience isn’t required to enjoy success.

Foerch cited Highland Park gymnast Mark Gauger as an example. Gauger qualified for the state tournament in the parallel bars as a senior in 2005 despite taking up the sport as a sophomore.

“They don’t have the golden arm in baseball and this is a sport where they can come out and have a good time,” said Jon Wasik, a two-time all-around state champion at Mundelein in 1992-93 and now an assistant coach under Foerch. “A lot come from track, (or) wrestlers who have short, compact bodies. Those translate.”

The whole bit about previous experience not being required is interesting to me. I wonder if the reason they can still field teams is because coaches in Illinois are perhaps more welcoming of those with less experience than coaches in other states. Some coaches seemingly look down their noses at lower level gymnastics skills. Especially when performed by older people. Coach Rick posted something that illustrates the sort of mindset I’m talking about recently. In a post titled “Gymnastics at Blue Heron School” he writes this:

Tumbl Trak, one of the co-sponsors, sent me to assist at a 2-day fitness event in January. We taught “gymnastics” to students at Blue Heron Middle School in Washington State.

Notice the quotes around the word gymnastics. These kids were doing handstands, swinging on a bar, using gymnastics equipment to do gymnastics drills but for some reason, probably because they were teenagers, the skills they were doing were considered “gymnastics” instead of gymnastics.

Only three state high school associations still sanction the sport. Besides Illinois, New York and Louisiana are the other two. Massachusetts just voted to downgrade boys gymnastics to a club sport.

A gymnastics coach from Braintree High School is scheduled to appear before the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Thursday to fight for the sport he loves.

Richard Ellis will have three minutes to speak and one goal in mind: Persuade the MIAA’s board of directors to recognize boys’ gymnastics as an official high school sport and reverse its decision to downgrade it to a club activity next season.

Is McKayla More Serious Than Aly?

March 6, 2013

McKayla and Aly both claim they want to train for Rio. We all know that their agents tell them to say that no matter what, though. It could be for reals or it could be total crap.

In this interview, McKayla says she was asked to do Dancing With the Stars.

I was asked to do it but I turned it down because I am back in the gym training for the Olympics. Gymnastics comes first, but maybe one day in the future I would. It’s such a fun thing and it’s awesome that they are representing gymnasts on it. Shawn Johnson did it and now Aly Raisman and then hopefully more from there. I’m excited for her and I know she’s going to do really well.

Maybe McKayla is more serious than Aly about coming back or maybe McKayla just aims to be back sooner. Aly doing DWTS might not mean she’s less serious since both gymnasts could afford to take the year off after the Olympics. It would probably be better for their bodies in the long run. Just as long as they didn’t get totally out of shape.

I wish the entire team would dial it back the year after the Olympics. Do the conditioning and flexibility 100%. Do drills to improve old skills and gain a few new ones. Do a few routines a week. A year without pounding that hopefully wouldn’t result in having to dig oneself out of a huge hole when the comeback begins.

This School Has No Gymnastics Team

March 6, 2013

But it looks like it’s got Nastia Liukin. She’s going to NYU. Which is such an awesome school because it’s near SoHo.

The 23-year-old Russian-American gymnast is rumored to be entering the Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management to study Sports Management. Though celebrities have promised NYU attendance have ditched last minute (we’re looking at you, Miranda Cosgrove!), with Nastia’s tweets and NYU-related press, things are starting to confirm that she’ll actually show up.

NYU has club and intramural sports for the student body. You know what? Wouldn’t it be a great sports management school project for someone…noone in particular…who was majoring in sports management to like, start some kind of sports team at their school. It could be a sport that combines music, dance, and awesomeness. A sport tailor made for people who just love dancing and doing insane tricks. NYU needs it’s very own rhythmic gymnastics team.

Seriously, can you think of a sport more perfect for older folks? Artistic is awesome but it’s one of the more dangerous sports. Also, it’s expensive equipment-wise. Both in terms of money and space, which might as well be the same thing in New York. Not that I’m mentioning New York for any particular reason.

I really think rhythmic should be a lot more popular than it is in the US. It doesn’t have enough people involved. College teams are a great way to get more people involved because a person who is college aged can learn about the sport then in only a couple years, they can be off starting their own program and bringing more people into the sport. They could be learning to judge or they could decide to put their own kid in rhythmic. People always forget that “athlete” is not the only desirable outcome for sports training.

Gavin meets McKayla

March 5, 2013

Who’s Gavin?

Gavin Alaoen is the face behind the of the phenomenally popular and super-hilarious McKayla Is Not Impressed tumblr, which became a runaway success in August. ”The idea came just on a whim, because I knew of other memes like Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things and Spock Is Not Impressed existed so I thought this could fit in that category,” he told us. “Also since the Olympics were big at the time, I thought this could be something funny and share-able.”