Altadore Gymnastics Club – new blog

Like so many other clubs, Altadore has added a blog to their website.

There they post recent photos, news and other timely happenings.

I subscribed to the RSS feed. This way I will be notified by my feed reader whenever they post something new on the blog.

Right now they have photos from the annual Christmas party.


everyone loves Kate Richardson

richardson_bio.jpgOne of my favourite gymnasts of all time wins another award.

Kate is one of the top 8 student athletes of the year in the NCAA.


It rewards athletics success, academic achievement and community service.

Richardson, from Coquitlam, BC, ended her UCLA career in April of 2006 as a three-time NCAA individual and two-time NCAA team champion and a 13-time All-American.

… Richardson excelled in 2004 as well, helping the Bruins win the NCAA title and then being selected to the Canadian Olympic team (her second Olympiad) less than two months later. At the Olympic Games, Richardson became just the second female gymnast ever to compete at the Olympics as a collegiate athlete and the first Canadian woman to qualify for the event finals at a fully-attended Olympics. She placed seventh on the floor exercise.

Richardson was equally successful in the classroom as well. The psychobiology major was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team three times (2004-06), the NACGC/W Scholastic All-America team four times and the Pac-10 All-Academic squad three times. She was awarded a NCAA post-graduate scholarship and the Pac-10 Conference Medal.

In addition to her athletic and academic accolades, Richardson, a Bruin team captain in 2005-06, has been involved with the Bruin Athletic Council and the Bruin Pen Pal and I’m Going to College programs. She has also volunteered her time with Habitat for Humanity, the LA Covenant House, and the Vancouver Spinal Cord Research Center.

UCLA’s Kate Richardson Named NCAA Today’s Top VIII Recipient :: Bruin gymnast one of the nation’s top eight student-athletes in 2007.</a

The best profile is on – Kate Richardson


are drugs a problem in gymnastics?

One of the great things about the Olympic gymnastics sports is the very low percentage of athletes who have been caught doping?

Rhythmics is most suspect.

But what has happened with Vysotskaya? An Artistic gymnast.

Was this an accident?

Leave a comment below if you have any more information.

Belarussian gymnast Nadezhda Vysotskaya tested positive for the banned substance furosemide at the Ghent World Cup in May, the FIG announced today. Furosemide is a potent diuretic that is included on the World Anti Doping Agency’s Prohibited List since it can be used as a masking agent for other banned substances. The incident is not the first in gymnastics to involve furosemide.

Russian rhythmic gymnasts Alina Kabayeva and Irina Chashchina were tested positibve for furosemide at the 2001 Goodwill Games and suspended for a year as well as stripped of their 2001 World Championships medals.

Vysotskaya was a member of the team that placed 14th at the 2006 European Championships in Volos, Greece. She placed eleventh on vault and floor and 14th on balance beam at the Ghent World Cup. The case has been transmitted to the FIG Disciplinary Commission.

Backflip Gymnastics News – Vysotskaya Testes Positive for Diuretic


photo – World Gym Art

biomechanics of swing

Those interested in the what computer models can tell us about the mechanics of swing should check out Swinging in Gymnastics, by David Kerwin.

Kerwin arrived at no strong conclusion. There are pros and cons for using different techniques of giant swing.

My general rule is that a “stretched” giant is better for simple turns (blind change, “whip change” to el-grip) and that a more “scooped” giant is better for everything else.

I feel male gymnasts over-use the scooped technique, female gymnast under-use it.


from Swinging in Gymnastics – coaches’ infoservice

dancers – Young Canadians

The Young Canadians are a performing arts company out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show is the focus of their training year.

Singers and dancers are auditioned, mainly, and scholarships are available to those selected.

For decades they have trained (wisely) at gymnastics clubs. For decades gymnasts have been critical of their level of fitness.

That was then.

The Young Canadians are now athletes. Flexible, strong, fit. Many can do good aerial walkovers, for example. I was very impressed with the improved conditioning. Congratulations to the coaches for raising the standard so significantly.

training at Altadore Gymnastics

Young Canadians
– official website

I need a well-padded “trench pit”

The things I like best about the fantastic gym at Woodward West are their padded trench pits for bars.

Yes, “pits”.

They have two. One for men, one for women.

For spotting blind change, a trench pit is particularly useful. Y(ou can step across while the gymnast turns.)

Almost any same bar skill is better learned in a trench pit. I’m convinced that the elite coach there Don Eckert can teach anyone Tkachev on this set-up.

Woodward West, California

Ohio trampoline director speaks out

It gives the Olympic sport of trampoline a bad reputation, said Steve Anderson, Ohio State director of tumbling and trampoline.

“Backyard trampolines are unpredictable and dangerous; they were never meant to be anything but exercise trampolines,” says Anderson …

Trampoline is performed and judged similarly to gymnastics, with athletes required to perform certain skill sets, for which they are judged on a scale of 1 to 10. And for athletes, it requires much less time in the gym than gymnastics.

“Our belief is that it’s up and coming,” Anderson said of the sport. “I believe it will be the wave of the future, because parents are busy and it requires much less time. Tumbling and trampoline gives athletes the high-end competition without that huge time commitment.”

Now if only the sport could get rid of its dangerous backyard nemesis, more parents would see it as a viable athletic option for their kids.

“I hate backyard trampolines and want them pulled off the market,” said Huff. “Trampoline is a very safe sport when it’s trained in a controlled environment with a coach. The majority of trampoline injuries are from the backyard, and it just gives the entire sport a bad name.”

The Enquirer – Trampoline gets a bounce

Not sure of the statistics, but I do agree with his assertion that kids should not be doing trampoline unsupervised.

photo – Rob Alder – flickr

cheerleading IS now a sport – absolutely

Cheer does not get the respect it deserves. Especially from the Artistic gymnastics community.

Have you seen Cheer teams lately?

They are getting good. Technique is improving. Fitness way up.

A series of articles featuring the West Side Starz from Pennsylvania was published by reporter / Mom Terrie Morgan-Besecker in the Times Leader.

Is Cheerleading Now a Sport? Hard physical stunts and competitions make some say it merits that status.

LARKSVILLE – For decades cheerleaders were viewed as pompom-waving cuties whose job was to strut along the sidelines, rousing up fan support for sports teams.

The squads, which were almost always all-female, might throw in some dance moves and maybe lift a teammate into the air. But for the most part, the routines didn’t require a lot of skill.

That was then.

Today many high school, junior high and even mini-football cheer teams have ventured into competitive cheerleading with routines that include high-level acrobatics. Tired of being the Rodney Dangerfields of the sports world who “don’t get no respect,” some cheerleaders and coaches have been clamoring to get the activity recognized as a school sport.

“They’re not just pretty girls in skirts on the sidelines anymore,” said Amy Fry, one of the head coaches of the West Side Starz, an all-star cheerleading team based in Larksville. “If they’re doing the physical end – tossing girls, lifting girls and taking the bumps and bruises – it should be considered a sport.”

Times Leader | 12/19/2006 | Is cheerleading now a sport?

In the end, the only opinion that matters is that of the athletes. Hear the girls speak for themselves: Meet the West Side Starz (audio)


More articles:

  • On a quest for perfection. Competitions before the qualifier for Disney stressful and problematic for team.
  • Do-or-die time
  • As girls and athletes, these 30 cheerleaders touched my heart
  • With more difficult cheer stunts come more injuries