a must see: 2000 Euros - Event Finals

Although it may not have been the best day in the history of gymnastics commentary, it's interesting and entertaining.

Nadia calls Produnova's bars "nothing special". Of course Isarescu is "conservative" but clean :)
She seems to like Viktoria Karpenko much better... until she calls her "robotic" - on beam.

Bart is not much nicer either. "look at her bangs, is that like an airfoil?" referring to Karpenko's hairstile while doing a Shushunova on floor.

I liked the fact that they show a little bit of the juniors, with Stroescu and Cojocar dominating the event finals. And you are not going to believe what was Pavlova's specialty. Uneven bars junior champ!

Part 1: bars final, with Produnova, Martinez, Isarescu, Khorkina, Karpenko 
or here

Nadia is openly bored with Khorkina's routine "Not only she can close her eyes and see her routine, I can close my eyes and see her routine" bwahahahaha

Part 2: Vaults by Moya, Zamo and Amanar, Karpenko and Khorkina on beam
or here

part 3 - Amanar and Zamo on beam, Karpenko on floor
or here

Yes,  Bart just called Svetlana "one cool character".

part 4 - Ludivine Furnon, Andreea Raducan and Simona Amanar on floor
or here

I did believe that Raducan was technically better than Ludivine Furnon but really, the French gave one of the most impressive performances I have EVER seen in an event final.

part 5 - and a very energetic take on Carmen by Produnova:
or here


Romanian Gymnastics Gala, aka The 2012 Blogger's Awards - part 3

Other Categories:

Best TV Commentary: Christine Still & Mitch Fenner (London Olympics)
also nominated: Alina Alexoi & Ramona Micu (Euros WAG),  Shannon Miller (London Olympics), Alina Alexoi & Marian Dragulescu (Euros MAG)

Best Live Coverage: Blythe (the Gymnastics Examiner) & Bea (The Cough Gymnast) - Euros

I voted Blythe Lawrence for Euros and Olympics, her live blogging is out of this world.

Best Gymnastics TV Production in Romania: The Medal Factory

this was what went through my head when i read this: this is the third nomination and 2nd Bloggers Award for Bea. She has also been nominated in 2011 for .... (If only I hadn't been one of the judges LOL)

I think that the Review of the 2013-2016 Code of Points was the top article - the thing is Oana and Mihai co-wrote it so they couldn't vote themselves on first place, could they?
As per why all the articles nominated were written by the members of the jury... No comment :)

Let's go on:

Best Event of 2012 (in Romania): July 2012 Friendly Meet (ROU - GER - FRA - ITA) 

Best Aerobic Gymnast: Valentin Mavrodineanu

Best Rhythmic Gymnast: Alexandra Piscupescu

Most Emotional Moment of the Year: Sandra Izbasa's joy when discovering she has won the Olympic Gold  tied with the 4 Nathional Anthems we had to listen to during 2012 Euros
Emotional moment of the year

also nominated: Catalina Ponor on the FX podium at the Olympics and Viktoria Komova's FX routine and the wait for the All Around final results in London 2012

Biggest Surprise at the Olymics: Gold on Vault for Sandra Izbasa
also nominated: Sandra's 5th place finish in the AA competition, Jordyn Wieber not qualifying for the All Around final, Aliya Mustafina's Bronze in the All Around

Most Desired Accomplishment (prior to the Olympics) come true:  Romania medaling in the WAG Team Finals

London 2012 - bronze medal

also nominated: Beth's Olympic Medal, Gold on UB for Aliya Mustafina, Kohei Uchimura winning the MAG All Around

Gymnastics No Ceiling Award: goes to Bellu and Bitang for not giving up and always wanting "the best" for Romanian Gymnastics

Mariana Bitang and Octavian Bellu

2012 was a pretty good year!

Romanian Gymnastics Gala, aka The 2012 Blogger's Awards - part 2

Men's Artistic Gymnastics

Best All Around Gymnast: Flavius Koczi

Best Gymnast on Floor: Flavius Koczi

Best Gymnast on Pommel Horse: Flavius Koczi

Best Gymnast on Rings: Cristian Bataga

Best Gymnast on Vault: Flavius Koczi

Best Gymnast on Parallel Bars: Marius Berbecar

Best Gymnast on High Bar: Vlad Cotuna

Breakthrough Star of 2012: Daniel Radeanu
also nominated: Radu Paraschivescu 

Routine of the Year: Flavius Koczi Euros Event Finals - Vault

MAG Coach of the Year: Marius Urzica
Marius Urzica

Best Junior from the National Team: Daniel Radeanu

Best Young Hope: Rafael Szabo

Best International Gymnast: Kohei Uchimura
also nominated: Marcel Nguyen, Epke Zonderland

Fair-play Gymnast of the Year: Marius Berbecar
also nominated: Fabian Hambuchen, Phillip Boy, Flavius Koczi

Best MAG Club: CSS Lugoj

also nominated: CSS Resita, CSS Bistrita

Romanian Gymnastics Gala, aka The 2012 Blogger's Awards - part 1

The "specialist" bloggers and honorary guardians of Romanian Gymnastics have again joined powers to find the best of Romanian gymnastics - gymnasts, coaches and moments. Because 2012 was the year of the Olympics, you will notice special categories that were introduced for the event of the year.
So, I give you the members of the jury:
Mihai from Fangymnastics - mastermind, logistics manager and nominee
Alina from Tare and - activist, journalist and benefactor
Carmen from Romanian Gymnastics Fans - full time supporter and fan-movement organiser
Oana from Puzzle - pretty much the most knowledgeable person in Romanian WAG
and myself (the oracle of The Couch Gymnast as Brigid candidly named me)

As you will notice, one of the most positive things was that while the WAG team had a very strong core, in 2012 more young gymnasts were noticed and rose at the top in some of the categories.

On the not so bright side, the Romanian gymnastics is made of a handful of people. Especially in MAG the unanimity we reached, in the Olympic year nonetheless, is not a good sign.
And can I say YAY for Lacramioara Moldovan winning "WAG coach of the year"? What a lovely lady!

Each blogger gets to award a special "prize" to someone that he/she found worth mentioning outside the categories already presented. If I had to give a special thanks to someone this year, those would be Bellu and Bitang, for refusing to lose hope and continuing to fight for the reconstruction of Romanian gymnastics.

So here are the categories and their winners:

in Women's Artistic Gymnastics:

Best All Around Gymnast: Larisa Iordache
also nominated: Sandra Izbasa, Andreea Iridon, Andreea Munteanu

Larisa Iordache, Sandra Izbasa, Andreea Iridon, Andreea Munteanu

Best gymnast on Vault: Sandra Izbasa
also nominated: Larisa Iordache, Stefania Stanila, Catalina Ponor

Best Gymnast on Uneven Bars: Andreea Iridon, mostly because she can do things like this:
also nominated: Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, Sandra Izbasa  

Best Gymnast on Beam: Catalina Ponor
also nominated: Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, Andreea Munteanu

Best Gymnast on Floor: Larisa Iordache
also nominated: Catalina Ponor, Sandra Izbasa, Diana Bulimar

Most Consistent Gymnast: Diana Bulimar
also nominated: Catalina Ponor, Sandra Izbasa

Breakthrough Star of 2012: Andreea Iridon
also nominated: Andreea Munteanu, Asiana Peng

Routine of the Year: Catalina Ponor on Floor in the Olympic Event Final
Catalina Ponor, medalie de argint la sol!
 Vezi  mai multe  video    din   sport
also nominated: Sandra Izbasa VT EF London 2012, Catalina Ponor BB TF London 2012, Sandra Izbasa FX Bucharest friendly meet July 2012

Coach of the Year: Lacramioara Moldovan
Lacramioara Moldovan (right)
also nominated: Mariana Bitang, Octavian Bellu, Adela Popa

Best Junior in the National Team: Andreea Munteanu
also nominated: Stefania Stanila, Anda Butuc, Silvia Zarzu

Best Young Hope: Andreea Iridon
also nominated: Asiana Peng

Best WAG Club: CSS Deva
gymnasts from Deva at 2012 Romanian Nationals

also nominated: Farul Constanta, CSS2 Bucuresti

Fair-play Gymnast of the Year: Diana Bulimar
Larisa Iordache, Octavian Bellu and Diana Bulimar 

also nominated: Aliya Mustafina, Sandra Izbasa

Best International Gymnast of the Year: Aliya Mustafina
Aliya Mustafina

also nominated: Viktoria Komova, Gabrielle Douglas


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