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

new – IntoGymnastics.nl

IntoGymnastics is a new site from Juliet Brokken and Pascale Pille in the Netherlands with content in Dutch and some English.

International and College gymnastics, in-depth interviews, reviews of of gymnastics books and much more.

Dutch Gymnastics will feature prominently. They have a database on the Dutch National Team called IntoTalent.

Check it out.

into Gymnastics


IntoGymnastics is for anyone who is into gymnastics!


Here’s a sample post in English:

Not all Dutch elite gymnasts tried to win a ticket to the European Championships in Montpellier or the European Games in Baku. Some of the gymnasts were too busy with other things, had troubles with injuries, or tried but had to drop out of the selection.

We asked them how they are doing now. Despite all hurdles the majority is positive and many of them are already preparing for the Dutch Championships in June, or working hard towards the World Championships in Glasgow. …

For every star we see competing for a nation there are dozens of others who tried and did not make the big meet. Very often injury is a factor. For example:

Anthony van Assche – infection before European Championships

Chantysha Natteb – still recovery from October 2013 ACL

Chiara Frisina Fauste – sprained ankle

Dana de Groot – knee ligament tear

Glenn Smink – broken tarsal bone tumbling

Helene Houbraken – stress fracture in a foot

Jeffrey Wammes – knee injury

Jorian Ilbrink – back injury

Julia Bombach – dislocated ankle

Justen Zuidema – shoulder injury

Mara Titarsolej – hip injury

Pien Jansen – serious knee pain

Reina Beltman – unexplained ankle pain

Tisha Volleman – knee injury

Vera van Pol – recovering from ankle surgery

Wendy de Jong – ankle injury

Wyomi Masela – recovering from Achilles

How are the Dutch gymnasts out of the spotlights of Montpellier and Baku doing?

High level Gymnastics is a dangerous sport.

Nile Wilson’s comeback

From wrist surgery.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via gymnastikfabriken)

South African gymnast Brandon Beack

… In August 2012, Brandon’s goals changed dramatically. He had a bad dismount at gymnastics training and fell on his head and back. He compressed his 6th and 7th vertebra which has left him paralyzed from the chest down.

He is working hard daily to regain some/all of his physical ability.

Walking with Brandon

Click PLAY or watch his story on YouTube. (17min)

Hailey Strole returns from brain tumour

16 year old Hailey Strole has overcome all odds. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor and undergoing multiple operations, she has returned to gymnastics and is committed to continuing her dream of competing. Her life is far from what many would consider normal, but Hailey’s positive outlook has gotten her through the darkest of times. Watch her inspiring story now.

Donate to the Texas Children’s Hospital.

This is the first Gymnastike post I’ve linked to in a long, long time. The boycott continues. But I made an exception for Hailey. She’s worth it. :-)

Thanks Jason.

NCAA Achilles tendon injuries 2015

UPDATE – A repost from March 22nd. This time with a response from Dr. Bill Sands. Check the comments for more.

There’s a thread on College Gymnastics Board discussing the high rate of this very serious injury amongst College girls. :-(

An unofficial and probably partial list includes:

Kennedy Finister, Auburn
Nicole Pearson, Pittsburgh
Jamie Shisler, Florida
Maggie Dunn, Ohio State
Samantha Santos, Ball State
Serena Leong, California
Zoey Schaefer, Washington
Allie Flores, Arizona
Tory Wilson, Utah

Torn Achilles tendons – why?

Click over if you have any comments or any names to add.


Utah gymnastics: Utes close out win with Wilson’s injury as inspiration

Older, more powerful gymnasts are at greatest risk.

The one upside to this injury is that it normally heals extremely well. Marisa Dick (Trinidad & Tobago) is just returning to competition. Her goal is to compete for T&T at Pan Am Games 2015.

Recall that Marisa tore an Achilles at Pan Am Championships 2014.


Dr. Sands:

In my view, there are several potential causes, almost impossible to tease apart.

1. The wear-and-tear of long years of training is certainly a factor. Countermeasures for this include the use of ultrasound to examine the tendon and other local structures.

2. We can probably infer from a number of studies that injury incidence and rate are linked to body composition and anthropometry (ie weight and size). Countermeasures for this can include technique alterations, nutritional interventions, and reduction of training load.

3. Floroquinolones are known to cause problems with connective tissue strength and load characteristics. I will assume that most, if not all, sports medicine professionals are aware of this problem and no longer use these types of antibiotics. However, it may be worth a check to ascertain the role(s) of these medications, history of use, and so forth. The evidence, in my view, is pretty clear. Unfortunately, long-term use has not been investigated sufficiently for determination of whether historical use may cause problems. I’m not a physician, so please check with your team doctors.

4. Technique may be involved in that anecdotal discussions have indicated that athletes with low take-off impact angles may be more vulnerable. Most, but not all, Achilles tendon injuries occur during take-offs when ground reaction forces can exceed 15-22 times body weight. Work by Bruggemann and colleagues has shown that the bundles of the tendon are load differentially depending on placement of the feet, ankle and foot anatomy, and other factors.

5. The spring floor may contribute. I have made efforts for more than 20-years to study the spring floor and its relation to take-off injuries. AAI and Whitey Anson have been very generous in helping me work on this problem. There are some interesting aspects that are addressed in citations below, and on my website: advancedstudyofgymnastics.

Interestingly, Achilles tendon injuries have occurred on coil spring floors and foam-type floors. I believe that the natural frequency responses (rates of vibration from depression to rebound) are not consistent between the gymnast’s lower extremities and the spring floor. Unfortunately, equipment companies must follow FIG specifications and I believe these specifications, while ensuring some uniformity in design, do not take enough account of biological factors. It is also interesting to note that when T&T coaches are queried about Achilles tendon injuries – these injuries are practically unheard of. Note that the tumbling apparatuses are very different from the artistic gymnastics spring floors. On querying T&T coaches I found that only one Achilles tendon rupture was recalled, and this athlete was a former artistic gymnast and approximately 35-years old. High-speed videography of T&T tumbling surfaces has shown that the lower extremity mechanics are quite different from those used on artistic gymnastics spring floors. T&T tumbling strips are simply more forgiving than artistic gymnastics spring floors.

6. EVERYONE wants to reduce or eliminate these injuries. I hope the information below will enhance discussions that lead to countermeasures that work.

source – College Gymnastics Board

via Ricardo Lue Shue

Artistic & Rhythmic Seminar Brazil

Oct 2-3, 2015
São Paulo

The IV International Seminar on Competitive Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics is a scientific-academic event that includes conferences, debates and scientific works presentations.

The event is organized by the three public university of São Paulo State: USP, Unesp and Unicamp. Those institutions are responsible for the qualification of a great deal of researchers, professors and coaches who work in the area of gymnastics. …


Brazil Seminar