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. Simone Biles and Kohei Uchimura are dominating right now, as they deserve to, and they appear set to continue their trends of defending their crowns in upcoming competitions. The men’s side is a lot more exciting with all the apparatus specialists, but if the FIG reduces teams to 4 members then we can say goodbye to a lot of that excitement too.
Here are some bright patches I’ve come across lately:
The mother-daughter duo of Natalia Laschenova and Sasha Tsikhanovich performed floor routines with matching choreography 26 years apart. I love it! That 1989 Soviet team is one of my all-time faves, and it’s wonderful to see Tsikhanovich’s tribute to her mother.
Natalia Laschenova (URS), 1989 World Championships, Floor Exercise, All Around
Sasha Tsikhanovich, University of Bridgeport, 2015 Floor Exercise
Kenzo Shirai, Japan’s twisting machine, was criticized in the past for winning floor titles without showing any double saltos. Well, he has been working on several new tumbling passes, including a triple twisting double layout and a whip immediate triple-double. Wow! Oh, and he also throws a front full punch front 3.5 and a whip immediate quadruple twist….
Kenzo Shirai (JPN), training
Romania looks to be back in the running for Rio with the comeback announcements of Catalina Ponor and Sandra Izbasa, and with Larisa Iordache looking great on all events. This team is more and more stylish all the time. Never count Romania out!
Larisa Iordache (ROU), 2014 Glasgow World Cup, Uneven Bars
Catalina Ponor (ROU), 2012 European Championships, Balance Beam, Qualifications
Sandra Izbasa (ROU), 2012 Olympic Games, Floor Exercise, Team Final
Diana Bulimar (ROU), 2012 Olympic Games, Floor Exercise, Team Final
Andreas Bretschneider (GER) has mastered the double twisting Kovacs on high bar! Here he is performing it in his home country. The sky’s the limit!
Andreas Bretschneider (GER), 2014 DTB Cup, High Bar
And finally, a shout out to one of the most underrated gymnasts of this era: Jessica Lopez (VEN)!
Jessica Lopez (VEN), 2014 World Championships, Uneven Bars
Jessica Lopez (VEN), 2014 Glasgow World Cup, Floor Exercise
Did anyone else think the “Aging Beauty” headline on her International GYMNAST cover was a tad bizarre? I mean, she hardly looks like she’s “aging.” She may be 29, but you’d never guess it looking at her gymnastics, and she appears more physically fit than some gymnasts half her age! Oh well…at least the cover also said she “has never looked better.”
What other cool stuff has caught your eye lately?