mini-muscleman

At just 2ft 9in, Indian muscleman Aditya ‘Romeo’ Dev is the world’s smallest bodybuilder.

Pint-sized Romeo is well-known in his hometown of Phagwara, India …

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Unlike many dwarfs, Romeo is well proportioned, with a head circumference of 15in and a chest measurement of 20in.

Romeo said: “I’ve been training as a bodybuilder for the last two years and by now I think I must be the strongest dwarf in the world.

Welsh View

UltraBalm – Udder Balm for gymnasts

When I coached in Saskatchewan, a rural area, the kids used something called Udder Balm on their hands to speed the healing of rips. “It’s a very good emollient”, I was told.

From the Chicago Style competition:

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It all started out, about 100 years ago, with a product they called UDDER BALM or UDDER CREAM. It was made for Dairy Farmers, to soften and protect their cow’s udders, which became painfully cracked and dry from extreme weather conditions and milking.

Soon after Farmers began using UDDER BALM, they noticed that it not only held the answer to Soft, Smooth Skin for their Cows, but also was softening, protecting and giving relief to their own skin as well. …

Until now, only a limited number of people, through word-of-mouth alone, have actually heard of and/or used UDDER BALM. Those who know and use it swear by it and still probably purchase it through their local veterinarian.

In 2004, Sales R Us. Inc., after hearing about the miraculous results of Udder Balm on animals and farm owners, decided it was time to develop a Premium Blend Udder Balm that would be especially made for PEOPLE!

The result is an exciting new product called ULTRA-BALM.

Ultrabalm.net

George Bush – Olympics a sporting event

I saw the much maligned President on TV.

“I’m going to the Olympics. I view the Olympics as a sporting event.”

On Wednesday, movie director Steven Spielberg resigned as artistic advisor to the Beijing Olympics, citing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, which he linked to China.

Bush said in the interview that what Spielberg did was “up to him”.

“I’m not gonna go and use the Olympics as an opportunity to express my opinions to the Chinese people in a public way,” Bush said, adding that he has “a little different platform” to Spielberg to communicate with Chinese leaders. …

I will go to the Olympics: Bush

It’s not often I agree with George Bush. But in this case, he’s right to go.

Dialogue is better than boycott. I still feel rotten about Olympians forced to boycott Moscow 1980, L.A. 1984 and the other boycotts.

Olympic swimmer Dean Kent from New Zealand just wants to compete:

“I’ve had so many friends who trained all their lives to make it to the Olympics and miss out, and then for people to expect us to be worrying about anything other than enjoying the experience peeves me a bit.

“If they want to protest about it, fine – they can come over and do it. But it seems like people are trying to use athletes and the Olympics as a stage to politicise problems people have in their own countries.”

Olympic swimmer fights back over protestors

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Olympic Blogger

I should add that I respect Spielberg’s decision too. He’s an honourable, intelligent guy who’s doing what he feels is morally right.

good news – Olympians allowed to blog after all

Recall that organizers of the 2007 Pan American Games banned blogging during the event:

To placate TV, athletes and coaches will not be allowed to blog from the Games. No MySpace. No Facebook. No YouTube. No Flickr.

loco – no blogging from Pan Am Games Rio

That stupid decision was so unenforceable that when I later (on Facebook) asked athletes about the regulations, they told me they had never even been informed of the ban.

The International Olympic Committee, by comparison, has taken, for them, a surprisingly enlightened position. Even I can live with these regulations:

GENEVA — Let the blogging begin.

The IOC has given athletes the right to blog at the Beijing Games this summer, a first for the Olympics, as long as they follow the many rules it set to protect copyright agreements, confidential information and security.

Blogging is a “legitimate form of personal expression,” the International Olympic Committee said.

The IOC said blogs by athletes “should take the form of a diary or journal” and should not contain any interviews with other competitors at the games. They also should not write about other athletes.

“It is required that, when accredited persons at the games post any Olympic content, it be confined solely to their own personal Olympic-related experience,” the IOC said.

The debate over blogging has been a difficult one for the IOC, which has been concerned that the online journals might infringe on copyright agreements or release confidential information during the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics.

Bloggers are prevented from posting audio clips or videos of “any Olympic events, including sporting action, opening, closing and medal ceremonies or other activities which occur within any zone which requires an Olympic identity and accreditation card [or ticket] for entry.”

Still pictures are allowed as long as they do not show Olympic events. …

Athletes allowed to blog from Beijing, with restrictions – ESPN

More details after the link.

This will be the best Olympics ever for those of us who like the personal perspective delivered by athletes and coaches themselves.

(via Straight to the Bar)

I wonder what the Chinese organizers think of this decision. China bans many of the popular blogging sites. Olympians may need to email their photos and text out of the country to be uploaded by friends and family.

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Reporters Without Borders

great gymnastics club – Orlando Metro

At the Chicago Style competition it’s difficult to follow 6 competitions running simultaneously. A 6-ring circus!

But on arrival early the first day, the first rotation, one group of kids who caught my eye was Orlando Metro. Clean, good execution, nice presentation. I knew the name as that’s the home gym of my favourite American gymnast, Shayla Worley. (rumour – Worley out of American Cup lineup)

During the rest of the competition I saw dozens of Orlando Metro competitors, ALL good. (How many kids did they bring to Chicago?)

Later I spoke with Meet Director Todd Gardiner. He joked he should stop inviting them as they keep beating his own host team.

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Orlando Metro

The club hosts a College Recruitment Camp, by the way, in August. Gymnasts training Level 9, 10 & Elite can attend and will be seen by at least 25 College recruiters. Details.

Shichahai Sports School in Beijing

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pommel bucket – original photo

More photos from China are linked from it.

Original source article in French – JO 2008 : Shichahai, l’usine à champions – GymaWeb

Google translated article in English – 2008: Shichahai, factory champions

Most often we read about the Chinese Sports schools in relation to severe or abusive sports training of children. But if you want to see for yourself, Shichahai offers spots for foreign athletes and coaches. (I’d love to hear what a foreigner training there thinks of the program.)

Related article: China’s Olympic hopefuls go for gold – BBC

Related post: focus on Chinese sport system

U of Rhode Island drops Gymnastics for Lacrosse

Justin Slife on Chalk Bucket posted the plea from a gymnast on the team, Bridget Hild:

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… Thorr Bjorn began the meeting by stating that, “there is no easy way to say this, so I will just say it. The university has decided to discontinue women’s gymnastics and replace it with Women’s Lacrosse.”

Leaving us stunned and upset he tried to explain that it was because we were not a part of the Atlantic Ten Division. Seeing as football is a part of CCA we thought that this was not a justified reason.

He then told us that it was a Title IX issue and that the Lacrosse team would add eight more roster spots for compliance. The final explanation was that the sport of gymnastics is dwindling. After about 10 minutes the meeting came to an abrupt ending and the administrators left the conference room. They left a team of twenty girls and two coaches devastated, angry, and confused with many unanswered questions.

read the rest of Bridget’s letter that include a list of people to email – Chalk Bucket

Rhode Island is choosing to drop a high profile sport for an up-and-coming sport. Sitting here, it’s hard to know the real reasons for that kind of choice.

Check this CBS news story for more detail on the University’s decision.

I do feel terribly badly for the gymnasts and their coaches.

Rhode Island Women’s Gymnastics – official website

PS

I want to write about a University planning to ADD an NCAA Gymnastics Team? Perhaps a Canadian University.

gymnasts fighting Breast Cancer

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GymGemz has a super important post online right now. An overview of the impressive work being done in the NCAA:

… if you have been following the NCAA women’s collegiate gymnastics season so far, you are doubtlessly aware of the rising popularity of breast cancer awareness ‘Pink Meets’ all across the country. Just a partial sampling of teams who have had, or are planning to have, such a meet includes: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Iowa State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah.

The University of Alabama and the University of Missouri can both lay claim to kicking off this trend. Each school held Pink Meets way back during the 2005 season. This past Friday night, at Alabama’s fourth annual Pink Meet, head coach Sarah Patterson helped present a check for $265,000.00 to Tuscaloosa’s Druid City Hospital Foundation for the Alabama Gymnastics DCH Breast Cancer Fund – for a total of over $600,000.00 in donations to the fund in the first four years.

Former University of Georgia gymnast and current Iowa Hawkeyes assistant coach, Talya Vexler, was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after her career as a gymnast with the ‘Dogs. Her experience with and recovery from the disease have prompted Georgia head coach Suzanne Yoculan and the Georgia athletics administration to set up a fund for the Athens Regional Medical Center’s Breast Health Center. To date they have raised more than $100,000.00 towards the cause. …

GymGemz

GymGemz on that post has links to specific fund-raisers at participating schools. As always, that site is the best source of information on NCAA Women’s Gymnastics.

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Happy Valentine’s Day GymGemz!