Friday, 1 February 2013

More News

Alexander Alexandrov is in Brazil this week, with a view to forming a contract to coach their senior National Team. Brazil already poached another ill-treated Russian coach, Oleg Ostapenko, who coaches the junior team. While this would be beyond fantastic for the team leading into their home would be a great shame for his personal student, Aliya Mustafina, who has already been dumped by her personal coach before. (Not Alexandrov..) So I'd be happy for Alexandrov to take up this oportunity, or indeed any fabulous opportunity that comes his way as he is an excellent coach and deserves it. Just after Mustafina retires would be preferable.

A video of the Chinese National Team training has emerged, shot by some Australians who were beyond lucky to even be there...though it's hard to call people suffering through Beijing's poisonous levels of air pollution lucky. Sui Lu can be seen on floor at the start. Shang Chunsong is the one on bars doing the lovely Hindorff to uprise. Zeng Siqi and Tan Sixin are tagged. It's great to see that Tan is back on the National Team and in full training, though it's obvious she has deteriorated. Hopefully just growing pains, she should be able to adjust. Zeng looks great, lovely connections. The other two on beam towards the end are Wang Wei and Yuan Xiaoyang, two of the most promising juniors. Wang is the one who falls on the layout and then nails it. It's private so I can't embed, watch it here.

Videos are circulating of Beyond the Routine- a Gymnastike documentary following Mary Lee Tracy at her gym, CGA. I find it hard to watch, from the dog on the mats to her beratement of the younger girls, the explanation of Amelia Hundley's nickname, her condescension to her gymnasts, favourtism, obsession over some stupid clock all the way to her dangerous driving. All in all, it confirms what I had already thought about how she operates, and then some. In a much more uplifting documentary (and this time free, so I'll link), we get a look at the daily lives of elite gymnasts. Very excited about this one! It's called Off the Mat and first up is the lovely Nia Dennis. The first episode focuses on her family life, the morning routine, her interaction with her cutiepie little sister Mya, and how her parents balance her gymnastics with quality family time- like her dad's conversations with her on the way to gym. An immediate impression is created of a great supportive family, it's nice to see. Next will be looking at her daily gym routine I think. The first episode is here.

Here is yet another great interview with McKayla Maroney, at the Metroplex Challenge where she signed autographs for 3 hours and only left because she was made to- I like hearing stuff like that. McKayla insists that she's not done and will be gearing up for worlds. She has an automatic berth for Nationals given her Olympian status, though if she misses it and verifies routines before Worlds, she would still stand a very good chance..particularly with a TTY or Y double back.

Alicia Sacramone has officially retired. Given the excellent shape she was in last year after another injury in late 2011, it's a shame, but she's definitely been around long enough and has a lot of medals to her name. She's not a gymnast I particularly like or enjoy watching, but I appreciate her enormous talent and longevity. I'll miss the fierceness of her beam certainly.

Here's Beth Tweddle's third performance on Dancing on Ice. Sadly her expression regressed a bit, though I can't blame her for entering wooden gymnast mode given the huge complexity and difficulty of her routine, which she nailed. Hopefully she can polish her performance more in the weeks to come.

None of this is particularly new because the One to Watch post took me 3 days or so, so news got old in the meantime.

BUT this is new- Romania will only have 3 girls at Euros! Dropping a place is a little ominous. I'm thinking Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar and Stefanie Stanila. There's no team finals, much like worlds, though I'm not sure if there's an AA. If there is, I don't think Iordache will do it because she will have done so at LRSY a month before. Germany will not have Elizabeth Seitz or several other elites because of the timing, right in their exam season apparently. Edit- Diana Chelaru is returning to the National Team and Sandra Izbasa is in full competitive training for this year so both of them are in the mix. I'd like to see Daniela Andrei get the nod for Euros though, especially if they don't want to tax Iordache and Bulimar.

Ellie Downie will compete at the WOGA Classic. She is the younger sister of Becky and has some lovely work, looking forward to seeing her. Also Jordan Chiles, who will be competing optionals in her bid for elite.

Danusia Francis won beam at UCLA vs Stanford! Nice. I.want.videos. Time difference kills me.


  1. The MLT doc in most parts is hilarious and others not so much. Thos parts are bizarre. But it pretty much echoes what AJ has said about MLT in the past that shes an OCD, Bible spouting, nut job. I didn't care for the comment she made about how Lexie and amelia are her first elites who actually want to go Olympics and are working hard to get there. I thought damn what about morgan, beckerman, etcc.. She just dissed them.
    Per Spanny CGA has always been known to have crappy out of date equipment. Watching the doc I couldn't tell but I do think the facility could use a touch up. When you look at Woga or even Brestyans where the facility looks clean and organized, CGA does not.

    1. Hilarious as in Amelia's answering back, other bits were kind of sad. Yeah, I can't vouch for which gyms have the best equipment but it just does not look like other gyms with elites. Per Uncle Tim, the mats are cracked and torn, held together with tape. Can't say I noticed that, but I did think the mats looked a little thin and worn. And the dog GTFO equipment! Yeah, she's had a ton of elites since Morgan..she did talk about how devastating her injury was..and just blanked them. Sure, they might not have been as talented as her elites now, but doesn't mean they didn't work hard or didn't care.

    2. Amelia and the dog are the highlight of the doc. Shes such a smartass lol and doesn't take MLT seriously. But then again neither would I. Lexie who seems to be the favored one is the emotional one. Amelia is kind of like Bridget Sloan..

      Regarding Morgan White I always thought she was injured before Sydney.

    3. It seems that she was, but it worsened and they didn't really know the full extent until when they got there.

      The other dog is the highlight! It's way cuter, and she leaves it at home all day and takes the sly looking handbag one? PFFT. Phoebe is the best. Yes, Amelia is pretty endearing.

  2. Sandra Izbasa, Diana Chelaru, and Stefanie Stanila,which one do you think can get the third spot in EC?
    I'm glad Sandra decided not to retire this year, but it almost means that Stefanie Stanila has less chance to compete in major competitions...

    1. I kind of keep forgetting about Sandra. She's on the gala scene at the moment so she's probably still in shape. She is aiming for worlds and for euros if possible..but it's so soon. Chelaru, I just heard she's arriving back at the national team next week. I'd go with Stanila I think. Not sure how much they'll want to push Iordache for it, maybe just bars and beam.

    2. "Not sure how much they'll want to push Iordache for it, maybe just bars and beam."
      or compete AA but some waterdowned routine I guess.

      I think Chelaru needs more time to get in shape,so maybe she won't be in good competitive form in time to Euros.
      And Dana...I so want her to have a spot in major comps but she is 18 this year and doesn't have enough difficulty to get medal.
      So I think last spot Stefanie Stanila > Daniela Andrei

    3. Depends how much she has been training recreationally at her home gym, haven't a clue about what she'll be like. I like Andrei though, I want to see her. I heard she has some bars upgrades...

  3. I know this has nothing to do with your post, but I found a funny gif of Aly Raisman doing her floor routine with some sort of food added in.

    I hope it works-it is from the blog, "Oh, Noa!"

    1. Haha nice. There's one of Gabby patting a giant burger around and I can't find it anywhere urgghh. It's amazing.

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