Gymnastics Montage: Not Always Happy Endings

Many coaches are still in shock after hearing about the injury to Taylor Lindsay-Noel from Seneca Gymnastics in Toronto. Seneca has been one of the top clubs in Canada for decades. Yet they still had a catastrophic injury.

Coaches everywhere must do all they can to prevent this kind of thing happening in their gyms.

Parents and gymnasts, too, must be aware of the dangers of advanced gymnastics. It’s more dangerous than most other sports.

Most of the media does focus on Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and the stars who succeed. A combination of talent, luck, timing and good coaching. Let’s not forget the many athletes — some equally talented — who did not achieve their dreams. Or died trying.

From video editor nade00 from Australia:

A montage about the sad stories in gymnastics. I cannot even imagine the pain of training your whole life for a dream then having it taken away.

Footage includes Julissa Gomez, Christy Henrich and Yelena Mukhina, whose stories are perhaps the greatest examples of tragedy in gymnastics.

Also included is Sang Lan, who is a very inspiring amd courageous woman. She has managed to keep a positive outlook on life and do many great things. She hopes to be one of the final torchbearers at next year’s Beijing Olympic Games.

The other gymnasts I chose becasue they were perhaps the best examples of gymnasts forced to retire in their prime, or before their career even really began.

I also included those who never lived up to expectations, those supposed to be the next big thing who were then forced to watch their dreams slip away in the spotlight.

Julissa Gomez
Christy Henrich
Yelena Mukhina
Alexandra Huci

The song is ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ by the Verve.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (WARNING – this video is graphic and very depressing)

After watching that I had to remind myself that the girls in my gym are safer there than at Physical Education class at school. That they are safer at the gym than in the car driving to the gym.

Still …, these tragic stories are an important reminder to be even more cautious in training.

Nastia for Vanilla Star Jeans

… Michael Phelps is reported to earn a whopping $100 million in endorsements for his gold medal run, which promises lots of exposure for the swim stud, and world champion Nastia Liukin, well, she is doing pretty good as well.

Not only is the Texas native fronting a CoverGirl campaign this fall, but she’s also going to be the face of brand Vanilla Star. Her “Smart Girls Rock” ads for the company were unveiled earlier this week …

Nastia Liukin for Vanilla Star – Style List


Vanilla Star Jeans

related: Olympic Gymnast, Agent Work As Team To Appeal To Sponsors – Sports Business Daily

Circus auditions in Australia

If you have ever dreamt of becoming a circus performer, now is the time to cartwheel your way into a career as one! The National Institute of Circus Arts is holding auditions in cities around Australia for 2009 entry into the Bachelor of Circus Arts degree.
Those with a flair for the physical and a desire for a challenge should take the opportunity to apply, with successful applicants participating in the three-year full time degree, on the Swinburne University Prahran Campus, Melbourne.
NICA students have come from around Australia and overseas, with backgrounds in areas as diverse as martial arts, ballet, gymnastics, theatre performance, acrobatics and youth circus.

Graduates of NICA’s Bachelor of Circus Arts have gone on to work for Circus Oz, Cirque du Soleil, Tokyo Disney, Cavalia, Circa, Spiegeltent, La Clique and Silvers Circus, amongst others.
Apply to audition for the National Institute of Circus Arts now! … call 03 9214 6537



vote Nastia Sportswoman of the Year

Liukin was a member of the 2007 world championships team that was named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2007 Team of the Year. At the 2007 world championships, Liukin helped lead the U.S. women’s team to its second world team title, the first at a worlds held outside the United States, while individually claiming first on the balance beam and second on the uneven bars. Her three medals at the 2007 world championships brought her career world medal count to nine, tying the mark held by Shannon Miller for the most by a U.S. gymnast … .

Liukin led the 2008 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team with five medals: one gold, three silver and one bronze. She became just the third U.S. woman to win the Olympic all-around title and also claimed silver in the team, uneven bars and balance beam, and bronze on the floor exercise. She also tied the U.S. gymnastics record of five Olympic medals at one Olympic Games held by Mary Lou Retton and Miller (August).


more Gymnastics Icons & Wallpapers

Vote on the bottom of this page: Women’s Sports Foundation

Olympic Athlete Advocates

Of course I believe in Freedom of Speech.

Most Olympics athletes are completely focused on their sport.

But some use their high profile to promote human rights and charitable causes. Here are a few of those: Anna Rice Joey Cheek, Rosanna Tomiuk, Brian and Dennis Stever.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Right to Play – official website

Ideally I would like athletes not to advocate while on the field of play. Or podium. But at all other times they should be free to speak their minds.

China, I think, was very, very lucky not to have more vocal athlete protesters at the Olympics.

painting the gymnastics club

On the last long holiday weekend of the summer, I’m at the gym putting together rotations, conditioning and training plans. If you are too, my condolences.

Eveyone else is gone. Except the cleaner. And one Dad who took it upon himself to organize the massive job of painting the entire warehouse.


It looks GREAT.

I’m also still on the search for an experienced Head Coach / Administrator for our club of 600 – 700 gymnasts.

Peter Vidmar Gymnastics Invite 2009

210_2008_PVI_Logo_-_small_version.jpgFEBRUARY 27-MARCH 1, 2009

Los Angeles, California


The 18th Annual Peter Vidmar Men’s Gymnastics Invitational (PVI) will be held on February 28-March 2, 2009. Peter Vidmar, 1984 USA Gold Medalist, will be at every session to meet the gymnasts, their families & friends, and present awards. This year’s competition will feature gymnasts from “Around the World” as well as a “Special Olympics” Session. In past years we have hosted gymnasts from 33 states as well as Armenia, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand & Russia. Foreign athletes compete in every session!

gymnastics rules encourage difficult skills

Most everyone agrees. The biggest problem with the “new” Code of Points used in Beijing is that athletes with high difficulty were rewarded more than athletes with superb form, line and technique.

But why did this happen?

Former American Champion Todd Thornton was blogging the Olympics for Inside Gymnastics. Like many others, he was very disappointed that the judges “boxed” the B-scores for execution.

Nastia-Kexin.jpgTodd takes a very strong position on the Nastia vs He Kexin tie break in the Bars Final:

I was sitting a mere 30 feet away from the uneven bars, with a perfect side angle view during finals. In my opinion, Nas was underscored by two to three-tenths. …

He Kexin, the eventual gold medalist, on the other hand, had more deductions throughout her routine than Liukin, in my opinion. She missed several handstands, caught a few releases close, and on one transition was caught in a near dead hang. Oh, and she took a step forward and to the side on the dismount. In my opinion, Kexin was over scored by two-tenths. With a difference of about five-tenths in the routines, I thought there was no way the judges would keep Nas from taking home her second Olympic Gold. But they did, along with a tie-break system that just doesn’t make sense.

Both routines have the same difficulty (7.7) and on this day, the judges evaluated the execution equally, for a tie score of 16.725. But a tie-break rule that is ridiculously complicated awarded gold to Kexin and silver to Liukin. …

Some B-panel judges had Nastia ahead. Some had He Kexin ahead.

But the B-scores were so close that it could have gone either way.

The point is, somehow FIG must find a way to get the judges to make a greater range of B-scores between routines of conspicuously different quality. Right now judges are afraid of being too far “out of range” with the rest of the panel.

Coach Sommer of and others have made this same point:

Just look at the results from the (Olympic) pommel horse finals (or any finals or throughout the competition, actually). In pommel horse finals, the gymnasts who placed from second to sixth were all within three-tenths of each other in execution (ranging from 9.075 to 9.325). Watch the routines back and you’ll see a completely different quality to those routines – a lot more variance than three tenths. Look at the overall quality of Hiroyuki Tomita’s routine – his bodyline, his toe point, his overall manner of execution and compare it even with Louis Smith (who took home the bronze) and who had multiple form breaks, flexed feet and breaks in bodyline and rhythm. It just doesn’t make sense.

Thornton’s Take: The Scoring Controversy

Yahoo Sports

Bruno Grandi says he will insist the Technical committees make those changes to the rules. He called the scoring on the medal for Cheng Fei who fell on Vault in the Final “absurd”.

Will FIG “fix” the Code?

I’ll believe it when I see it.