Justin Spring reflects on Olympic Bronze 2008

… it all magically came together when it mattered most at the Olympics Trials and at the Olympic Games.

Our team walked away with a bronze medal.

Our 2008 Olympic men’s gymnastics team ended up using two of its alternate athletes before we even competed at the Games; one of which, Sasha, moved in to the Olympic Village the night before our first day, which was the team preliminaries. …

JUSTIN SPRING An Olympic Journal

Elena Shushunova has died

Terrible news.

One of the greatest gymnasts all time died in St. Petersburg of complications from pneumonia.

Elena Shushunova; 23 April 1969 – 16 August 2018) was a Russian (former Sovietgymnast, World, European, and Olympic Champion.

Shushunova is one of five women (Larisa LatyninaVera CaslavskaLudmilla Tourischeva and Lilia Podkopayeva are the other four) who has won the grand slam of All-Around titles: Olympics, World Championships, European/Continental Championships. …

I remember Elena best from Worlds 1985 Montreal. Even more powerful than Mary Lou Retton.

She was co-champion  with Oksana Omelianchik.  USSR withdrew both Irina Baraksanova and Olga Mostepanova from the AA final, pretending injury, replacing them with Oksana and Elena.

Rest in peace.

via Gymternet Clan

WHO will have the next 3-up, 3-count disaster?

UPDATE – Piibunina points out my error in the post below:

Olympic qualification of teams at the 2019 World Championships takes place during the qualification (CI), not during the team final (CIV). CI is still 5-4-3, so there is no danger of 3 up 3 count disaster.

Original post:

Like Italy did within seconds of the start of the Team Final at Europeans. Their first vaulter slipped. This score counted towards team.

Something similar could happen to any team in this format. Or — even worse — they could have an injury during the competition.

This is one reason teams want to rank in the top 3 at Worlds 2018. That’s automatic team qualification to Olympics 2020. They don’t have to risk 3-up, 3-count disaster at Worlds 2019.

Elena Davydova interview

Elena Davydova is Head Coach and Owner of Gemini Gymnastics in Ontario. She’s the 1980 Olympic Champion and currently sits on the FIG WTC.

Elena Davydova gave an interview to Oksana Tonkacheeva for the magazine of the Russian artistic gymnastics federation. …

Davydova is one of the few people in the artistic gymnastics world who attended the Olympic Games in three roles – a gymnast (for USSR in 1980), a coach (for Canada in 2012) and a judge (also for Canada, in 2016). …


The 1970s were the era of discovering new elements. We were practically attacking them even though there was no method of learning them. … I watched Aleksandr Tkachev training his releases (we both lived in Voronezh at the time and sometimes trained in the same gym), so I ran to my coach Gennadi Korshunov and told him: why don’t I try this? …

Q: How did you end up in Canada?

A: It’s a personal story. Or rather, a problem. The complications of a difficult birth seriously affected the health of my oldest son. The treatment that our doctors offered wasn’t helping. … 

By the way, I want to say special thanks to Andrey Fyodorovich Rodionenko. During his years of working in Canada, the authority of a coach grew a lot. …

Q: How do you separate your emotions when both Canadians and Russians compete?

A: Oh, I’m nervous for everyone equally. … 


1988 Olympian Svetlana Baitova interviewed

An Olympic gold medalist speaks. It’s a fascinating read.

Q: Do you often dream about gymnastics?

A: I used to, but I rarely do now. I’ve never dreamed about my favorite bars, only about my hated vault. …

Q: how much money were you paid for your Olympic gold in 1988?

A: I received 8,000 rubles and an apartment. It was a decent amount for that time, you could buy the most coveted car of the time – Lada Sputnik. … 

… On that national team, any single one of us could win the all-around. And the same was the case with the men’s team. I think that those were the strongest USSR teams in the history. This was true not just in Seoul but also in Barcelona in 1992. … 


Click PLAY or watch her Vault on YouTube. The second is Yurchenko Double Twist.

new USA Olympic CEO Sarah Hirshland

“supporting, protecting and empowering”

The United States Olympic Committee on Thursday named a new chief executive to succeed Scott Blackmun, who stepped down under pressure in February as the organization faced escalating pressure in the aftermath of the Nassar gymnastics sex abuse case.

The group’s new leader is Sarah Hirshland, an executive with the United States Golf Association. …

NY Times