problems remain at USAG

Nancy Armour:

Leung said Friday that the releases were a mandate by insurers, which are funding the $215 million settlement offer, rather than a choice by the federation. She said she’s open to talking with survivors about their requests for more information, and pointed out that USA Gymnastics has cooperated with six independent investigations.

She also acknowledged that USA Gymnastics had erred – badly – in not having detailed processes in place for the men’s World Cup selections, and not communicating enough in advance with gymnasts and their coaches. …

Opinion: Year after Li Li Leung took over USA Gymnastics, progress made but problems remain

solar powered Gymnastics Clubs

Buckeye Gymnastics and Cheer in Ohio generates over 50% of their electricity from solar.

During the months of July and August when the AC runs most of the time, over 85% of the electricity required is generated from the roof. They even sell power back to the grid.

I’ve heard GymCats in Vegas and Kid’s First in Cincinnati generate solar power, as well. Leave a comment if you know of more Gymnastics clubs that do so.

Thanks Dave Holcombe.

National Team Selection policy

Seems USAG MPC bungled the selection process for upcoming World Cups.

Yul’s coach Mark Williams responds.

Click through to read the 5 tweets in that thread.

Here’s what they recommend in Canada.

Responsible NSOs (National Sports Organizations) recognize the importance of a sound team selection policy to ensure that the best athletes are indeed selected for optimal performance of the team, and also to avoid disputes leading up to a major competition.

The criteria must also be communicated to the athletes long before the start of the qualification period.

The entire training program of athletes will be based on meeting these criteria to secure their selection to the team, so it would be unreasonable to communicate these criteria only a few weeks or a few days before.

Of course, once a team selection policy approved and published, the NSO must ensure that it is implemented as intended.

read more … Team Selection

some GOOD news from Winter Cup

Though the gymternet mainly heard about the screw-ups at the annual U.S. Men’s selection meet during the Olympic year, Kensley was there — as usual — and found the competition much improved in many ways.

Click through to this Twitter thread to read her positive comments.

USAG blunders this weekend

Where to start? 

For an organization that already has little trust with membership, communication could not have been much worse at the (otherwise excellent) Men’s Winter Cup in Las Vegas.

Now Tuesday morning and I’m still not 100% sure what happened.

It seems the USA MPC had not documented their World Cup selection system in advance of Winter Cup.

Why, you might ask.

Yet USAG had to earlier put forward nominative entrees for the 4 AA World Cups either Sam or Yul were assigned to all four.

Not many — including Yul’s Mom — knew they were only nominative.

Now — after the Winter Cup — MPC is considering replacing Yul for some of his nominative assignments.

It’s a mess. More self-inflicted wounds for USA Gymnastics.

Click over to Gymnastics-Now for an update through Tuesday, February 25th.

whither Gymnastics in Brazil

Renata Cappeliano translated an article by Demetrio Vecchioli looking at the BIG picture.

At the start of the quad, Brazil looked like they could potentially challenge for a team medal. They competed in the team final at the Rio Olympics. They lost Aleksandr Aleksandrov but gained Valeri Liukin. …

… despite offering first world infrastructure to its best generation ever, it’s not hard to guess what it lacks nowadays: high performance coaches. With only a few working in the country, Brazil suffers to produce enough athletes to feed its national team. …

Only two coaches, out of the six that shaped Brazil’s elite girls, are still in the country: Ukrainian Irina Ilyashenko, who’s been living in Curitiba for 20 years, and Francisco Porath

“Everyone knew Brazil only had six gymnasts. If two of them got hurt, we’d have nowhere to run. And that’s exactly what happened …”

WHAT LED TO BRAZILIAN WAG NOT QUALIFYING TO TOKYO

Flavia Saraiva, Jan 16th, 2015

Flávia finished 10th AA at Worlds 2019 and has already qualified to Tokyo as an individual.

Jason Woodnick to USAG MAG

Good hire.

We are going to miss Jason at Gymnastics Canada.

USA Gymnastics has hired Jason Woodnick to serve as the vice president for men’s gymnastics, effective Feb. 1, 2020. Woodnick, who hails from Germantown, Md, will be responsible for overseeing the USA Gymnastics men’s gymnastics program, from grassroots to the national teams. …

Woodnick most recently was the men’s gymnastics program manager for Gymnastics Canada, a position he has held since 2017. …

Woodnick was a coach with the Canadian Team at the 2016 Pacific Rim Championships, 2013-15 World Championships, 2015 Pan American Games and 2014 Commonwealth Games. He also was Canada’s men’s team manager at the 2017-19 World Championships and 2019 Pan Am Games. …

interview – Kohei’s coach Hiro Sato

After winning the 2016 Olympics, Kohei phoned his old teammate Hiroaki Sato who was coaching in Australia.

He convinced Hiro to return to Japan and become his personal coach.

Since he was training alone, Kohei was looking for someone to help and motivate, but not be too pushy. In fact, Hiro began training and conditioning alongside Kohei.

Kohei, who turns age-31 in January, currently trains 9 times a week over 5 days. Has two BIG conditioning days at the beginning and end of the week.

Though the G.O.A.T. has said he’s not sure he can qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Hiro is planning on it. The goal and timeline for achieving that goal laid out.

Dave Tilley posted the lengthy interview which I found very interesting. Hiro is a young coach, keen and very open-minded to advice which he could take to Uchimura for consideration. For example, recovery between Floor and Pommels during competition.

Hiro’s mentors include Scherbo’s coach Sergei Chinkar, now retired. And the late, great Takashi Kobayashi who died in 2018 — far too young — of stomach cancer.

Listen now

Bea Gheorghisor on Romanian Gymnastics

Romania finished 22nd as a team at Worlds 2019. It would seem they are just another team, no longer a superpower.

But the next generation of Juniors is looking good. And here’s some other promising news.

Bea:

I think that Romania will qualify a team to Paris and even win at least an individual medal there.

The project called Tara, Tara, Vrem Campioane [“Country, country, we want champions”] was initiated in 2014 and is being coordinated by Bellu and Bitang.

This is Romania’s response to a half-centralized system (camp based) that has worked for other countries.

The idea is to de-centralize in order to encourage healthy competition among [the various] centers and also stimulate the development of gymnasts and coaches. …

In order for this to work long-term, we need some key elements that are still missing: realistic judging in internal/national competitions, more and better prepared coaches, finding a way to transition junior elites into successful seniors, a way to motivate gymnasts without physical and mental abuse.

Read the full Dvora Meyers interview:

The Fall (and Rise?) of Romanian Gymnastics

One big question remains – Can the next generation of Romanians be competitive on Bars?

They are now wearing grips. But — oddly — still rely on Free Hip when the rest of the world uses primarily Sole Circle. Watch Ana Maria Barbosu competing Bars.