Toller Cranston dead at 65

what we know so far – Legendary Canadian figure skater Cranston dead at 65

Toller Cranston (April 20, 1949 – January 24, 2015) was a Canadian figure skater and painter.

He is the 1971–1976 Canadian national champion, the 1974 World bronze medallist, and the 1976 Olympic bronze medallist. Despite never winning Worlds due to his poor compulsory figures, he won the small medal for free skating at the 1972 and 1974 World Figure Skating Championships.

Cranston is credited by many with bringing a new level of artistry to men’s figure skating. …

Cranston was also a commentator on CBC television for figure skating events. However, in 1991, the CBC fired him, citing concerns from the Canadian Figure Skating Association that his often brutally frank and opinionated commentary was denigrating to Canadian skaters. Cranston filed a lawsuit against the CBC that was eventually resolved in his favor. …

He was brutal. But also very funny. Fans loved his colour commentary.

He was an outspoken critic of bad judging. And spoke passionately in favour of allowing back flips in competition, banned after Terry Kubicka included it at the 1976 Olympic Winter Olympics.


In Toller’s honour, check this round-off triple back handspring.

related – the comparatively boring Progressive SKATING & GYMNASTICS SPECTACULAR 2014.

Thank Dave Adlard for the link.

2017 Europeans to Romania


The ECh MAG & WAG 2017 are attributed to the city of Bucharest, in Roumania !

EU 2017

Bucharest hosted the 1st WAG Europeans in 1957:

1. Larisa Latynina (URS)
2. Elena Leusteanu (ROU)
3. Sonia Iovan (ROU)

The 1st MAG Europeans was held in Frankfort 1955.

via Nico

Elena Mukhina documentary

MissLyra has improved her English subtitled version. And uploaded the new version to YouTube.

Elena Mukhina … features Natalia Shaposhnikova and Maria Filatova while training and also contains a talk between Mukhina and her coach Mikhail Klimenko. …

Soviet coaches were feeling pressure after being beaten by Nadia. They wanted to add new and revolutionary elements to their routines.

Mukhina and Klimenko are shown in the edit to have problems. But the story ends before Elena was paralyzed in a training accident (Thomas salto) 2 weeks before the opening of the 1980 Summer Olympics. (Klimenko was not present at the time of the accident.)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Ludmilla Tourischeva documentary

MissLyra has translated another classic Soviet Gymnastics documentary.

This is a documentary about Soviet gymnast Ludmilla Tourischeva with English subtitles.

It was filmed in the summer of 1974 before and during the World Championships and shows the national team preparing for them. It also includes a lot of scenes with Tourischeva’s legendary coach Vladislav Rastorotsky and some clips and a very short interview with a young Natalia Shaposhnikova.

The translation of the poem at the end by Aleksandr Blok was taken from the internet. …

Rastorotsky was harsh, be warned. I saw him in Canada with Shaposhnikova once. He was even more severe in person.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (50min)

See her Olga Korbut and Elena Mukhina documentary translations.

Thanks Kevin.

the good old days

International Gymnastics Camp late 1970s.

Abie Grossfeld, Fred Orlofsky, Jerry George, Don Tonry, Fred Roethlisberger, Bruno Klaus.

old gymnasts

Yoshi Hayasaki – history

yoshi1Yoshi Hayasaki, owner and director of Hayasaki Gymnastics Center, formerly served as Head Men’s Gymnastics Coach at the University of Illinois from 1974 to 2009. …

He is a two time NCAA all around Champion and a former USA and AAU All Around Champion. …

Hayasaki was inducted into the United State Gymnastics “Hall of Fame” in the summer of 2014.

Yoshi’s daughter, Erika Hayasaki, just posted an entertaining and informative history of how her Dad came to America on a cargo ship in 1965. Sick and broke. He could not speak nor read English.

Time – Somersaulting Into America

Another example of an immigrant who made good in the new world. :-)

Justin Spring and Ivan Ivankov
replaced the legendary coach at Illinois in 2009.

40yrs of Utah tradition

This is a remake of a 1994 poster at Utah, the program that led the way in the evolution of NCAA Gymnastics.


Utah kicks off their season tonight against BYU.

(via Utah Gym History)