gymnast Vanessa Ferrari to win Europeans?

She’s the favourite.

But I’d have to say the Italian superstar and World Champion 2006 has underachieved too many times since to win my full confidence for the coming weekend.

UPDATE: No all-around competition at the meet this year. What? Why?

April 3-6, 2008 – European Gymnastics Championships in France

original – flickr – Technogym

There’s a new interview on the Guardian from the UK: Gymnast Ferrari gears up for Beijing

More interesting is the video of Ferrari training.

But the cutest bit of news to me about Vanessa I learned on Gymblog, her nickname: Ferrari the cannibal

vote for gymnastics montage videos

I’m surprised just how popular are personal edits of video and photos with music. People love to put them together. And far more people love to watch gymnastics montage videos. (Me included.)

Now Corinne (cccam) has organized a contest.

Fans can vote on which of a number of videos they like best by:

… commenting on my page at or by leaving a comment at

Deadline for voting will be Saturday April 19th

The mechanism for voting is not very good. But at least it does bring forward a number of recommended montage videos.

Montage Awards

Click PLAY or watch it on FreeWebs.

I had a chuckle looking at the “copyright” notices on this preview clip. Most of the content in the nominated gymnastics montages is “lifted” from the actual copyright holder.

Now … we need an awards program for ORIGINAL content. I’d vote for Don Eckert’s Salto Cafe. (Not all of the 115+ videos are original, but many are.)

Of course your own favourite montage may not be nominated. Here are some others posted on Chalk Bucket: The Best Montages

gymnastics poem – Unknown Heights

From a gymnast known as united team girl

I wait and wait and there I go,
Jump out there but I start out slow.
Picking up speed
Hoping to take lead,
I go higher and higher
Feeling weightless
All eyes on me
Hoping to see
A winning smile,
While my life depends on this.
Nobody knows how I feel,
Making my way through the floor
Will I stick it or land short?
Almost done,
Here it comes
I feel my body sink,
But stand tall.
Smile, salute, wave,
These are the moments I crave

You can comment on the poem on Chalk Bucket

original – flickr – Raphael Goetter

Stanford wins Pac-10 Gymnastics

1. Stanford 197.000
2. Oregon State 196.550
3. UCLA 196.200
4. Arizona 195.725
5. California 193.400
6. Washington 193.375
7. Arizona State 191.925

Insightful commentary from Blythe who was there:

… The meet began and ended with injuries to ASU junior Tia Orlando and Stanford redshirt freshman Allyse Ishino. …

… It must have made it especially difficult for Stanford seniors Liz Tricase and Tabitha Yim to concentrate, as both still had to go. But they showed why they’re pros — both executed two especially clean and powerful Yurchenko fulls without seeming to bat an eyelash.

Yim.jpegDespite Ishino’s injury, Stanford looked like it was on cruise control the entire meet. It’s six seniors, all All-Americans, are truly impressive. Yim gave a tour de force performance on her way to her second Pac-10 all around title, backed up by Tricase, who captured her third (third!) consecutive Pac-10 bars title. …

from the stands at the Pac-10 Championships – Gymblog

You have to cheer for Stanford. They have a shot at NCAA Championships THIS year with so much experience on the team. Go for it girls!

Congratulations to Tamitha Yim, PAC 10 Gymnast of the Year:

“Tabitha has been through so much in this sport,” said head coach Kristen Smyth. “She has grown and matured tremendously here at Stanford and has become our team leader. She is one of the most charismatic performers of all time and she definitely deserves the honor. We are so excited for her and for this program, as this is our first Gymnast of the Year honor.”

Tamitha Yim – Stanford profile

judging breakdown – Yurchenko vault

Ashley Postell from Utah has the top average score in the NCAA on Vault.

The Salt Lake Tribune documented Postell’s March 7 vault against Oregon State. She received a 9.95 score, a combination of two judges’ scores – a 9.9 and a perfect 10.0.

Charity Greene, the judge who awarded the 10.0, was asked to analyze the vault frame-by-frame. (Every judge awarding a “perfect” score should be required to do so.)

The most interesting frame to me is this one, the point of contact on landing. Technique is very good.


Unfortunately, NCAA judges want the chest position vertical on landing. The gymnast must stop the rotation of the somersault and come to a stop, somehow. There are many ways to do this biomechanically. But the only acceptable way in College gymnastics rules is like a knife stuck into a plank.

Shannon Miller’s landing on her first vault from the 1992 Olympics is perfect — yet her torso is not vertical. (Was Shannon fantastic, or what? Apologies in advance for the antics of Steve Nunno. His retirement from coaching was a happy day for me.)

Click PLAY or watch Shannon on YouTube.

(via difficulty plus execution)

If you want to see Ashley’s vault analysis for yourself, download the PDF file linked from this article:

Gymnastics: Postell’s vault broken down by a judge

The best Yurchenko fulls I’ve ever seen were done by Chinese men (and probably Kyle Shewfelt) but I do not have the links at my finger tips. Leave a comment if you have a personal favourite. We can use it as a 10 standard when comparing with College women’s vaults.

13yr-old Thomas Daley European diving champion

Gymnastics fans were irked when a 14-year-old qualified to the Olympics in Diving.

“Why can’t a 14-year-old gymnast qualify?”

Is there a double standard? Or is each sport doing what is right for them?

Interview with Thomas Daley:

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Now I hear Tom Daley’s mother is worried about getting tickets to the Olympic events.

Obviously the Olympics should block a “family section” at each sporting venue, and allot a given number of tickets / country based on the number of participants. They could even charge a premium for those tickets.

Related post: 14yr-old diver to compete at Olympics

martial arts movie – Forbidden Kingdom

This video is the “making” of the first movie pitting Jet Li against Jackie Chan. It should be good.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via Straight to the Bar)

Here’s a related fan video:

Click PLAY or watch the top 10 Jackie Chan stunts on YouTube.

(via Straight to the Bar)

#1 and #2 clips are where Jackie REALLY went too far.

Jackie Chan – Wikipedia