gymnastics success story Li Ning

Hero of the Los Angeles Olympics 1984. Hero of mine. Li Ning is one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. Now age-44, he is chairman as well as head of business development for his own line of sporting goods in China.

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The Gym Chat forum pointed me to a business post on Yahoo Finance:

Don’t Know Li-Ning? Ask Shaq

By Dexter Roberts

Not many people outside of China have heard of Li-Ning, but in the country’s fast-growing sportswear market, the Beijng company is proving a serious competitor for the likes of giants Nike and Adidas.

While those two behemoths still dominate among Chinese consumers, Li-Ning is in third place, with market share just below the roughly 17% to 18% that Nike and Adidas have. …

Teaming With NBA Stars

No doubt one reason for that good rating on “ambassadorship” is Li-Ning’s successful marketing and branding efforts, mainly focused on sports sponsorship. Li-Ning spends about 17% of revenues on marketing annually, more than most Chinese companies. National Basketball Assn.’s Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal is the brand’s top star, after having signed a five-year agreement in August, 2006.

While Li-Ning shoes aren’t available in the U.S., the company figures that an alliance with Shaq helps to lure the growing number of NBA fans in China who follow the league. …

lining_logo.gifRiding the Wave of the Beijing Olympics

… The company is sponsoring the medal-winning Chinese table tennis, diving, gymnastics, and shooting teams. And on June 7, 2007, Li-Ning and the Spanish government announced the company would be the official sportswear provider for the Spanish Olympic delegation at next year’s games.

The year-long run up to the world’s biggest sporting event clearly is key for Li-Ning. The company plans to add 700 new retail outlets in 2007 to its existing 4,300, and by the opening of the Olympics next August Li-Ning will have 5,600 outlets spread across the mainland.

Don’t Know Li-Ning? Ask Shaq

Check out his double double mount on Floor at Worlds 1983 !! (Floors were very, very hard back then.)

Click PLAY or watch Li Ning on YouTube.

Right Brain vs Left Brain

There are a couple of problems I see with this “test” posted by the Herald Sun in Australia.

THE Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

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Right Brain v Left Brain | Herald Sun

First, they forgot to define the frame of reference. We can only infer they mean counterclockwise — looking down at the dancer from above.

Secondly, I don’t believe anyone can see this dancer turning clockwise (right twist). Yeesh. I FINALLY got her to change directions. I stared at the bottom foot only (as many had suggested) and she suddenly switched directions.


UPDATE – Immediately after posting this, people began responding they can see the image turning clockwise (right twist), turning towards the right shoulder.

Perhaps it really does work.

If you can, I expect you must be delusional, not right-brained. (Leave a comment below.)

(via Leo Laporte)

cliff divers in Mexico

I’m in Mazatlán, Mexico.

The athletes I’m watching are not nearly so famous, or well paid, as the La Quebrada Cliff Divers in Acapulco. But the landing area here in Mazatlán — from a far lower height — may have less margin for error.

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larger photo – credit McConnell Family

See a professional video of the show on Big Sea Productions.

gymnastics training age 5-9 in China

Coach Michael Sanders alerted me to photos of young children training in China.

As Michael says, they “sure don’t look too happy”.

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Why were these pics chosen for a Reuters slideshow rather than some of the smiling, cute photos they undoubtedly captured the same day?

One of the “themes” of upcoming media coverage of China leading up to the Olympics will be the cruel treatment of young athletes in the supposedly-Godless, supposedly-Communist host country.

On the other hand, my Chinese friends who trained under that system have told me horror stories. The scrutiny of Western media will, I hope, have a positive influence on coaches in China.

… a training session at the gymnastics hall of the Shanghai University of Sports October 10, 2007.

Students of the gymnastics class of Yangpu District Youth Sports School are all aged between 5 to 9.

China’s future Olympic hopefuls train at one of the thousands of provincial sports schools around the country. Even though these athletes might be too young to make the 2008 Beijing Games, they harbour dreams of winning Olympic gold in London 2012 or beyond.

REUTERS/Nir Elias – slideshow

funny – The Onion on quitting Karate

After months of being taught to develop courage, inner strength, and other values of the martial arts, Daniel Finkelstein finally achieved the self-confidence necessary to stand up to his parents and quit taking karate lessons, the area sixth-grader reported Monday.

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Karate classes like these have given 11-year-old Daniel Finkelstein, left, abilities beyond his years to abandon things halfway through.

Finkelstein, 11, who was bullied into beginner’s classes at Dragon Karate and Tae Kwon Do Academy by his father in July, reportedly drew on a number of recently acquired skills, including poise and self-assurance, when confronting his parents about how much he despised karate.

Read the rest of the spoof news postKarate Lessons Give Child Self-Confidence To Quit Karate

There’s a germ of truth in most The Onion humour. The better job we do as coaching training athletes to be independent, the less they need us.

Wang Yan walks out of hospital

Great news as reported by Blythe from the Gymblog:

(Wang Yan) … walked out of Shanghai No. 6 People’s Hospital using her own two feet, The Shanghai Daily reported yesterday.

Wang was reportedly paralyzed after suffering fractures and dislocation of the second and third vertebrae after falling on her uneven bars dismount at the Chinese National Championships June 10 in Shanghai.

read more … Wang Yan walks again « WordPress Gymblog

With the high profile of gymnastics in China prior to the Olympics, Wang Yan’s accident has been very much in the news there.

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Beating paralysis, girl walks out of hospital
– Shanghai Daily