book – Little Girls Dream Big

Yet another gymnastics fiction, this time by Nicole Angeleen.

The story is darker.

It was inspired by the terrible, terrible tragedy of 11yr-old Romanian gymnast Adriana Giurca. Her coach, Florin Gheorghe, killed the girl in a rage during Beam training. He was convicted of manslaughter, sent to prison.

(Romanian) gymnast Trixie Dalca’s world is destroyed the day her sister Ileana falls during training, slips into a coma, and dies.

To cope with the loss, Trixie turns to her best friend, American gymnast Shaye Sylvester. Together with Shaye and amateur documentary filmmaker Abby Vicari, the three unlikely investigators question whether Ileana’s death was merely a tragic accident or murder.

Fire and Ice


Kindle $5.99

(via Arabian Punch Front)

Lais Souza fighting for life


A Brazilian gymnast who was due to compete in the freestyle skiing competition at the Sochi Olympics is fighting for her life after hitting a tree during a recreational skiing session in Utah.

Lais Souza, 25, is unable to move her arms or legs and can’t breathe on her own following the accident which occurred on Monday. …

Doctors haven’t declared Souza paralysed, but admit there’s a possibility of permanent damage.

“She dislocated a vertebrae near the top of her spine,” said Dr. Andrew Dailey, a neurosurgeon with University of Utah Health Care. …

Gymnast Lais Souza fighting for life after accident

(via Brigid Couch Gymnast McCarthy)

The Blob – Launching Humans

Bullfrog, Lake Powell, Utah.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

GymRep Camp has a blob. I was too scared to try it myself.

“chest position” on landing

GymCastics has lately been including Evan Heiter @yoEv as another of their pundits on the terrific weekly audiocast. Great choice. Evan’s entertaining and knowledgeable.

On the other hand, last week’s episode 71 is titled “The Chest Position Enforcement Bureau“.

Too much deduction on landings for “chest position” is an error.

It happens a lot in WAG NCAA. Judges kill terrific vaults, ignoring multiple technical and form breaks for weaker vaults.

The goal of a landing is to bring huge impact forces to zero. Efficiency on the skill of landing will help reduce landing injuries.

via supermura.tumblr

Uchimura is as good as any gymnast who ever lived. Check his shoulder position.

Kohei is using every possible shock absorber, including trunk and hip flexion.

Any set of rules that deducts this performance is ethically, medically and biomechanically wrong. Indeed, young kids should be taught to land like Uchimura from a young age.

Deducting “chest low” is like deducting a gymnast for lack of foot point on the sprint for Vault.

… that said, there are SOME unsafe landings — poorly controlled — that should be deducted. This one, most likely.

Dr. Joshua Eldridge in the comments:

Love it…you are so right on with this post. Our number one goal in gymnastics needs to be protecting athletes from injury.

Increased angular joint movement (proper movement of the hips/knees on landing) is proven to reduce the load placed on the body by allowing muscles to absorb the forces and displace the energy through movement and heat.

Well said that it is unethical to deduct for athletes protecting themselves!!!! I agree fully.

According to the LESS (Landing Error Scoring System), 30 degrees is the optimal hip angle and building more core control can help our athletes maintain this hip angle and not “bow” as much. This 30 degree angle also makes sure glutes are activated which is an important mechanism to make sure the spine is protected.

twitter idiots

Though I use it every day, I’m not much of a twitter fan.

Too many morons gain a public megaphone.

Sky Sports have condemned the “unacceptable and offensive abuse” of Beth Tweddle during a live question and answer session on Twitter aimed at promoting women in sport, following a series of derogatory tweets sent to the former gymnast. …

Beth Tweddle on the red carpet

Sky Sports condemns ‘unacceptable and offensive abuse’ of Beth Tweddle

Lesson learned. Don’t use twitter for Q&A sessions.

introducing el-grip handstand

In many MAG gyms I see Men’s coaches torturing young guys, trying to force their shoulders to be flexible for dorsal grip requirement on Horizontal Bar.

FIG certainly should have dropped the dorsal requirement long ago.

John Carroll at Surrey Gymnastics showed me a smarter, safer way to start.

el grip parallettes

He uses parallettes, having the guys rotate them as far as they can — but not all the way to el-grip handstand.

John is B.C. Men’s Technical Coordinator and judged Worlds 2013 for Canada.

gene doping in acrobatic sport?

I’m quite worried about this looming issue.

The idea is simple: to alter our genetic makeup, the very building blocks of who we are, in order to make us stronger or faster. The practicalities are highly complex. …

Back in 2003, Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) banned gene doping. …

BBC – Gene doping: Sport’s biggest battle?

Picture from Andy Miah's book Genetically Modified Athletes
Picture from Andy Miah’s book Genetically Modified Athletes