video – Woodward East camp highlights

If you’ve never been to the original, famed Woodward East, this (slightly dated) video will give you a good overview. Gymnastics, Cheer, BMX Inline, Skateboard, Snowboard, and more.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Woodward East – official website

Related post: Woodward East offers summer snowboarding

European Gymnastics Championships in France

Some commentary from difficulty plus execution lists top athletes who will sadly miss this meet.

I still worry this code will injure many of the best girls in the world, all trying to increase difficulty scores in time for the Olympics.


Clermont 2008 – official website

Not much on the official website as yet, but there are landing pages in French and English.


A question just struck me. Is the “difficulty plus execution” blog a takeoff of the “perfect 10” blog? … Nope. This is just a coincidence.

handstand … or falling off a cliff

On the Spanish Canary Islands off Africa.

sculpture located at Park Doramas the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

original – flickr – Marshall Flickman

When I first saw the photo, I thought it was a handstand. My limited Spanish seems to indicate it’s a guy falling, or jumping, off a cliff.

UPDATE: Check the comments. The photographer clarifies the historical story behind the sculpture.

NBC online video – lousy user experience

I had a few good words to say yesterday about NBC.

Let’s see how their embedded video works on this blog. …

NOPE. No embedding allowed.

At least I can watch their excellent content on


(some play, some don’t)

Try it from your “region” — NBCsports Gymnastics – click VIDEO

Right. NBC wants me to go back to YouTube.

Will do.

The only thing worse than a dinosaur corporation that doesn’t “get” the internet, is a dinosaur corporation that “half gets” the internet. They tease us into thinking their site will be useful.

World Cup Gymnastics in Slovenia

Slovenia is hosting 2 World Cup meets in April: Rhythmic and Artistic.

One of the prettier landing pages I’ve seen for a competition.


Check it out – home page

Of course that’s the home of Aljaz Pegan, the horizontal bar legend who’s friends have lobbied hard to gain for him a Beijing Olympics Wildcard spot.

They will not be happy there tonight as Pegan was not chosen.

AmeriKids Gymnastics

I know nothing at all about the AmeriKids program in the USA nor Mike Stanner, National Chairman.

The website states:

AmeriKids now has registered 21,700+ athletes and over 90 clubs from 25 different states.


Looks like one of the major reasons to join is a savings on insurance cost.

The organization hosts their own National Gymnastics Championship on June 13-15, 2008 at VETs auditorium in Des Moines Iowa.

Leave a comment if you have experience with the program. More choices for participants is a good thing, so long as the alternative is safe and well managed.

Olympic wild card gymnastics berths announced

As reported by International Gymnast:

The final remaining berths for the 2008 Olympic Games have been awarded to a female from Vietnam and a male from Yemen.

Vietnam’s Thuong Di Thi Ngan and Yemen’s Nashwan Al-Hazari are the reported recipients of the Wild Card berths selected by a tripartite commission.

The commission consists of the International Olympic Committee, the International Gymnastics Federation and the Association of National Olympic Committees. Geographic representation at the Olympics is one of the factors for designating Wild Card berths.

Thuong, 19, finished 110th at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart. She competed three events at the 2007 World Cup in Ghent, Belgium.

Al-Harazi competed five events at the 2007 Worlds, finishing 176th in preliminaries. …


Congratulations to both. Certainly this will be a big boost for gymnastics in their nations and regions.

There are some disappointed athletes today including Aljaz Pegan (Slovenia) and Elsa Garcia (Mexico).

Yuri van Gelder (Netherlands) and Krisztian Berki (Hungary) are two other superstars who will be missed in Beijing.

larger photo of Krisztian Berki – BERKI2.JPG – Gymnastics Australia

As a coach I always told my athletes not to let some committee decide whether or not they would be selected. An “appeal” is always a gamble. The goal must be to qualify automatically.

Regardless of the “wildcard” system used by FIG, someone deserving will be excluded. In 2004 the best athlete excluded was Leszek Blanik (Poland), 2000 Olympic Bronze medallist on Vault. Leszek did qualify for 2008.

Should “wildcard” spots be eliminated?

Should the selection system be revamped?

I don’t know. Leave a comment if you have an opinion.

the hopelessly upbeat Courtney Kupets

Dwight Normile of International Gymnast magazine has a great way with words. Read that title quote and more in this interview:

Georgia junior Courtney Kupets has been through a lot recently, beginning with a torn right Achilles’ tendon March 1 during a home meet against Arkansas. Two days later, at the Athens Orthopedic Surgical Center, Dr. Dan Moye reattached the tendon on the second Kupets sister in as many years. Though the injury finished gymnastics for Ashley Kupets, who was a Georgia senior in 2007, her sister Courtney feels fortunate that she still has another year to compete.

Kupets, the 2002 world champion on uneven bars, had been through this before. She ruptured her other Achilles’ tendon on the same trick during training at the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim, Calif. She made it back in time to win the 2004 U.S. Championships, Olympic Trials and two medals at the 2004 Olympics (team silver, uneven bars bronze).

Now she’s got her sights set on 2009. “That’s what’s keeping me motivated,” she says.

Though she will miss the chance for her third consecutive NCAA titles in the all-around and with her team, Kupets says she would like take on a “new role” as a team leader this April in Athens. That’s when the Gym Dogs will shoot for their fourth NCAA title in a row. Should they succeed, their total will climb to nine and match the record set by Utah. …

Kupets Ready to Rebuild – IG

larger original – flickr – Staff photo by Lauren Carroll. ATHENS Ga. 1/14/06

related posts:

  • another NCAA gymnast ruptures Achilles tendon (Brittani McCullough)
  • recovery from Achilles tendon tear
  • gymnast Daria Joura on strength training

    In gymnastics coaching courses, when talking about the principle of progressive resistance in strength training, we often refer to the legend of Milon of Croton.

    Milon of Croton (late 6th century BC) was the most famous of Greek athletes in Antiquity.

    He was a six time Olympic victor; once for Boys Wrestling in 540 BC at the 60th Olympics, and five time wrestling champion at the 62nd through 66th Olympiads. Milo kept on competing, even well after what would have been considered a normal Olympic Athlete’s prime: by the 67th Olympiad, he would have been over 40 years of age. …

    He was most likely a historical person, as he is mentioned by many classical authors, among them Aristotle, Pausanias, Cicero, Herodotus, Vitruvius, and the author of the Suda, but there are many legendary stories surrounding him. …

    Ancient sources report he would show off his strength by holding his arm out, with fingers outstretched, and no man could even bend his little finger. … Another legend has it that he would train in the off years by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day until the Olympics took place. By the time the events were to take place, he was carrying a four year old cow on his back. …


    It’s a great visual. The “load” gets heavier every day.

    Moscophores, young man carrying sacraficial calf, Acropolis Museum – PBase

    Here’s how Australian gymnastics superstar Daria Joura tells it:


    To get stronger and fitter, a boy once hauled a bull calf onto his back and proceeded to carry the calf up a steep hill. Everyday, the boy returned to the hill with his calf and repeated the process. After some time, the boy was the most desired bachelor in his village – all the girls were impressed by his magnificent strength. He could carry the largest bull in the vicinity on his back. The bull that started as a wee calf needing no more effort to carry than on day one, due to his persistence.

    read the rest of Daria’s blog post – Perth Now

    Her version appeals more to the teenage female athlete. I think Dasha’s is already one of my favourite athlete blogs, along with Kyle Shewfelt.

    She’s soon to compete in the Friendship Classic in Pennsylvania, the start of a 3wk trip to the USA. Good luck!