Belgium has been training

… she and teammates Maellyse Brassart and Senna Deriks board together in an apartment building near the national team training center.

“Actually, we’re pretty lucky because we can still train at our gym, so that’s good.

Our whole senior team can still train in the hall. But after training we just go back and make our food and we don’t leave the building.” …

At 169 cm, Derwael is the tallest woman to win the World Uneven Bars title in more than three decades. She credits a part of her success to Belgian national team coaches Yves Kieffer and Marjorie Huels, who have worked with her for the past seven years.
“Without them I wouldn’t be standing here now,” she said. …

Determined Derwael biding her time before Tokyo

Click PLAY or watch her 2019 Gold on YouTube.

South Korean National Team starts again May 11th

South Korea has done a fantastic job managing COVID-19 after a terrible start.

Gymnasts were asked to leave the National Training Centre March 27th.

According to the KSOC, about 360 athletes and coaches in nine sports, including gymnastics, table tennis, boxing, fencing and badminton, will report back during the week of May 11.

“We’ll try to minimize contact among athletes in different sports in order to prevent infection within the training center,” a KSOC official said. “They’ll only be allowed to spend time in their training facilities and residence.”

Belgium WAG resume training

Valentina Rodionenko said the team should go back to Round Lake and be quarantined there, so that they would be able to train.

She cited the example of the Chinese national team that kept training … throughout the quarantine ….

Some other national teams (at least partially) kept training and some are gradually returning to the gyms now. For example, the Belgian WAG team has been allowed to resume training recently. …

At the moment, however, Round Lake is serving as a quarantine center for Russian athletes who were evacuated from abroad.

The Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said that next week, the Ministry will be discussing plans for elite athletes to start training but did not commit to any specific date and said that quarantine limitations would have to be lifted first.


UPDATE – Andrei Rodionenko NEGATIVE for COVID-19


Valentina Rodionenko told the media today that her husband had another test and this time it came back negative:

… We’re prepared to do a third test as well. …

“We will stay home, the quarantine is until April 15th. …

… Rodionenko said she hopes they’ll be able to go back to Round Lake after the team’s quarantine is over:

“Returning to Novogorsk is out of the question now. We hope to go back to our native Round Lake after the quarantine, if they’ll allow us, if they’ll open the training center. It will depend on our management. Swimmers and fencers are in the same boat.”



Andrei Rodionenko, the head coach of the Russian national artistic gymnastics team, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Valentina Rodionenko said that after the national team gymnasts and staff were tested, two tests came back positive – for Andrei Rodionenko and one of the gymnasts.

Later, it became known that the gymnast who tested positive is Sergey Naidin, a 2016 junior European champion on pommel horse. …

Round Lake is closing


While many gymnasts around the world had their training disrupted or stopped completely due to COVID-19, for some time, it looked like Russian gymnasts would be able to keep training as usual.

However, yesterday, it was announced that Round Lake, the center where the national team trains and lives, will be closing alongside many other training centers around the country.

According to Valentina Rodionenko, the national team is still not giving up their training plans and the monthly camp will go as planned. Since the athletes will not be able to live at Round Lake, they will stay at Novogorsk, at the training center that houses the rhythmic gymnastics national team.

…since Novogorsk does not have an artistic gymnastics gym, the gymnasts will still have to commute to Round Lake every day to train there. Round Lake is about 30 minutes away from Novorgorsk by car. …


meanwhile … at Round Lake

Valentina Rodionenko:

“Round Lake is our home, we’re not going out. What does it matter where we stay – in self-isolation [at home] or at the training center?  …”

Artur Dalaloyan:

“There weren’t any major changes.

The only thing was the increased number of prophylactic measures – to rub hands with alcohol more often. Everywhere – at the entrance to the dorms, at the canteen entrance, at the gym entrance – they put special devices that you can use to disinfect your hands and anything you want, even feet.

At the entrance to Round Lake, they put medics who are checking the body temperature of anyone who enters with contactless thermometers that are now used everywhere …”

Q: Is the training center locked down. Or you can leave it and come back?

A: “You can leave. You just need to put your name down in a journal and when you come back – check your body temperature and tell about how you are feeling. …”


USA Jesolo team not going to Italy

A Jesolo team was named. But will not be going in case of expanded virus infection.

Instead, a competition will be organized for these teams at the National Team Training Center in Indianapolis April 3-5, 2020.

Sophia Butler of Houston, Texas/Discover Gymnastics Inc.
Kara Eaker of Grain Valley, Mo./GAGE
Shilese Jones of Westerville, Ohio/Future Gymnastics Academy*
Leanne Wong of Overland Park, Kan./GAGE

Love Birt of Camden, Del./First State Gymnastics*
Katelyn Jong of Allen, Texas/Metroplex
Kaliya Lincoln of Mountain House, Calif./Airborne Gymnastics
Katelyn Rosen of Boerne, Texas/Mavericks Gymnastics*

*Athletes have been added to the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Click PLAY or watch Camp clips on Facebook.

Hamline’s Doug Byrnes

Hamline is an NCAA Division III team that doesn’t get much Press.

But their coach, Doug Byrnes, is one of my favourite clinicians. Great guy. Excellent people skills.

A local paper posted a feature on his 20 year career.

In 1989 Hamline Gymnastics founder Mary Jane Olson asked Coach Byrnes if he wanted to work at Hamline. Byrnes declined. After Olson asked him four more times, Byrnes agreed to work Saturdays as a spotter for the team.

He’s never left. …

The Oracle