Coaches and Judges Congress – Portland, Oregon

Multnomah Athletic Club, Portland, Or. October 13 – 15, 2006

r2rlogo.jpgSadly, I’m going to miss the Pacific Northwest Congress this year. It was excellent in 2005 featuring Canadian Olympic Coach Tony Smith and many, many great presenters.

If you can make it to Portland, I highly recommend you go. Dave Adlard is on the organizing committee so you know it will be well done.

More information on Congress 2006 on the Funtastics website.

corporate sponsorship of gymnastics

Around the world many are envious of the corporate sponsorships enjoyed by Gymnastics USA. Before 1984 the organization was badly funded. But in 2006 the financial future looks bright.

Chevron will provide direct financial support to members of the Men’s National Team as it prepares for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The program has been expanded to provide event sponsorship rights and support to the Women’s National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. …

All six members of the 2004 Men’s U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team, which won the silver medal in Athens, were Team Chevron athletes.

Chevron, a USA Gymnastics sponsor since 1998, has extended its sponsorship of USA Gymnastics through 2008.

If you want these companies to continue choosing gymnastics over many, many other causes, support Visa, T.J. Maxx, Adidas, GK/Elite Sportswear and 24 Hour Fitness and the other major sponsors of USA Gymnastics.

video – North Korean “Mass Games”

There’s no doubt the most spectacular large gymnastics displays are in North Korea.

Canadian coach David Burgess visited years ago and became something of a foreign celebrity there. He was several times interviewed on Korean TV.

Dave brought back photos from the “Mass Games” from that trip and we were blown away by the scale of the shows.

Click PLAY or watch the clip on YouTube.

These spectacles are criticized as totalitarian government propaganda. But a British Film crew was allowed unrestricted access to film A State of Mind, a documentary following two North Korean child gymnasts and their families for over eight months leading up to the 2003 Pyongyang Mass Games.

The movie paints a much more sympathetic picture of one of the Axis of Evil nations.

Watch the movie trailer on YouTube.

Acrobatic Sports – website

I love Sport Acrobatics but had not seen any since it was a demonstration sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

I finally saw a competition in North America: the USA Championships. Unfortunately there are very few clubs on this side of the Atlantic.

Sports Acrobatics is currently judged in five categories:

* Men’s
* Women’s
* Mixed pairs
* Women’s triples
* Men’s quadruples

Not surprisingly, after gymnasts, Cirque du Soleil hires more Sport Acrobatics athletes than any other discipline. Their acts are mind boggling.

acrobatic-sports.jpg is an impressive website I had not seen before.

European based — as is Sport Acrobatics — nonetheless the site is in English making it internationally accessible. Perhaps we can promote this excellent sport more widely.

I’d love to start a training group at my gym.

The site includes extensive trampoline and tumbling content, as well.

Thanks George for alerting me.

trampoline videos

George Novak has long been a collector of acrobatic sports videos.

He found an assortment of “Bonus” clips on

These are oddball bits in different file formats from different sources. Not all are likely to play on any one computer.

Check Jason Burnett’s 18.5 pt. routine in training and other amazing feats.

video – Hollie Vise – gymnast

An interesting trend are the increasing number of athlete highlight video clips on the internet.

The best are action sports: skateboard, rollerskating, free running, cycling, etc. Some of those are at the level of professional documentary. The video is the performance.

Much less evolved are tribute montages dedicated to gymnasts. But with increased availability of video editing software, I expect to see tens of thousands listed on YouTube in coming months.

I link to this one mainly because I am such a big fan of Hollie Vise, 2003 World Champion on Bars. Hollie will compete for University of Oklahoma starting this season.

Click PLAY or watch the video on YouTube.

official website – Hollie Vise

More gymnastics tribute videos on YouTube – GymMaverick’s play list.

20-year service award


Just received an award for 20-years of volunteer service from Gymnastics Alberta and I am tickled.

Spending association dollars and time on these kinds of self-congratulatory parties and gifts is controversial. Is it money well spent?

If done well, I am for them. Amateur sport is still very much volunteer driven. We need recognize unpaid sport leaders.

video – spotting Pak – part 2

Quite a bit of discussion was generated when spotting Pak (part 1) was posted on this site.

Many gyms are just introducing this excellent skill.

At a coaching clinic Patrick Carmichael came up with a foolproof spotting method when introducing the skill to beginners. The youngest kids on this footage (demonstrators) had no concept of what “Pak” meant before we filmed them.

Click PLAY or watch the video on YouTube.

Pat is one of the excellent young coaches I like to profile on this blog. He has a command of the art and science of coaching well beyond his years. Pat is coaching full-time at the Island Gymnastics Academy in Charlottetown, PEI.

Gymnast TV – men’s gymnastics

I’ve long awaited “gymnastics TV”. And here it is.


But this show is far different than I imagined.

1996 USA Gymnastics Olympic Team Member and Hall of Famer Mihai Bagiu takes you behind the scenes with Brett Brown for unique interviews with some of the world’s top gymnasts, past and present. Only 2 more years until Beijing. The countdown to Olympic gold has started!


The interviews are long and in depth. Mostly the top men in the USA. The focus is on the gymnasts as people, far more than the gymnastics. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Click PLAY to see the promo clip or watch it on YouTube.

See more on GymnastTV or search for “GymnastTV” on iTunes.

Episode 2 is a great in-gym feature with US Champion Artemev and his father.

circus schools

I’ve heard good things about a youth circus school in St. Paul, MN called Circus Juventas.

Since my gymastics club is considering starting “circus classes”, I did a little research on their website. And some other circus school sites.

About Circus Juventas.

Circus training seems ideal for the kind of kids who love to perform, but not compete.

from St. Paul Winter Carnival