Entries Tagged 'history' ↓

Hal Frey dead at 90

Hal Frey was the ‘indispensable man’ for Cal and USA Gymnastics,” said former Golden Bear Ron Bell (’79). “He was a powerhouse coach and motivator, a keen organizer, a visionary inventor and masterful showman and promoter of gymnastics. Dr. Frey, as we liked to call him, was as close as one could come to perpetual motion. He created an environment at Cal where young motivated men could reach their potential and beyond, where champions were inevitable.”

Frey served the Golden Bear gymnastics program for more than four decades, including 27 years as head coach from 1958-69 and 1971-83 …

“Dr. Frey came into the gym every couple of weeks during my first few months on the job,” said Cal head coach Brett McClure. “I could instantly see the joy he had watching the guys train and how proud he was of the team. We will continue his legacy as he had hoped and continue the excellence he created here at Cal. He will be deeply missed by the entire gymnastics community.” …

“Hal Frey was a great example for me,” said former head coach Barry Weiner. “Not only did Hal have an excellent record evidenced by his USAG Hall of Fame career, but his love of Cal was infectious. …

Former Gymnastics Coach Dr. Hal Frey Passes Away

Dr Frey
photo via Dave Demanty

Hal Frey was one of my first Gymnastics Summer Camp directors.

Rest in peace.

Stars of Gymnastics – Epke

An excellent mini-documentary. Posted just before Worlds 2014. He’d not yet won a World Championships title.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via gymnastikfabriken)

1st World Trampoline Championships

… They were held on Saturday, March 21, 1964 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.

It was presented by the Nissen Trampoline Company and the British Amateur Gymnastics Association.

Thirty-two men and sixteen women from twelve countries competed in a double-elimination tournament facing off man-to-man (or woman-to-woman), winners advancing until there was one last man/woman standing. Each gymnast performed a 10-bounce routine for the judges to decide who advances to the next round. …

1st World Championships

Trampoline Pundit

Tramp Pundit is blogging every World Championships in series as a lead-up to #30 – Daytona Beach, USA November 7th, 2014.

Veronica Wagner comeback

Veronica Wagner is a gymnast who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics …

She is Sweden’s most successful gymnast …

Sadly, the Swedish Olympic Committee would not send her to compete a second Olympics, Beijing. :-(

Veronica, after years away, decided to make a comeback. Here’s a terrific profile from before Worlds 2014.

Unless you speak Swedish, click over to YouTube and click the CC button for English subtitles.

Watch it on YouTube.

In Nanning, Veronica competed Vault (14.000) and Beam (13.766) to help Team Sweden achieve a rank of 21st. The top 24 teams are invited to Worlds 2015. :-)

(via Full Twist)

the new Nadia

Larisa’s hit the mainstream media. A perfect 10. :-)

Larisa Iordache: The rise of the ‘new Nadia Comaneci’
by Gary Morley and Lidz-Ama Appiah for CNN

It’s 25 years since the end of Communist rule in Romania, and although much may have changed in the East European nation, its production line of gymnasts continues to generate champions.

From Nadia Comaneci, the sport’s first “perfect 10″ back in the 1970s, to multiple ’80s gold medalist Ecaterina Szabo and the post-revolution exploits of Simona Amanar, the country’s young women have set benchmarks of excellence.

Standing less than five foot tall, but with deceptively long legs, the 18-year-old Larisa Iordache is the latest to be dubbed the “New Nadia.” …

read more – Romania’s new gymnastics star

Thanks George.

Tweddle on Podkopayeva

London 2012 bronze medallist Beth Tweddle discusses her Olympic hero; Lilia Podkopayeva and her memories of watching the Ukrainian win gold in the all-around event at the Atlanta 1996 Games and the inspiration Podkopayeva proved to be on Tweddle’s own career.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Simone Biles – upgrades

… After the world championships, coach Aimee Boorman mentioned in a tweet that now that her shoulder is healed, Biles will be looking to upgrade her second vault to a Cheng.

In the interview this morning, Biles confirmed that she will be working toward the Cheng. She also shared that since her Amanar vault is so consistent, Marta Karolyi has encouraged her to try for the triple-twisting yurchenko. If successful, Biles would be the first woman in history to compete this vault.

As for other upgrades, Biles said she would also be looking to get bars back to her former level of difficulty by adding the shaposh half back in. She said she also might work the double-double layout on floor …

Beam Dreams – Simone Biles Looks to the Future


Dvora Meyers was at Worlds in Nanning researching a book on women’s Artistic Gymnastics.

Check Dvora’s new article in Slate:

Biles is nowhere near the edge of her abilities. All four of her routines are easy for her. …

The Best Gymnast in the World

How Simone Biles dominates the competition.

With all this success comes the inevitable backlash – Susan Swarbrick – Lost art: Powerhouse physiques winning out over spellbinding grace

who’s honouring Kohei now?

Kohei Uchimura has been officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest number of sixth straight wins on individual all-around title at 2009~2011 & 2013~2014 World Championships and 2012 London Olympic Games.

Kohei Record


Simone Biles – Athlete of the Year

Simone Biles, who just won her second straight World all-around title, was just named the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2014 Individual Sportswoman of the Year

… earlier this month, she became the first U.S. woman since Shannon Miller (1993-94) and the first woman since Svetlana Khorkina (2001, 2003) to win back-to-back World all-around titles. …

… She is the first woman to win four gold medals at a single World Championships since the Soviet Union’s Ludmilla Tourischeva in 1974. …

Biles now has six World gold medals, surpassing the five owned by Shannon Miller, and her career total of nine World medals ties with Nastia Liukin and Miller …


photo via Team USA

photo via Team USA

Khorkina – still a bad ass

Svetlana Khorkina, a fierce competitor known as the Diva, won 7 Olympic medals and 20 Worlds medals. She posed for Russian Playboy. Her autobiography is titled “Somersaults in High Heels”.

When her son was born 2011 2005 she refused to name the father.

And she hangs out with bad boys.


Some translated excerpts from a recent interview:

“I was ashamed of the National Team in Beijing”

- Do not you think that the ambitions of the people working in professional sport in recent years have lessened? Fewer and fewer coaches are willing to work toward results with the same level of dedication that you once worked with alongside Boris Pilkin.

– I don’t even know what to say. We have decent coaches and there is a strong tradition in the schools, you just need to somehow work out a system. But you’re right, with Pilkin, we always worked for maximum results; looked for what we could do to win. After my coach passed away, I thought a lot about how lucky I was that fate connected me with him! Because I was refused from the gym. Not only because of my height, by the way, for many other criteria I was also considered a “no.” and Pilkin took me. …

At my last European Championship in 2004, I also competed with an injury – a broken metatarsal bone. I was supposed to be in a cast for 4 weeks but I removed the cast after 1 week and went to go compete. I didn’t understand how I could not do it? It’s my team!

… everyone still loves to talk about how Arkaev was a monster. Yes, he was tough and strict and in addition, he always called a spade a spade – and that’s not always pleasant. But, he got results and Alexandrov was invited back to get results. He did it. After Beijing, who could have imagined that in 2010, our team would have won the team finals at the World Championships for the first time in 19 years, and that Aliya Mustafina would become the all-around champion? …

– What is your impression of the current Russian team?

To be honest, the results sometimes make me feel ill. …

read more on Because Fan is short for Fanatictranslated interview with Khorkina

What can you say to that?

(via RRG)

acrobats Tom & Jerry 1952

This excellent clip comes from their appearance on the public domain episode of “The Colgate Comedy Hour”, aired on December 14, 1952.

Unique Facts

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via Tom Trapp on YouTube)

Team USA – Invincible

They certainly were in Nanning. Congratulations. USAG is the gold standard in women’s gymnastics.

Click PLAY or watch a montage on YouTube.

Simone and her team have great memories. Click PLAY or watch pics from social media on YouTube.

Zac who? :-)

I doubt the USA selectors are much worried about Team any longer. Pretty much any group of National Team members would have a good chance to finish 1st in a 3-up, 3-count team final, assuming they have no falls. The AA and Apparatus medals are highest priority.

For 2015 I’d say none of the current team are indispensable, aside from Simone. We won’t be surprised if Mykayla returns as the second potential FX/V medalist, especially if she further increases her start scores. Mykayla may well be the most talented tumbler in history.

World Champions 2014

Apparatus Finals.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Thanks once again to the excellent FIG media team. Like everyone else in Nanning they were frustrated by the Great Firewall of China. But found ways to make it work.