seeing Cirque du Soleil Kooza tonight

Got a last minute ticket for the big top touring show Kooza playing tonight in San Jose, California.

Whoo Hoo.

KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world.

KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor.

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Cirque du Soleil
– photos, video, details

PS

Cast members from The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage in Las Vegas will perform live at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, February 10th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Penn State gymnast Casey Sandy #1 in NCAA

Canadian National Team Member (25th AA at the last Worlds) Casey Sandy was one of the main contributors to Penn State’s NCAA Championship win at home in 2007.

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Gymnastics Canada

In 2008, Casey is off to a great start. He’s ranked 1st All-around in the NCAA as of Jan. 28th on GymInfo. (David Sender and Sho Nakamori of Stanford are right behind him.)

Penn State head men’s gymnastics coach Randy Jepson has high praise for one of his most unusual recruits.

Casey’s is a great and inspiring story. Read about it here: An All-Around Anchor

WOGA CLASSIC gymnastics competition is on

This weekend. One of the most important invitational competitions of the year.

WOGA Gymnastics (formerly World Olympic Gymnastics Academy) will be hosting the 11th Annual WOGA CLASSIC, a women’s international gymnastics meet, February 2-3. …

Over 800 athletes are entered including 38 elite athletes from the US, Australia, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Mexico and the Netherlands. Some of these elite athletes are in contention for places on their country’s Olympic Team for 2008. Gymnasts from seventeen states will be joining local and Texas gymnasts competing in all levels this year. …

… Carly and Nastia will be on hand Saturday from 4:00-5:30pm and Sunday 12:00-2:30pm to sign autographs immediately prior to the Elite Session. …

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For WOGA CLASSIC meet information go to www.woga.net

tips for backward walkover on beam

Another good article from Tulsa World of Gymnastics. Here’s an excerpt:

bw2.gif… Are your feet stable on the beam, without an unneccessary turn-out? Are your hips square with the beam, and not twisting to one side? Are your shoulders straight and square with the beam? Are your arms directly above your head in alignment with the beam? If any one of these questions are answered, “No,” most likely you’ll be having trouble doing a straight back walkover.

The most common mistakes are in hip and shoulder alignment. Most gymnasts who start out with one foot in front tend to rotate their hips and/or shoulders to compensate. This does not work. It throws your alignment off, and it only makes it more difficult. Make sure you begin with your hips and shoulders square with the beam. …

See the rest of the article – Tulsa World of Gymnastics

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More articles like this in their Gymnastics Tips for Gymnasts and Coaches section.

gymnast Yang Wei will win Beijing Olympics

Are you already tired of hearing this question:

Can the Chinese athletes handle the media pressure?

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Gymnast Yang Wei: a concerted effort to fight for Olympic gold

I think Yang Wei can. And that he will win the Olympics. And I hope he does.

His disastrous performance in 2004 (Athens) puts him in a good psychological situation, I predict. He will be motivated to HIT this time.

But if he misses …

Look for a German gymnast atop the podium. Not Paul Hamm. Not Tomita Hiroyuki.

Yang Wei – Wikipedia

Short People Appreciation Night – Utah gymnastics

No wonder Utah drew over 13,000 fans to each of the first two home meets.

This is a GREAT idea to bring in young gymnasts to watch the NCAA.

Kivisto.jpegNo. 2 Utah (3-0) hosts Minnesota (3-2) on Friday, Feb. 1 in the second-annual Short People Appreciation Night, starting at 7 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Life-sized cutouts of Utah’s shortest gymnast – 5-foot senior Katie Kivisto – will be placed outside each entrance. Anyone shorter than the cutout will receive a free general admission ticket.

Utah Utes

Utah’s Most Inspirational Gymnast in 2007 — Katie Kivisto — is a leader on this team.

One of the many things I like about Artistic gymnastics is that being short is an advantage, unlike the vast majority of team sports.

Another petite gymnast:

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Small Matters – flickr

like mother, like daughter – gymnasts Wu Jiani and Anna Li

Wu Jiani competing bars in the 1981 USA-CHN dual meet. Click PLAY or watch her on YouTube.

That straddle over to catch in Eagle grip was a first. (We called it the “Keegan” on horizontal bar at my gym after Steve Keegan who was the first male we ever saw do it.)

Trivia – Wu Jiani was also the first to compete the Yurchenko Loop (bwd handspring to back hip circle) on beam, but China did not submit the skill to FIG.

Next, Anna Li — her daughter — in 2007 competing bars for UCLA. MONSTER Tkachev!

Click PLAY or watch Anna on YouTube.

Anna was 4th AA at the NCAA Championships last year. Anna’s very ambitious to continue improving. (She won the all-around for her third consecutive meet last weekend.)

Anna’s father is the famous “Thunder Thighs Li”, first world champion on any apparatus for China in 1981. Thunder Thighs, an American citizen, is actually back in Beijing, one of the Head Coaches of the Chinese National women’s team.

Want to know more? Read Chinese Legends Make Long-Distance Marriage Work on International Gymnast magazine.

An amazing gymnastics family!