Chinese head coach on 2008 Olympics


Chinese gymnastic head coach Huang Yubin shrugged off their eight gold triumph in the Arhus world championships on Tuesday, expecting tougher challenge in the 2008 Olympic Games.

“Of course we are very happy to see the result, especially after the Athens waterloo,” … “But our ultimate goal is the Beijing Olympic Games. There is still two years to go and many things could change as what we experienced over the Athens Games,” he said.

The Chinese squad collected a sole men’s pommel horse gold medal in the 2004 Olympics, a heavy blow to domestic pre-game expectation and a team which won five titles in the 2003 world championships in Anaheim.

Huang contributed the success to their correct understanding of the new rules, which was first introduced into a world championships in Arhus.

“I think we enjoy the temporary leading position because we studied the new judging system maybe earlier than the other teams and therefore understand it better.

“But after the championships, they would learn more about the rules and train better. I believe they would catch up soon.” Huang said.

Gym coach Huang expects tougher challenge in 2008

video – circus gymnastics

Michael Sanders put together a cute montage of kids doing circus activities at summer gymnastics camp: juggling, magic, unicycle, and the always dangerous slack rope.

Since we are looking to offer circus gymnastics classes at my club sometime in the future, I was intrigued.

To see Cirque du SMGC click PLAY, or watch the clip on YouTube (where it often seems to stream better).

Now, I am still waiting to see someone muscle-up on to a slack rope from underneath. I believe it impossible. (Could you kip?)

circus – LOVE

images1.jpgThe Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil was not a show that was easy or inexpensive to create. It never would have happened without the personal enthusiasm of George Harrison who unfortunately did not live to see the final production.

It is the hottest ticket in Vegas right now.

When I first heard of the concept, I was sceptical. I feared that the acrobatics might suffer with a focus on music.

I was wrong.

There is a trampoline act (actually 8 trampolines and a phone booth) which will freak out any trampolinist. There is an in-line skating number which will freak out any skater. And I feel the Mr. Kite swing solo is the single most shocking act in Cirque du Soleil. (Criss Angel assumed it was an illusion.)

more photos on

My review: Book tickets to LOVE on-line up to 4 months in advance and plan your next holiday to Las Vegas to see LOVE.

Actually, LOVE is still in creation though it may be finalized soon. It’s hard to imagine any other kind of performance in history anywhere having had so many great visuals.

I had forgotten just how brilliant and innovative the Beatles music had been. And some of the remix versions are far, far superior. LOVE samples 130 songs to create 27 musical pieces. The CD goes on sale in November. In the show, each seat is fitted with three speakers including the headrest.

short videoclips are available on the official LOVE webpage

video – Gymnast TV

There’s something I really like about the unpretentious format of this videocast.

The 10th instalment of Gymnast TV is a feature on the DU Women’s Gymnastics Team.

“University of Denver assistant coach Carl Leland talks about the upcoming season. We also get to know some of the team girls.”

watch the video on Gymnast TV

Paul Hamm vindicated?

2005-06-07-paul-hamm-in.jpgPaul Hamm – Olympic Champion 2004 ***

I’ve questioned his victory as often as anyone.

But Bruno Grandi has come around:

“If I were eating a plate of spaghetti with him, I’d say ‘Paul Hamm is the Olympic champion,'” Bruno Grandi said Tuesday, twirling his hands as though he were spinning pasta with a fork.

That was news to Hamm, who conceded it’s the first time he has heard anything amounting to a rapprochement from Grandi, the federation president who suggested Hamm share his all-around gold medal with a South Korean gymnast after a judging mistake in Athens.

“Wow,” Hamm said when told of the statement in a phone interview. “Oh, no, no. It’s never been spoken about publicly. I really can’t be more pleased with it. It’s amazing he feels that way. I’m shocked.”

Two years ago, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) admitted a scoring error was made in the men’s all-around in Athens but repeatedly said it would not change the results. The error came on South Korean Yang Tae-young’s second-to-last event, and he wound up with the bronze.

The Koreans held up Grandi’s comment that Hamm should share the medal as acknowledgment of a mistake, forcing the American to defend his gold all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Two more judging fiascos in Athens, involving Russian Alexei Nemov’s routine on high bar finals and Canadian Kyle Shewfelt’s vault on the same day, reinforced FIG’s problems. …

“I’m actually really happy,” Hamm said. “I think it’s great. I can’t really be more pleased than actually being vindicated as the Olympic champion by Mr. Grandi.”

Gymnastics chief: Hamm is Olympic champ – AP

Kataklo Athletic Dance Theatre – Italy

Originally uploaded by Kenny Maths.

Another of my shots from the last show I saw at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. This is one of the members of Kataklo (an athletic dance theatre group from Italy, composed of former Olympic gymnasts). This has NOT been rotated from the vertical. He was performing a routine based around a football (or soccer for you folks in The Colonies! 😉 ).

Kataklo website

China tops at Worlds 2006

medals.jpgThe competition has just ended.

First report on the internet …

“A Chinese river of gold medals flows towards Bejing…”

details on

And in a later summary article:

The sleeping giant of gymnastics has come alive at a very interesting time.

China won two more gold medals at the world championships Saturday to close the meet with eight. That’s more than half the 14 golds awarded over nine days in Denmark – a record, and a staggering display of dominance for the upcoming host of the Olympics.

“China will hold the Olympic Games and the Chinese people have a passion for the Games,” said women’s coach Lu Shanzhen, whose team won three of the eight golds. “There has been a great movement to push gymnastics in our country. There are great expectations and hopes.”

… This was a program that suffered through an embarrassing Olympics in Athens, where the men finished fifth and the women seventh. Was that really only two years ago? It didn’t seem like it this week.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised,” Yang said. … I hope we can do this again in 2008.”

China closes out a dominating week at worlds – AP

How did Vanessa Ferrari win Worlds?

… (she) has a very likeable personality and really got the crowd behind her. And at the conclusion of the meet, after learning she had won the gold medal with her all-around total of a 61.025, someone handed her a flag, and she did a victory lap around the arena. It was a picture-perfect moment.

read more on the Inside Gymnastics News, Notes and Quotes from Worlds

photo – Grace Chiu

more photos from Worlds

“I was ready to compete against anyone,” Ferrari said. “I am not afraid of anyone and I knew I could win.”

A Ferrari Takes Gold in World Gymnastics
– AP