human rights in Azerbaijan

It’s great that Ilham Aliyev, current President of Azerbaijan, is also head of their National Olympic Committee. Seems he loves sport.

Aliyev is a tyrant, however.

The Economist scored Azerbaijan as an authoritarian regime, at 140th place (out of 167) in its 2011 Democracy Index. …

In the 2013-14 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, Azerbaijan ranked 160th out of an overall total of 180 nations

They’ll be plenty of foreign journalist at the 2015 European Games in Baku. No doubt they’ll be doing some research, as well, as to what happened to the Azerbaijani journalists and activists jailed.

Rasul Jafarov, for example.

Rasul Jafarov (Photo: Melody Patry)
Rasul Jafarov (Photo: Melody Patry)

Rasul Jafarov, one of Azerbaijan’s best-known human rights activists and government critics, was sentenced on 16 April to six years and six months in prison on charges including tax evasion and abuse of power. He has also been barred from holding any office for three years following his release, reports

The charges have been widely dismissed as trumped up and linked to Jafarov’s campaigning work in a country that has been continually criticised for its poor human rights record. …

Index on Censorship

Sport, as it’s done so many times in the past, should help move Azerbaijan forward in terms of human rights.

‘Perfect’ Body – video by Casey Ho

Cassey Ho, creator of Blogilates, has posted a Youtube video that will force you to think about yourself, your thoughts, comments and actions. The video has over 2 million views since it was posted one week ago. The “Perfect” Body makes quite a statement in two minutes. Casey is fit and toned but finds herself second guessing her body after reading negative social media comments. …

Hard Body

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ethics in sport

See Iván Fernández Anaya on Facebook. Respect.

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Ballet star – Misty Copeland


… When I competed in the 1976 Olympics, no one thought that a 14-year-old from a place people couldn’t find on a map could contend.

Misty proves that success is not about how you grow up or the color of your skin. Her story—of overcoming personal and physical challenges to become a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre—is the story of someone who followed her dreams and refused to give up. In that way, she is a model for all young girls. …

TIME – 100 Most Influential People – Misty Copeland

Click PLAY or watch it on TIME.

via @BartConner

train landings train landings train landings

Landings are incredibly important in NCAA competition. Yet College girls are not very good at them. :-(

Almost any male gymnast is more skilled at bringing impact forces to zero than almost any female gymnast. Male gymnasts work seriously on landings.

Click PLAY or watch Scott Morgan on instagram.

Click PLAY or watch U.S. guys working landings on instagram.

Yes. Part of the problem in WAG is stupid judging expectations. We need to educate judges to the biomechanically, physiologically BEST and SAFEST techniques of landing.

Justin Powers – 9.6 Floor

Justin won Floor at National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs Championships in 2011 and 2014. He won again this year. But this time he was 1st in the women’s level 9 division. :-)


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Julia Sharpe 9th AA at Men’s NAIGC Nationals.

OK. Justin’s WAG floor was impressive.

But Julia, a regular competitor in Men’s competition, this year placed 4th on FX, 8th on H Bar a little over 3 months after giving birth to twins via c-section!

She admitted her “abs were pretty much dysfunctional”.

Click PLAY or watch her routines on YouTube. Or watch just her H Bar here.