new Olympic sports – BMX 2008, skateboarding in 2012

The trend towards so-called extreme sports continues.

At Woodward West Camp, Mike Jacki told me he was very optimistic that skateboard will be added for the 2012 Olympics. The announcement should come October 2007. If anybody knows, it’s Mike Jacki.

BMX is already in for Beijing 2008. (For 2012 BMX Vert may be added in the same venue as Skateboard. And possibly other BMX events.)

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Skateboarding is almost certain to make its Olympic debut at the London Games.

Leaders of the Olympic movement are determined to help the sport qualify for the 2012 event in an attempt to broaden the Games’ appeal to younger people.

The chances of skateboarding being included in the Games roster were boosted by the successful introduction of another “youth” sport. Snowboarding made its debut at last year’s Winter Olympics in Turin and provided some of the Games’ most memorable moments and, crucially for the IOC, attracted encouraging TV ratings among 20- to 35-year-olds.

The drive towards a younger audience will continue at the Beijing Games next year with the debut of BMX biking.

This was introduced to the Games by the International Cycling Union, which is on the verge of adopting skateboarding as it is a “wheelbased”-sport. …

Its popularity has grown rapidly and there are now around 13 million devotees worldwide, including 600,000 in Britain. The US continues to dominate the sport and the UK lags behind France and Scandinavian countries, where skateboarding forms part of the school curriculum. …

Skateboarding would be the envy of numerous other sports vying for Olympics status, which can provide a huge boost to grassroots participation and revenues.

Two years ago, rugby and golf both failed in their attempts to become part of the 2012 event. At the same time, the IOC cut baseball and softball from the roster.

The event most likely to be included in London is vert skating, which originated when skateboarders used disused swimming pools. Participants are awarded points for tricks and style.

Skateboarding to make Olympic debut in 2012 | News | This is London

Though Olympic skateboarding looks like a sure thing, the biggest roadblock left are those in skateboarding who feel Olympic inclusion will ruin the sport.

Buzzy Sullivan, Woodward Skate Director, had mixed feelings. He took up skateboard when it was an activity for “outsiders” who did not want to do tradtional competitive sports. Yet finds in 2007 that skateboard is already an accepted mainstream activity. In fact, where he lives, the greatest growth in the sport has come from girls taking up skateboard.

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Mark J. Terrill / AP file

Shaun White catches air during skateboard vert practice for X Games Twelve. White is an Olympic medalist in snowboarding and could double up in Olympics if skateboarding is added to the Games.

Rad! Skateboarding could be an Olympic sport

video – cheerleaders do NOT wave pom-poms

Last week at the Mountain Shadows Gymnastics Camp in Alberta we introduced cheer as an extracurricular activity for the first time.

As usual, the Artistic Gymnasts were NOT enthusiastic at the start.

There is some kind of historical bias against cheer in Artistic. Perhaps because the pom-pom wavers of old worried more about their make-up than about acrobatics.

As it turned out, the Artistic girls really enjoyed Cheer. And they were very good at it.

Cheer is cool. But it’s still not getting the respect and recognition it deserves.

Maddie chose this video over many others available on YouTube to show what’s happening with Cheer in 2007.

This is Top Gun from Miami, Florida — World Champions 2007 in Large Coed.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

This routine is tumbling intensive. Be aware that the maximum difficulty allowed is one somersault with double twist.

Top Gun – official website

PreschoolGymnastics.org – new Forum

Preschool coaches and program directors will want to know about PreschoolGymnastics.org, a brand new resource.

It looks great. And will likely be very popular as preschool coaches are underserved on the internet right now.

You can browse the site for free but membership (free) is required to post. Unlike the other forums I check regularly, there’s no RSS feed.

UPDATE: The RSS feed is up-and-running available here.

… a free online resource for gymnastics coaches all over to come and share ideas and to improve and learn new techniques, and to improve their skills with children.

… The more content there is available on this website, the more help it will be everyone. By spreading the word to your fellow coaches and friends, you can help the website grow and it will get bigger and better.

PreschoolGymnastics.org – FAQ: About PreschoolGymnastics.org

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preschoolgymnastics.org – home page

We’ve added a link under Recreation Gymnastics on our right hand navigation column.

Kiara Nowlin – cheer tumbling prodigy

A highlight of Woodward West Camp this summer is an amazing 11-year-old.

Her name is Kiara Nowlin. She has been competing in power tumbling, trampoline, double mini, and cheer since she was 4.

Check out what this girl can do wearing running shoes on a cheer floor.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Kiara Nowlin – official website

Kiera is a great example of just how quickly competitive cheer is improving. Everywhere I go I find cheer competitors doing things beyond the capability of artistic gymnasts.

double leg circles – pommel horse

Another impressive, detailed tutorial from Beast Skills.

Never dissuaded from the most difficult, this time James Bathurst tackles the DLC on pommel mushroom.

Despite not being a gymnastics coach, the overview is surprisingly good. I wish more of our own coaches would put together material like this. Thanks James!

it’s a skill that takes a short time to learn, but a lifetime to master.

Circles – Beast Skills

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Ivankov

More of our posts on Beast Skills.

Cirque du Soleil in New York – Wintuk

Montreal-based casting agent Magdale Coleno filled me in on details on the new seasonal show starting this Christmas. It sounds fantastic.

Athletes from some of the extreme acrobatic sports are being cast. They start training and rehearsing this summer.

Come Winter, Cirque du Soleil and Madison Square Garden Will Stage Wintuk in NYC …

Wintuk is the unusual name of the new fantastical Cirque du Soleil holiday entertainment that will make its home at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in late 2007. …

The winter-themed, acrobat-filled, spectacle-infused world premiere will run Nov. 1, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008, with annual return visits planned. …

A cast of 50 performers “weaves thrilling circus arts, breathtaking theatrical effects and memorable songs into a meaningful seasonal story that resonates with the whole family.”

Playbill News: Come Winter, Cirque du Soleil and Madison Square Garden Will Stage Wintuk in NYC

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Wintuk – official website

Chinese gymnastics are the best

Charlie Tamayo at Woodward West Gymnastics Camp said over lunch yesterday that the Chinese are still doing the best gymnastics in the World. He has confidence they will be the most dominant nation at the Olympics in Beijing.

He specifically pointed to Cheng Fei as unbeatable on Vault.

I had to agree.

The only question is whether they can handle the pressure of competing in front of the home audience. The showdown between China and the USA in Women’s Artistic is the one I am looking forward to most.

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Eight year old Zhang Yu works on the pummel horse at a sports school to train gymnasts in Beijing.

Zhang Yu – 8 on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

This is one of the awesome Chinese gymnastics photos posted by Natalie Behring.

Alise Post – Gymnast, BMX Racer

Here at Woodward West in California I’m spending half my time in the awesome gymnastics facility, half the time studying Action Sports (skating, skateboard, cycling).

This article caught my eye:

lg.jpegAt the young age of 16, Alise Post is already an accomplished gymnast as well as a professional BMX rider. She is spending her time this summer split between the track and the gym.

Post started riding in BMX races when she was just 6 years old.

“It’s really an addicting sport. Once you start, you don’t want to stop,” she said. “My brother actually got me involved with it. He started and he wanted me to not be a little wussy girl.”

Ten years down the road, and she’s now considered one of the top professional riders in her sport.

“I still don’t really realize it, that I’m a pro at something, because I’ve always just done it for fun and that’s just what it it. I just do it because I love it,” she said.

Post turned pro last year and was named “rookie of the year” by the American Bicycle Association. Because there really is no off-season in BMX racing, she’s on the road competing a couple of weekends a month nearly year round.

“I think that’s part of the reason I like doing it so much, to tell you the truth,” she said. “I get to travel all over and meet people all over the world.”

Post’s sports world isn’t confined to just the track — she’s also a standout in the gym. As a sophomore this spring she repeated as Minnesota’s gymnastics Double A vault champion.

Post placed fourth in the all-round competition, helping her St. Cloud Tech team to a second-place team finish. She said the state experience was phenomenal.

“It seriously feels like you’re in the Olympics. It feels so cool because in the auditorium that we competed in, you’re down on the ground, everyone’s raised up above you, there’s tons of people there,” she said. “Everything about it just feels so professional.”

The two sports feed off one another, according to one of her assistant gymnastics coaches.

“Her BMX is an asset to her gymnastics,” said Colleen Stark-Hawes, assistant gymnastics coach at St. Cloud Tech. “She has such incredible air sense. She’s almost like a cat, where she really understands air and how to land. And so, if anything, we hope that her gymnastics doesn’t injure her for BMX.”

Back on her home track at Pineview Park in St. Cloud, Post knows eventually she’ll have to pick between her favorite sports, and it won’t be easy.

“I love them all at the same level,” she said, before admitting, “I think racing will take me the furthest.”

wcco.com – 16-Year-Old An Accomplished Gymnast, BMX Racer

(via Gym Chat)

swinging rings – Muscle Beach, California

Only once did I get to the Santa Monica Gymfest in California.

But I was lucky enough that year to see two quadruple backward somersaults off swinging rings. The gymnast landed only on sand — but a dozen or so burly beach acrobats tried to slow him down by “catching him”.

Hard to believe?

Don from Woodward West Gym Camp posted the evidence.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

More amazing stories of Muscle Beach, California.