College Bound gymnasts

I’m at the 2008 USAIGC / NACGC College Bound Invitational sponsored by Alpha Factor at the Silver Spurs Arena, Kissimmee, Orlando, Florida

For a $150 entry fee you get no judges. No awards. Gymnasts first also register as an USAIGC Athlete (personal insurance).

Girls are here to be evaluated by all the College coaches in the country.

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Freshman & Sophomores (Grade 9 & 10 in 2008) cannot enter this meet. You must be in the last 2 years of High School.

If you end up getting a spot on a College Team, the money spent is a good investment.

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It’s a great idea this competition. I recommend it.

Details on the USAIGC website

bad form in gymnastics

On about.com Gymnastics

Athletes with great form seem to be a dying breed in gymnastics. Why? Because the current scoring system doesn’t penalize bad form severely enough to make it worth worrying about. …

Sadly, I think this is true. Even the Chinese gymnasts have worse form than just a couple of years ago.

read the post and take a poll by clicking Who Has the Best Form? on about.com Gymnastics

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more photo examples of good form and bad form – about.com Gymnastics

About.com – Learn a Back Flip

Another pretty good online instructional:

… The take-off of a back flip is called the “set” or “lift.” To successfully complete a back tuck, you’ll need to learn how to set the right way. This set drill can be used with a spotter (as shown) or onto a stack of high mats …

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photo Paula Tribble – Giants Gymnastics

Learn a Back Flip – posted by Amy Van Deusen – About.com Gymnastics

World Cup in China has begun

Gymnastics China “donated 1 million yuan ($143,000 USD) to the earthquake victims”.

Despite the national tragedy, the World Cup started as scheduled.

Partial scores are up:

Balance Beam
1. Xiao Sha CHN 16.300
2. Cheng Fei CHN 15.800
3. Ksenia Afanasyeva RUS 15.650

Women’s Floor Exercise
1. Cheng Fei CHN 15.750
2. Kristina Vaculik CAN 14.800 … trying to qualify to Olympics
3. Kyoko Oshima JPN 14.600

Men’s Vault
1. Ri Se Gwang PRK 16.500
2. Raphael Wignanitz FRA 16.150
3. Wai Hung Shek HKG 15.900

Parallel Bars
1. Huang Xu CHN 16.400
2. Li Xiaopeng CHN 16.250
3. Kim Jin Hyok PRK 16.200

High Bar
1. Zou Kai CHN 15.800
2. Li Xiaopeng CHN 15.700
3. Kim Jihoon KOR 15.350

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read the details from Amanda Turner on International Gymnast

Korean men are scoring well, I see. The men’s Olympic team competition is getting more interesting every day.

BETA release of Gymnast.com

I’ve linked a number of times to Gymnast.com — certainly the best possible web address for anyone interested in gymnastics.

In soft launch, editor Steve McCain has been steadily adding content over the past number of weeks.

Unique to this site is their partnership with USA Gymnastics and the American-Gymnast Video on Demand service.

Expect to see video there you can’t get anywhere else.

Events – The highest quality On Demand Gymnastics Videos you’ll find anywhere on the web. Includes coverage of 2008 Men’s Winter Cup, 2008 American Cup, 2008 Pacific Rim, with much more coming soon!

Features – Special coverage section including “Beaming Beijing” – follow the journey of our Olympic Gymnasts as they prepare for and compete in Beijing.

News – Just what you’d expect … Team USA News, International News, Press Releases, and Results

Videos – If you love videos, you’ll love Gymnast.com. See interviews with your favorite gymnasts and coaches, learn recommended Training Tips on gymnastics skills, and more!

Photos – Browse through pictures of the latest meets and see your favorite athletes.

Community – Connect with your teammates and other gymnasts around the world. Upload your own videos and pictures. Invite your friends!

I’ll certainly be a contributor.

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Gymnast.com

new biomechanics video – Tom Forster

Most gymnastics coaches report that their understanding of biomechanics is a “weakness”.

Happily, mechanics are far less important than understanding conditioning, progression and how to motivate gymnasts. (Not to mention, how to keep their parents happy.)

But I’ve just put in an order for this new video.

http://www.brightcove.tv/playerswf

Visuals really help when trying to explain mechanical principles.

The Gymnastic Laws of Motion

Almost all gymnastic skills are governed by the laws of physics. In this DVD, Tom Forster explains the major laws of physics and motion that apply to gymnastic movement. $29.95

More video samples are linked from the GymSmarts home page.

Olympics – political, religious, racial protest

The 1968 Olympics Black Power salute was a noted black nationalist protest and one of the most overtly political statements in the 110 year history of the modern Olympic Games. African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos performed their Power to the People salute at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

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… American athlete Smith won the 200 metre race race in a then-world-record time of 19.83 seconds, with Australia’s Peter Norman second with a time of 20.06 seconds, and American Carlos in third place with a time of 20.10 seconds. After the race was completed, the three went to collect their medals at the podium. The two American athletes received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf around his neck to represent black pride. Carlos wore beads which he described “were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.” All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges, after Norman expressed sympathy with their ideals. …

Carlos had forgotten his black gloves, but Norman suggested that they share Smith’s pair, with Smith wearing the right glove and Carlos the left. When “The Star-Spangled Banner” played, Smith and Carlos delivered the salute with heads bowed, a gesture which became front page news around the world. As they left the podium they were booed by the crowd. …

what happened to these men? – find out on Wikipedia

And what do the historic protesters think about Beijing?
Tommie Smith and John Carlos warn of the price of protest – Times Online

People at the top are worried something similar will happen in 2008:

In a letter to national federations, the IOC decreed that all athletes must refrain from clothing, gestures and written or oral statements that demonstrate “political, religious or racial propaganda” at Olympic venues. The missive did not outline punishment guidelines for infractions. …

At Olympics, silence is not golden – Mercury News

I told you trampoline was dangerous …

Drop a baby from 50ft on to a tramp?

For 500 years, worshippers at a Muslim shrine in western India have continued the tradition — a rite considered to bring good health and good luck to the children.

The infants land and bounce on a bed-sheet held taut by men 50 feet below, and are quickly passed through the crowd to their mothers.

Villagers say no babies have been injured during the ritual, which is practiced by Muslims and Hindus in Musti village in the district of Solapur, in the state of Maharashtra. …

CNN story and video

To see the a BBC video click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

2008 JO Gymnastics Championships – Men

Results are up for Level 9 and 10 Nationals.

It was hosted this year by Branch Gymnastics in Battle Creek, Michigan.

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competition home page

… a qualifier for Level 10 gymnasts to the Visa Championships (May 22-24 in Houston), where the national teams for both age groups are determined. …

USA Gymnastics