1996 Worlds semi- finals a time for testing skills

Kuy Yuanyuan ( photo source )

I just found this great video from 1996 Worlds . It contains all the routines from semi-finals and finals and most of them are very difficult to find on youtube. As it turns out, this competition held two months prior to the Olympic Game was the perfect time to try out the new skills and see what elements to keep and what to take out from the routine at the Olympics. Some of the risky moves did not make it and would never re-emerge.

Some of my favorite moments:

- Khorkina's "unicorn" transition from low to high:

Khorkina missed the skill in the event finals but still tied with Piskun for gold.

- When I saw Kochetkova's routine on BB my first second thought (after the wooow) was that this is how everyone will flic-flac out of every two skill combo that allows it - under the 2013-2016 code:

as demonstrated by Dina, at min 36:20 and then again at 36:35. Of course, these are series of two while in the new code you have to do three to receive the "series" bonus, but you get the idea...

*if this means everybody will be more like Dina, i can take it

- Kuy Yuanyuan doing seven skills in a row (min 47:20):

(this was in semi-finals, she obviously did not qualify for the finals because of the fall. Medals with falls became possible only in 2007)

- Gina, doing a flic- layout to two feet on beam:

In finals she missed the layout to two feet. She dismounted with a full twisting double back, not very successful. (btw, it bothers me when people hurry to label her as "boring" without having seen much of her work)

- Opening floor with a DLO was the norm in 1996, as demonstrated by Kuy, Anna Mirgorodskaya, Kocetkova and Tsavaridou (min 53:06 to min 59:53)

In the event finals only Gema Paz and Lyubov Sheremeta opened with different skills: triple twist and double arabian respectively.

- Liu Xuan being stunning on beam:

Qualified first for EF. 9.887 - makes you wonder how close to a ten had she been without that step on the landing.

- And finally something that I have been hunting for for a while: Alexandra Marinescu's BB silver medal performance  at Worlds:

She added the full back tuck for the finals, a skill she missed in the EF at the Olympics, two months later.

Other impressions? What did you find interesting?


fed up?

Definitely not. In fact my state is one of nostalgia and longing. Who will continue? Whose last performance we have already witnessed without knowing? 
If I had to make up a list with of gymnasts that I miss the most (mainly because were not included in their national teams for these Olympics), she wouldn't necessarily be my first choice. But for the pretty floor poses - and apparent unawareness of her own brilliancy - I hope we have not yet seen the last of Yulia Belokobylskaia.


on the restrictions of using the Olympic logo

"Last week a cafe manager in Camberwell, south London was raided by ‘community wardens’ after he displayed five bagels in the style of the Olympics rings in his window.
Two ‘community wardens’ swooped on the House Cafe and Gallery, in Camberwell, within 20 minutes of manager David Adams putting up the display.
They claimed that putting the circular buns on show breached copyright rules."

Read more:

“fiasco,” “disaster”, "a pain in the backside"

Isn't that what all the locals say about the Olympics?

An insightful article in The New York Times about some of the most annoying aspects of the Olympics.

"officials keep saying they hope the rain will go away before the Games begin. There really is no contingency plan; the Olympic Stadium, where the opening ceremony is to take place, has no roof."

"Walking near Victoria station, Linda Vaughn, 68, said she was bewildered by the bombardment of seemingly contradictory messages: Welcome to the Olympics, Now Please Go Away."

The Olympic Spirit, British Style: When Will This Nightmare End?


Could Uchimura NOT win in London?

"The surest thing at the coming Olympic Games in London — more than the swimmer Michael Phelps, or the sprinter Usain Bolt, or even the American men’s basketball team — may be a 23-year-old Japanese gymnast nicknamed Superman."

interesting read in The New York Times

by HuangQuishuangFan


Happy Wednesday

Sandra Izbasa is great. At the respectable age of 21 she continues her improvement on this (relatively) recently acquired event. Gymnastics Gods, please keep her healthy for the next 4 months!

(via Fangymnastics)


This is the first time I've come across this video. I found it extremely funny but also (weirdly) inspiring.


Hunting for Jeloso Videos - Romania (Juniors)

Stefania Stanila - VT

or here

Stefania Stanila - UB

or here

Stefania Stanila - BB

or here

Stefania Stanila - FX

or here

Silvia Zarzu - VT

or here

Silvia Zarzu - BB

or here

Silvia Zarzu - FX

or here

Maria Rauta - VT

or here

Maria Rauta - BB

or here

Maria Rauta - FX

or here

Paula Tudorache - UB

or here

Paula Tudorache - BB

or here

Bianca Ciobanu - UB

or here

Bianca Ciobanu - BB

or here

Bianca Ciobanu - FX

or here

Miriam Aribasoiu - UB

or here

Miriam Aribasoiu - FX

or here

full results here


Jeloso Videos - Russia

Anastasia Grishina VT

or here

Anastasia Grishina - BB

or here

Anastasia Grishina - FX

or here

Anna Rodionova - BB

or here

Anna Rodionova FX

or here

Yulia Inshina BB

or here

Yulia Inshina FX

or here

Yulia Belokobilskaya BB

or here

Yulia Belokobilskaya FX

or here

Hunting for Jeloso videos... USA

It's a bit messier out there, compared to other times.
But I've decided to do the right thing and put some order into it. So here it is, USA!
Kyla Ross: Vault

or here

Kyla Ross UB

or here

Kyla Ross BB

or here

Kyla Ross FX

or here

Aly Raisman VT

or here

Aly Raisman UB

or here

Aly Raisman BB

or here

Aly Raisman FX

or here

Sarah Finnegan VT- not found yet

Sarah Finnegan UB- not found yet

Sarah Finnegan BB

or here

Sarah Finnegan FX

or here

McKayla Maroney VT

or here

McKayla Maroney UB

or here

McKayla Maroney BB

or here

McKayla Maroney FX

or here

Elisabeth Price VT

or here

Elisabeth Price UB

or here

Elisabeth Price BB

or here

Elisabeth Price FX

or here

Rebecca Bross UB

or here

Rebecca Bross BB

or here

MyKayla Skinner - VT

or here

Brenna Dowell FX

or here

Brianna Brown FX

or here

Thanks to xoxokiara and javiercollados for making this possible :)


American Cup: The routines

Larisa Iordache - Balance Beam

Larisa Iordache - Floor

Larisa Iordache - Uneven Bars

Larisa Iordache - Vault

Diana Chelaru - Vault

Diana Chelaru - Uneven Bars

Diana Chelaru - Floor

And some podium training:
Diana - FX

Larisa - FX

A big thank you to Gymnastike, Blythe Lawrence, Lauren Hopkins who covered the event and to 13shifter who uploaded so many great routines on youtube!

about Romania's new star (and future leader)

"The ideal is for Larisa to go to New York prepared to challenge Jordyn without injuring herself. She also needs to beat the 60 points barrier soon.
These are overwhelming expectations, yet Iordache has demonstrated repeatedly, in the last four or five years since she emerged on the international scene, that she has what it takes.
No, I don’t expect Larisa to beat Jordyn Wieber this weekend. But I do believe that I will be again amazed by her explosiveness and presence. Why would this weekend be any different?
She has not yet shown fear, self doubt or physical weakness.
Larisa was never a cool kid.  She is not a rebel, nor a ballerina, yet you can’t take your eyes off her. Because she owns everything she does and she loves every minute of it."

what have I been up to lately

contrary to what the lack of activity of this blog might indicate, I'm not retired. On the contrary, I think about gymnastics a lot. Here's a sample:
"Since she was selected in the senior national team, Diana Chelaru has gradually improved every year, broadening her range of skills, developing a personal style while consistency has become one of her main strengths.
The progression was a surprise: if in 2009 the most she could hope for was to qualify for floor and vault event finals at Euros, 2010 was her breakthrough year, when she became a constant presence in finals on her pet events and even started winning prestigious medals on floor. 2011 would reveal yet another facet of Diana Chelaru: as an all around gymnast, placing third in qualifications and fourth in the AA finals at Europeans."

Read the rest of the article "American Cup Preview: Diana Chelaru"(The Couch Gymnast)


Draw for the Olympics

the draw for the Olympic games will take place on the 24th of February at Lausanne (more details on the FIG page)

From the experiences of the past years Romania and China will be in the first two subdivisions and Russia and USA in the last two. At least there aren't two separate days of qualifications!

Coincidence, bad luck, conspiracy? What do you think?


Best Of Romanian Gymnastics in 2011

by Cris (GymFever)

Mihai from Fangymnastics had the brilliant idea to gather five great minds that think about Romanian gymnastics all the time (roughly about 75% of the time they are awake probably) and ask them who were the best Romanian gymnasts of 2011. The result, The Romanian Gymnastics Gala, although virtual at this point in time, is our tribute to all the gymnasts that work hard all year long and who are rarely celebrated thoroughly, especially in years like this. You know what I mean.

So, the judges:
Mihai (Fangymnastics)
Cris (Gymfever)
Alina (Tare!)
Carmen (Romanian Gymnastics Fans)
and moi.

We tried to combine personal taste with objectivism and the result was quite great if I come to think about it...

So, long story short, here are our results:

For Women's Artistic Gymnastics

Best All Around Gymnast: 1-Larisa Iordache (2-Ana Porgras, 3-Amelia Racea)
Best Gymnast on Vault: 1-Sandra Izbasa (2-Larisa Iordache, 3-Catalina Ponor)
Best Gymnast on Uneven Bars:1-Larisa Iordache (2-Ana Porgras, 3-Amelia Racea)
Best Gymnast on Beam: 1- Larisa Iordache (2-Ana Porgras, 3-Catalina Ponor)
Best Gymnast on Floor: 1-Sandra Izbasa, (2 - Diana Bulimar, 3-Diana Chelaru)
Most consistent gymnast of 2011: 1-Larisa Iordache (2 -Diana Chelaru, 3 -Amelia Racea)
Most surprising gymnast in 2011: 1 - Catalina Ponor (2-Diana Bulimar, 3-Laura Jurca)
Best Routine of the Year: 1-Sandra Izbasa - Europeans, VT EF (2 -Larisa Iordache -EYOF, Beam TF,
3-Catalina Ponor - Worlds, FX Team Finals)
Best Coach of the Year: 1-Adela Popa (2-Octavian Bellu, 3-Cristian Moldovan)
Best Young Gymnast of the Year: 1-Laura Jurca (2-Madalina Blendea, 3-Adela Florea)
Best International Gymnast of the Year: 1-Viktoria Komova, (2-Yao Jinnan, 3-McKayla Maroney)
Fair-play gymnast: 1-Diana Chelaru (2-Diana Bulimar, 3-Ana Porgras)
My favorite gymnast (all time): Daniela Silivas

Men's Artistic Gymnastics

Best All Around: 1-Flavius Koczi (2-Marian Dragulescu)
next, I will add only the winner for Men's:
Best Gymnast - Floor: Flavius Koczi
Best Gymnast - Pommel Horse:  Flavius Koczi
Best Gymnast - Rings: Cristian Bataga
Best Gymnast - Vault: Marian Dragulescu
Best Gymnast - Parallel Bars: Marius Berbecar
Best Gymnast - High Bar: Vlad Cotuna
Surprise of the year: Marius Berbecar
Routine of the year: Flavius Koczi - Europeans, Floor Event Finals
Best Coach of the Year: Marius Urzica
Best Junior Gymnast in the National Team: Daniel Radeanu
Best "Hope" (gymnasts that are not in the "junior" category yet): The entire Lugoj Club Team
Fair-play award: Marian Dragulescu
Best International Gymnast of the Year: Kohei Uchimura
My favorite gymnast (all time): Marius Urzica

Other Categories and other "Gymnastics"
Best Aerobic Gymnast of the Year: 1- Corina Constantin, (2-Valentin Mavrodineanu, 3-Maria Luisa Pavel)
Best Rhythmic Gymnast of the Year: Alexandra Piscupescu
Best Commentary Team: Alina Alexoi and Ramona Micu
Best TV Show about Romanian Gymnastics: The Medal Factory
Best Gymnastics Event (held in Romania): Aerobics European Championships
Best Live Coverage: Brigid, Blythe & Anne (Worlds)

Best Articles of the Year:

GymNoCeiling award: Ana Porgras - for the way she handled the pressure during the team and all around finals at Worlds. (HERE)

May this become a great tradition, and sooner rather than later to start giving the awards in person!