competition AIR FLOOR for tumbling is here

Dan Kendig, Head Coach of Nebraska, was just talking to me about his concept of inserting air floor sections under the diagonals of a competition gymnastics floor.

Now I hear that Doug Davis of TumblTrak has already made ENTIRE floors with an air floor base:

2004, Tumbl Trak introduced a revolutionary product called the Air Floor. In the last 4 years, the Air Floor has become widely popular for tumbling and cheerleading. If you are unfamiliar with the product, an Air Floor is a 3-inch thick, semi-sealed, inflatable mat that uses “air-cushioned” technology instead of spring technology to create rebound or bounce. …

A frequent comment heard since the first Air Floors were introduced is, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a whole floor of this!” In response, Tumbl Trak has developed, over the last three years, 6-foot wide Air Floor strips that can be connected side-by-side, creating the Air Cheer Floor that is either 42’x42’ or 54’x42’ depending on how many strips are used. This development has been motivated, in large part, by the cheer industry. …

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In March of 2007, the Air Cheer Floor was well received when used as a practice floor at the European Cheer Nationals in Denmark. In December of 2007, the Air Cheer Floor was used as the competition floor at the Flygirl meet in Toronto, Canada. And finally, in January of 2008, PAC West Spirit Group’s Apple Cup in Tacoma, WA became the first USASF sanctioned cheer meet to use the Air Cheer Floor.

Kiki Bittner, General Manager of the PAC West Spirit Group, commented on how well the Air Cheer Floor performed during the competition noting that it does not resonate like the spring floor, providing a more stable and consistent surface on which to stunt. Pleased with the Air Cheer Floor, PAC West Spirit Group plans to use it for their Lilac City Competition in Spokane, WA as well as for their National Competition in Portland, OR in March 2008.

… If you have any questions about this product, do not hesitate to call us here at Tumbl Trak (800-331-4362).

TumblTrak February 2008 email newsletter

Product details are not yet on the TumblTrak website.

Who’s going to be first to set up an Air Cheer Floor for use at an invitational Artistic Gymnastics competition? I want to be there.

Nebraska NCAA gymnastics

The Nebraska Husker’s Mabel Lee Hall training gym is a classic.

Reminiscent of European gyms of the past. It’s small and I like that everyone is close together in the gym at all times. This leads to a much better atmosphere than the huge, impersonal “modern” facilities.

With elevated pits, it’s crammed with every possible training set-up. Belts, bungie systems, tramp catcher, air floor, etc.

Head Coach Dan Kendig is a fan of specialized training equipment.

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Thanks to Dan, the coaching staff and the team for making me feel at home during my visit.

Nebraska Women’s Gymnastics

muzzling Olympic athletes in Beijing

You’ll be seeing this image again during the Olympics:

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… one of England’s darkest moments in the sport.

The venue: Berlin’s Olympic Stadium; the date: 14 May 1938. As the English players lined up alongside their German counterparts for pre-match ceremonies captain Eddie Hapgood and his men issued a Nazi salute to the crowd. …

It was a Foreign Office order that the England team, which included the legendary Stanley Matthews, perform the salute.

BBC

The British Olympic Association (BOA) is back peddling on the addition of “a controversial clause into their athletes’ contracts preventing them from criticizing the Chinese government while participating in the ’08 Beijing Games”:

The clause states only that athletes “are not to comment on any politically sensitive issues,” which would include China’s dismal human rights record and its occupation of Tibet. The move has been widely condemned as an infringement on the athletes’ rights of free speech.

Those who do not sign the contract will not be permitted to travel to the Olympics, and those that violate it while in China will be sent home, according to the BOA.

It’s inevitable that the world will be scrutinizing all aspects of the totalitarian dictatorship over the coming months. No manner of whitewash is going to prevent it.

The BOA should be ashamed.

This blog will happily link to criticism of China voiced by Olympic athletes. That nation has made fantastic progress. But the faster they move to transparency and accountability, the rule of law, and a truly open free market, the better.

The Olympics is the best chance the world has to influence decision-making in China.

Related: Shameful picture of England squad giving Nazi salute still haunts British sport. Why, 70 years later, do we still suck up to dictators?

Update: New Zealand and Belgium athletes facing the same controversy

NCAA gymnastics tatoos

It a big statement when a girl puts a (temporary) tattoo on her face.

They’ve become common in NCAA competition. Last night I saw a 6-year-old girl wear a Nebraska tattoo into the gym. Makes me wonder if they, one day, might become fashionable in age group competition.

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original – flickr – UNC Gymnastics team member Christine Nguyen

North Carolina sophomore Christine Nguyen was named the EAGL Gymnast of the Week for her performance against EAGL rival NC State. Nguyen won the all-around competition (39.375) and placed first on all four events against the Wolfpack. She scored a 9.850 on vault, beam and floor and a 9.825 on bars. This is the second week in a row that Nguyen picks up the honor.

Carolina Gymnastics

Leave a comment if you have an opinion pro or con on tattoos.

new website – 4gymnasts.com

Launched February 2, 2008 this site is huge already.

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I’d call it a portal. Not a great deal of original content, but with thousands of links to athlete bios, news stories, TV listings, clubs, College teams, etc.

The videos page links to hundreds of organized clips.

Their recommended gymnastics websites list is quite good.

Thanks to Moe Schober who edits the site. I’ll be checking in often. (Though not nearly as often as if it had an RSS feed.)

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We’ve added a link to 4gymnasts in our right hand navigation under Gymnastics.

gymnast Blaine Wilson back on National Team

A comeback at age-33 sounded improbable. But Blaine has done it.

I could see him being selected for Beijing too if he keeps improving.

Five-time national champion Blaine Wilson earned a spot on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team Tuesday, and will receive funding for three months as he trains in an attempt to make his fourth Olympics.

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Yewki Tomita, David Sender and Justin Spring also were awarded three of the final 15 spots on the team, which were filled out over the weekend at the Winter Cup Challenge.

details – Associated Press