we need MORE GYMNASTS at the Olympics

Around 10,700 athletes competed at the London Olympics. (5,992 men, 4,776 women)

There were 26 sports.

That’s an average of about 411 / sport.

London medals

Artistic, Rhythmic and Trampoline Gymnastics are allocated 312 spots by IOC. (98 MAG, 98 WAG, 84 Rhythmic and 32 spots for Trampoline)

One thing EVERYONE agrees on is that Gymnastics gets too few spots considering FIG’s IOC status.

Only Athletics is ranked higher. Gymnastics and Swimming are second ahead of Basketball, Cycling, Soccer, Tennis and Volleyball.

Inside the Games – Swimming and gymnastics vault ahead as rate of increase slows in IOC revenue distributions to summer sports

Gymnastics TV ratings are amongst the highest at the Summer Olympics. We have some GREAT stories.

Jordan

FIG must continue to petition IOC to add athletes. If it was up to me, I’d move some of the Summer Games sports to the Winter Olympics to make more space. In fact, I wouldn’t mind Gymnastics being moved to the Winter Olympics in exchange for adding another hundred athletes.

related – FIG – Q and A on the new Olympic qualification system in Gymnastics

NY Times – Laís Souza documentary

… At 25, Souza was one of Brazil’s best gymnasts, a tiny two-time Olympian, and she had just heard exciting news: She had qualified for yet another Olympics. But this was the 2014 Winter Games, something completely new, and it gave her accomplishment an added resonance. In less than a week, Souza would be traveling to Sochi, Russia, to compete in aerial skiing, a sport she had never even heard of before taking it up seven months earlier. …

Celebrating the announcement, Laís, her coach and teammate Josi Santos, another gymnast, went skiing. On a black diamond run, Laís somehow fell into the trees.

She was paralyzed. :-(

Click PLAY or watch the documentary on YouTube. It’s honest. And Laís is making progress.

NY Times – SPORTS | A Life in Motion, Stopped Cold

GymCastic – qualification for 2020 Olympics

If you are keen on the pros and cons of the recently announced rule change, listen to GymCastic episode 149: New Rules for Tokyo Olympics in 2020

tokyo Olympics

Brazilian gymnasts suspended

Another “scandal” for the Olympic hosts. Too bad the guys couldn’t work this out themselves. It’s bad for the sport, bad for Brazilian Gymnastics when headlines like this hit the BBC. :-(

Brazil gymnasts suspended for ‘racist’ comments to Angelo Assumpcao

FIG on 2020 Olympic qualification

The new system may be an improvement. But it’s been very, very badly received so far.

In a new post – some might call it “damage control” – FIG tries to clarify and answer some of the many questions.

Tokyo 2020

FIG:

During its annual meeting over the weekend in Melbourne (AUS), the FIG Council approved a new system of Olympic qualification that will alter how teams and how individuals can qualify to the Games beginning with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (JPN). The proposal, borne of the FIG Executive Committee, passed by a margin of 29 for and 7 against, with 1 abstention.

In order to facilitate understanding of some of the finer points of the newly adopted system, here are a few questions and answers about the new system and its implications for the sport:

The new format will actually allow more gymnasts from countries with deep national teams to compete at the Olympic Games, not less. … At present, only five gymnasts per country can compete at the Olympics. Beginning in 2020, up to six gymnasts per country can qualify to compete at the Olympic Games.…

A: The top three teams from the 2018 World Championships will be awarded team berths to the Olympic Games. The top nine teams (not including those already qualified) from the 2019 World Championships will also advance, forming the 12 teams who will compete in the team event. …

Q: Are the Olympic places gained at the World Cups nominative?

A: No. The places gained through the World Cups will be gained for the National Federation, who will then be able to nominate a gymnast to take the spot.

Q: So the Olympic Test Event will no longer be an Olympic qualification event?

A: Correct. …

Q: What are the benefits of tying the Olympic qualifying process to the World Cups and Continental Championships?

A: The buzz generated by what’s at stake will also increase the prestige of the World Cups and Continential Championships, and the prestige of the sport in general. More Olympic qualification events will likely to translate to more TV coverage and more buzz surrounding deserving gymnasts on their road to the Olympics. …

Q: Only the World Cups and Continental Championships during the Olympic year will be Olympic qualifiers, right?

A: Correct. …

Q: Shouldn’t more gymnasts have the right to compete at the Games, given that Gymnastics is one of three top-tier sports (along with Swimming and Track and Field) at the Olympics?

A: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sets the number of participants for each sport at the Olympic Games. It has allocated 98 spots for Men’s Gymnastics and 98 Spots for Women’s Gymnastics, in addition to 60 spots for Rhythmic Gymnastics and 24 spots for Trampoline Gymnastics.

While the FIG would love to have more gymnasts competing at the Olympic Games (in all disciplines, including Acrobatic and Aerobic Gymnastics!), the IOC is the organization that decides how many gymnasts get to compete, and from which disciplines. …

Q: Does this new system benefit smaller countries?

A: In theory, it does make the team competition tighter. Many countries who have difficulty coming up with five Olympic gymnasts for a five-person team competition have a much better shot at making a team final under the new system. If you’re a nation that has been on the bubble of Olympic team qualification, you have reasons to like this system.

The tradeoff for the stronger countries is that they get to have up to two extra gymnasts competing for medals at the Olympic Games …

Q and A on the new Olympic qualification system in Gymnastics

I’d love to see 36 competitors in the AA for both MAG and WAG rather than 24.

Lauren Hopkins, initially against the change, moderated her position after getting more details. Must read. GymternetThe Problem with “Unfair”.

Lauren has specifics I’d not yet seen anywhere else:

… in 2020 … 48 all-around spots for teams, while the remaining 50 will go to individuals who prove they are most able to contend for a final.

Of these 50 spots, 31 will include all-arounders from non-team countries (23 qualify at Worlds in 2019, 3 at World Cups in 2020, and 9 at continental championships in 2020). One spot will go to the host country, one will be a “tripartite commission invitation” spot, and then 16 will be set aside for specialists (12 of whom will qualify from Worlds in 2019 and then 4 of whom qualify from World Challenge Cups in the Olympic year).

These changes mean that countries once given just one Olympic qualification spot now have as many as three spots between the all-around and event specialists. …

I could see Maroney missing Rio under the current system, but qualifying for Tokyo. For example. :-)

Maroney

Aussie Championships prelims

Senior
1 Georgia Godwin (Queensland) 54.500
2 Emily Little (Western Australia) 53.100
3 Madelaine Leydin (Victoria) 52.625

Lauren Mitchell competed 2 apparatus finishing highest on FX with 14.075.

Junior
1 Emily Whitehead (Victoria)
2 Talia Folino (Victoria)
3 Charleis Kingston-White (Victoria)

Gymternet has full results. And commentary.

Not much depth. Despite the great year Australia had in 2014 I’m not convinced they are in a good position to qualify a full team to Rio. I hope they prove me wrong.

Mitchell

Mitchell makes impressive return, as Little and Godwin battle for all-round crown

Full Men’s prelim results.

Senior
1. Naoya Tsukahara (Queensland) 84.949
2. Luke Wadsworth (Victoria) 81.033
3. Michael Mercieca (Queensland) 79.700

Rotterdam or Stuttgart 2019?

Both had recently hosted the World Championships. …

Those were the only bids. Stuttgart got it.

The German city, which last hosted the event in 2007 and is staging this year’s Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in September, was picked ahead of its only challenger, Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

The FIG said both cities had similar candidate profiles. …

The competition in Stuttgart, which will be held from October 4 to 13 at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, will be particularly significant for the team’s participating as the top nine finishers will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. …

Stuttgart last hosted the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2007 ©FIG

Inside the Games – Stuttgart to host 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships

The top 3 teams from 2018 Worlds will have already qualified for the 2020 Olympics. At this meet the other 9 will qualify.

Now that the initial shock of having team size drop from 5 to 4 is wearing off, people are starting to look at the pros and cons of the new Olympic qualifying system.

Gigi Farid – Why The New FIG Rule Is So Bad Even If You Like It

Overall I think the new system will result in a better Olympics. And it should strengthen the Continental and World Cup competitions.

The IOC likes Gymnastics now. We’ll see if the new system better fulfils the Olympic Charter. Or not.

No doubt there will be unexpected and unintended consequences that are difficult to foresee.