Nelly Furtado named after Nellie Kim


The Portuguese-Canadian hip-hop star Nelly Furtado was named after the fantastic Soviet gymnast Nellie Kim. (Nellie Vladimirovna Kim)

The same Nellie Kim that is currently President of the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee of FIG.

Nelli_Kim.jpgI remember her better as the one somewhat unfairly overshadowed by Nadia in 1976. Nellie Kim competed Tsukahara with 1/1 twist (Nadia did pike Tsuk) and double back on Floor (Nadia did 2/1 twist). Both those skills were Olympic firsts.

I have not seen the Autobiography of Nellie Kim (86 pages), but it is for sale and available in English. Two additional books are available but only in Russian.

Yes, Nellie Kim. She won a load of gold medals at the Olympics in 1976 and I was born in 1978. My mom thought the name sounded cool, so I am Nelly Kim Furtado.

interview with Nelly Furtado


CrossFit Kids

Every day in my feed reader, I get a post from CrossFit Kids.

We’ve blogged about the excellent CrossFit program before. It’s an exercise regime for adults using body weight resistance like gymnastics. They may be in a gymnastics gym — or in the workplace inventing alternative exercises with what they have at hand.

All good.

My first reaction was that kids should be taking regular gymnastics class for the first few years. Then moving into CrossFit and whatever other sports / fitness activities they want to do as an adult.

On the other hand, if Mom or Dad is doing CrossFit — why not have the kids join in?

Decide for yourself. Check CrossFit Kids.


“I don’t want to go to gymnastics”

Consider the plight of a gymnastics Mom with a 3-year-old who does not want to go to a structured class.

So last week was the start of a new gymnastics session. Jacob didn’t want to go when he woke up in the morning. I told him we had to at least go and say hi, which is the line I use for everything. By the time we get there and he sees all that’s happening, he’ll most likely forget that he didn’t want to go. But here is the catch: If he decides he still wants to leave, I have to follow through. Maybe we’ll compromise and stay just long enough to get something out of it, but if I told him that we can leave, then I can’t turn that promise into a lie. This is a big part of my ‘mutual repsect’ philosophy.

Jacob didn’t want to stay. We hadn’t paid yet, so what was I going to do, force him to stay and watch while the money went down the toilet? At 3 years-old I don’t think I need to worry that I’m teaching him to be a quitter. We simply went in and told them we wouldn’t be coming back for this session. I told Beth that we would try again in January. That’s what I plan to do.

Murphy’s Law: Gymnastics Drop-Out

photo – Arial at drop-in preschool

A pretty common problem.

Some 3-year-olds, especially girls, love to go to a class with a teacher. Love to “follow the leader”.

But many, perhaps most children, do not.

For the past 10-years I’ve been advocating “drop-in preschool” for those kids. Come when you want, supervise your own child, pay only for the gym time you use.

I find parents are terrifically appreciative of this option. It was by far our most popular preschool class for parents and coaches at Taiso Gymnastics, Saskatoon. More popular than “parent and tot”.

We paid one or two “supervisors”, but no coaches. (Check with your insurance company first, of course, if you want to do this.)

I feel there is no need to go into a completely structured class until the kids start school.

new – trampoline “throw mat”

The best spotting on tramp is not a belt, not hand spotting … it’s a throw mat thrown by a skilled coach.

Brett MacAuley, long time Trampoline and Tumbling Head Coach at Calgary Gymnastics Centre, really likes the new throw mat developed by Dave Ross.

“… extra strong fabric covers which have no seams in any wear areas. New more comfortable handles.”

Rebound Products – What’s New


Throw mats these days are a lot thicker than we used back in the 1970s when I counted on them to save my life.

tumbling – triple and quadruple twist

Bill Sands and collaborators did a study for Ron Brant, Men’s Senior National Team Director for USA Gymnastics, at the Colorado Olympic Training Center.

They analyzed (now National Champion) Alex Artemev who had already done quadruple twist on floor. As it is for Nastia Liukin, this is an important target skill for Artemev.

The research did not come up with any need-to-know conclusions. But the simultaneous video / computer model analysis tool is certainly cool. See for yourself: The Triple- and Quadruple-Twist:: A Case Study

Here is a screen shot to give you an idea how it looks:


website – gymnastics, weightlifting & fitness club

Readers of this blog know adults can gain fitness much more quickly in a gymnastics gym than in a weight room. The neuromuscular advantages of using body weight (rather than steel plates and pulleys) for strength gain are self-evident.

I was never much of a competitive gymnast myself. But I can surprise you at Adult Recreation. “Look what that old guy can still do.”

The adult program at my club (mostly gymnastics, tramp, Capoera) has been running for decades. But we finally have our own website, hosted and edited by your’s truly. Check it out.

Using gymnastics as a base, our club offers strength, power and flexibility improvement training in an adult social environment. Our members are age-16 and older.

Under the supervision of certified gymnastics coaches, you decide your own training regime. Our facility has gymnastics equipment not available in the weight room. You use your own body weight as resistance.

Altadore weightlifting & fitness club