Excitement Builds With One Month To Go!

July 9th, 2016 by Gymbit



Things are getting exciting with the 2016 Olympic Games just around the corner! Most countries are in the process of selecting their representatives. The Japanese men always seem to be the first squad announced, and their team is stacked: Kohei Uchimura, Ryohei Kato, Yusuke Tanaka, Koji Yamamuro and Kenzo Shirai. Wow. I would love to see this team stand atop the team medal podium as they did 12 years ago.

Five gymnasts on a team is certainly not enough, especially for the men who have 6 events to cover. It will be interesting to see if there is room on teams for specialists such as Louis Smith (GBR) and Ashton Locklear (USA). Both gymnasts could win medals on their respective events, pommel horse and uneven bars, but if they are to be selected then only 4 spots remain to cover the rest of the events. Some teams, such as the U.S. men, stack their weakest event (pommel horse) the best they can. On the other hand, the Belgians chose a women’s team which bolsters their strength: the uneven bars.

Louis Smith (GBR), 2016 British Championships, PH AA

Ashton Locklear (USA), 2016 Pacific Rim Championships, UB TF/AA

I was happy to see Chris Brooks (USA) named to the Olympic team. Going 24-for-24 across nationals and trials is no mean feat, and his consistency deserved to be rewarded. I feel bad for Danell Leyva and Donnell Whittenburg, who didn’t quite show the best versions of themselves. It’s interesting that the selection committee chose to leave behind the only two guys who won medals at last year’s Worlds!

Chris Brooks (USA), 2016 P&G Championships, HB Day 2

The FIG really dropped the ball (…or should I say missed their hands on the vault?!) by not giving a nominative spot to Larisa Iordache when she won bronze AA at the 2015 Worlds. Why should apparatus medalists receive a spot but not AA medalists? Even if you don’t expect such a scenario to play out where an AA medalist comes from a team that is not in the top 12, couldn’t that provision still be part of the rules? And it wasn’t totally far-fetched anyway. It could have happened to Guilia Steingruber (SUI) and very nearly did happen to Manrique Larduet (CUB)….

Iordache and Catalina Ponor (ROM) both deserve to be in Rio and it’s heartbreaking that there is only room for one. My sentimental favourite is Iordache. She carried a declining team the entire quad, and did so with awesome gymnastics and a delightful personality. Ill-timed injuries have forced her into this predicament. I do think that at this very moment, though, Ponor is the most deserving of this spot and the most likely to win a beam and/or floor medal. And we all know how rock-solid she is in competition!

Catalina Ponor (ROU), 2016 European Championships, BB TF

I was thrilled when the Canadian ladies exceeded expectations and finished in 5th place at the London Olympics. I think they can do it again! Ellie Black and Brittany Rogers are on the team again, and they will be joined by Isabela Onyshko, Shallon Olsen and Rose-Kaying Woo this time around. Scott Morgan will represent Canada on the men’s side.

I love the way Belgium announced its Olympic team!

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2015 World Championships

November 19th, 2015 by Gymbit

The dust has settled on another Worlds, and by all accounts it was a fantastic event. Glasgow sure put on a show! Many dreams of qualifying to the Rio Olympic Games were fulfilled, while others were shattered. After two weeks of incredible gymnastics, it’s hard to choose just a few favourite moments, but here we go…. Kohei Uchimura (JPN) wins his 6th straight Worlds (7 years in a row counting the 2012 Olympics). If he…

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“Next up on floor exercise, representing Belarus…”

October 4th, 2015 by Gymbit

It was announced recently that Alaina Kwan and Kylie Dickson from All Olympia Gymnastics Centre will be representing Belarus at the upcoming World Championships in Scotland. Alaina Kwan, Floor Exercise, 2015 Secret Classic (9th AA) Kylie Dickson, Vault, 2015 Secret Classic (11th AA) Wait…what? The FIG nominative registration and it clearly lists new seniors Sviatlana Lifenka and Valeryia Tsekhmistrenka as the Belarusian gymnasts slated to perform in Glasgow. Have they suddenly been usurped by two…

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2015 Pan Am Games

July 17th, 2015 by Gymbit

Gymnastics at the 2015 Pan Am Games has come to a close, and it was a great competition! The crowd supported all athletes and provided an exciting atmosphere. All-around champion Ellie Black (CAN) was the star of the show, winning 3 golds, a silver and a bronze. With a 6.5 start value on balance beam, she will be in contention for top honours on that event at the upcoming world championships. The men’s competition was…

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A mother-daughter tribute

March 23rd, 2015 by Gymbit

I haven’t posted lately because I’ve been busy with my little daughter who was born last summer. I’ve still kept up with the world of gymnastics, though, and while there are some exciting things that have happened during the past months, artistic gymnastics seems to be going through a bit of a dry patch, particularly on the women’s side. Gone are the days when 10 or 15 gymnasts were legitimate contenders for all around medals….

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