video – amazing long hang swing on parallel bars

Amplitude is no problem for this young Chinese gymnast.

Parallel bars is the best apparatus for China. You start to appreciate why when you see work like this shown by age group gymnasts.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

This was first shown to me by Canadian National Coach Edouard Iarov.

Canadian Olympic coaches at Seneca step down

The rumours are true.

Carol-Angela Orchard and Brian McVey will retire from Toronto’s Sports Seneca following the end of the 2008 season — concluding a coaching career that spanned 11 World Championships and four Olympic Games.

Orchard will be moving to Great Britain in September to be with fiancé Eddie Van Hoof, 1984 Olympian and men’s technical director at British Gymnastics, while McVey plans to move to Panama, Sport Seneca stated.

“For more than 31 years, Brian and Carol-Angela created a dynamic and incredibly successful coaching partnership that reflected the love and passion they both shared for the sport of gymnastics,” …

International Gymnast

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photo – Gymnastics Canada

I expect we’ll see CA back coaching somewhere. And commentating on Canadian TV.

All the best to both. And thanks for everything you’ve contributed to the sport.

Paul Hamm wins Gymnastics Winter Cup

It’s far too early to predict the final USA Gymnastics Team for Beijing, but here are many of the main contenders:

In his first all-around competition since being crowned Olympic Champion in 2004, Paul Hamm returned in style with a victory at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas. With a tally of 185.850, Hamm’s victory was by a margin of over seven points. Raj Bhavsar earned silver (178.600) and Alexander Artemev (178.100) earned bronze. …

Rounding out the top six at Winter Cup were David Durante, Joey Hagerty and David Sender. …

The Winter Cup Challenge also served as a re-ranking competition for the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team. Based on performance at the Winter Cup Challenge, seven gymnasts will earn National Team positions, with four based on point totals and three added by committee. Immediately named to the team based on points were Hamm, Bhavsar, Hagerty and Sean Townsend, who finished seventh overall. The final three should be added within the next 24 hours. The seven members of the 2007 World Championship Team, which placed fourth in the team standings, automatically retain their national team status. Those team members include Artemev, Durante, Guillermo Alvarez, Sean Golden, Jonathan Horton, Sho Nakamori and Kevin Tan. This newly formed U.S. Men’s Senior National Team of 14 will retain their positions until the 2008 Visa Championships in May.

International assignments will come from this group, with the Tyson American Cup up next in New York City on March 1st. Hamm, Horton and Bhavsar will represent the U.S. at that event. Hamm and Horton were previously assigned to the event while Bhavsar earned his spot based on his performance at the Winter Cup Challenge.

Inside Gymnastics

Only Paul would be considered a lock. There are a number of “specialists” who will get real consideration. Blaine Wilson, for example did far better than I expected, with top 10 finishes on floor (t-9th/29.0), rings (7th/30.25), vault (t-4/31.75) and high bar (6th/29.05).

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Las Vegas on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken) – ESPN

Dana Brass from Cirque du Soleil was at the meet, as usual. She said Paul’s stuck double layout dismount on Floor punctuated his return.

Chicago Style gymnastics great for KIDS

Amber.jpgOne of the real secrets of the success of the world’s largest gymnastics meet is the venue — Navy Pier in Chicago.

It’s a paradise for kids.

I asked Level 7 competitor Amber from Idaho what she liked about this meet. “It’s HUGE”, she said.

I spoke to Amber in the public area after the competition. She and the other gymnasts were checking out the shops (especially “Build a Bear”), theatres, parks, restaurants, children’s attractions and a guy in a funny suit on the concert stage. He was surprisingly inflexible.

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A $2billion expansion is planned for Navy Pier.

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Wikipedia

Not many girls leave Navy Pier unhappy.

Chicago Style

gymast Amy Chow training rings?

difficulty plus execution linked to videos of Olympic gold medal gymnast Amy Chow doing drills for pole vault. (She did compete pole vault, but not in the NCAA.)

Many of the top female pole vaulters are former gymnasts.

Click PLAY or watch Amy swing Rings on YouTube.

more – difficulty plus execution

Wikipedia says Amy is currently a pediatrics resident at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Anna Li, UCLA win Chicago Style

A fantastic and unusual NCAA competition ended predictably: UCLA defeated Stanford, University of Illinois and University of Washington.

The audience was filled with young competitive gymnasts, ALL aspiring to compete one day in the NCAA. This is a wonderful motivator for kids.

UCLA, the most “famous” of the teams, was the crowd favourite.

Anna-Li.jpegAnd, once again, Anna Li won the all-around. (Another crowd favourite, she’s from Aurora, IL.)

Last season Anna competed on every event in every meet, tying for fourth overall in the all-around (39.5) at Championships. No one claims Anna is the best gymnast in the NCAA — but she’ll beat the best gymnast in the NCAA on any given day, if they miss. Anna Li is a competition machine. She looked PERFECT last night scoring a career-high (39.6).

On the UCLA website:

“This is the first time this season we’ve competed like Bruins,” said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field.

It was a team season high score. For a team that is 10-0.

UCLA coach Chris Waller said he felt all 4 teams looked great and was pleased the College girls were able to put on a good show for the gymnasts.

Enough about UCLA. Personally I felt Stanford was just as good. And even more cohesive and enthusiastic as a team. If it wasn’t for the weird NCAA competition rules, the result might have been reversed.

Many, many teams in the NCAA are much better than in 2007. Quality and difficulty of routines improved.

This is just a great season for Collegiate gymnastics.

Bruins Win IGI Chicago Style Meet With Season-Best 196.875

Artemev says Paul Hamm the man to beat at Olympics

The Games begin in six months. Or maybe they’ve begun already.

Hard to know how quickly his words will filter across international waters, but American gymnast Sasha Artemev made a splash Friday when he proclaimed the U.S. men to be serious gold medal contenders and teammate Paul Hamm, not two-time world champ Yang Wei, as the man to beat at the Beijing Olympics.

“He doesn’t have a weakness,” Artemev said of Hamm, the defending Olympic champion. “He’s strong on all six events. Yang Wei has a high bar weakness. He’s not too good on high bar. But Paul doesn’t have a weakness. He’s strong on all events. He’s the man to beat, in my opinion.” …

Artemev says Hamm, U.S. gymnasts have shot at gold – ESPN

I love it.

Them’s fightin’ words, no doubt repeated today at the National Training Centre in Beijing. I would enjoy hearing what Yang Wei has to say.

Suddenly “Olympic Gymnastics” no longer means “Women’s Olympic Gymnastics”. The general public is going to be tuning in to the Men, as well.

Certainly Paul himself and the rest of the team are not nearly so enthusiastically outspoken, but we really do have another strong contending team.

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Hamm with coach Miles Avery (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) – ESPN