Untitled Gymnastics 101

6:25 PM

This blog will be a little all over the place so I do apologise. I purchased my tickets to the 2008 Australian Gymnastics Championships - I am off to every single session... dedication I know. Anyways I was looking on the official Beijing Olympics page and came across the Hall Of Fame and am curious as to how they selected the entries. Any guesses? The entries include:
MAG:
Nikolay Andrianov-
(Soviet) Most medals won by a man in any sport (15) and the most medals in individual events (12)
G.Alberto Braglia
- Italian gymnast who became the "Human Torpedo".
Aleksandr Dityatin - The Soviet gymnast "first appeared at the Olympics in 1976, winning a silver medal in the gymnastics team event. He also placed fourth in the individual all-around event, missing a medal by only five hundredths of a point. In Montréal, Dityatin qualified for two apparatus finals, earning a silver medal on the rings and placing sixth on the pommel horse. Competing before a hometown crowd in Moscow at the 1980 Olympics, Dityatin led the Soviet Union to the team championship and then won the individual all-around title. He also qualified for all six apparatus finals. On 25 July, 1980, Dityatin won six medals in one day, taking the gold on the rings and silvers on the horizontal bar, parallel bars and pommel horse and in the vault event. He also earned a bronze medal in the floor exercise. Dityatin is the athlete in Olympic history to win eight medals in one Olympic Games. He was also the first male gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of ten in an Olympic competition, a feat he accomplished in the long horse vault."
Georges Miez-"Georges Miez began his long and distinguished Olympic career as a 19-year-old at the 1924 Paris Games. Although he took part in nine different events, including the rope climb, his only medal, a bronze, came as a member of the Swiss squad in the team combined exercises. He also placed fifth on the horizontal bar. By 1928, however, Miez was the world's leading gymnast. He overcame a poor performance on the parallel bars to win the individual all-around title, and he also earned gold medals on the horizontal bar and in the team event, as Switzerland edged out Czechoslovakia in a close contest. Miez won a silver medal on the pommel horse, finishing just behind his Swiss teammate, Hermann Hänggi. He also placed fourth in the long horse vault and eighth on the rings. Miez traveled to Los Angeles for the 1932 Olympics, but because he was the only Swiss gymnast to do so, he was limited in the events he could enter. He ended up competing only in the floor exercises, earning a silver medal. In 1936, Miez, already 31 years old, participated in his fourth Olympics, and he won a gold medal in the floor exercises, a silver in the team event and placed eighth in the side horse vault. This brought his career medal total to eight: four gold, three silver and one bronze. Miez devoted the rest of his long life to the promotion of gymnastics as a sport."
Vitaly Scherbo: "At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, 20-year-old gymnast Vitaly Shcherbo of Minsk made history with his gold medal-winning ways. He began by leading the squad from the ex-Soviet Union to victory in the team event. Next he put together a superb and consistent performance to win in the individual all-around competition title. Then, on 2 August, Shcherbo took part in the individual apparatus finals. He won the parallel bars, the vault and the rings and tied for first place on the pommel horse to become the first person in Olympic history to win four gold medals in one day. Shcherbo was also the first gymnast to win six gold medals in one Olympics. He returned to the Games in 1996 and earned four bronze medals: in the all-around competition, the horizontal bars, the parallel bars and vault events."
Carl Schumann - "Carl Schumann representing Germany won three events in gymnastics (individual horse vault and horizontal bar and parallel bars team competitions) un 1896. He also won the Greco-Roman wrestling tournament in a major upset. Schumann also competed in three events in athletics (long jump, triple jump and shot put) and in weightlifting."
Leon Stukelj-
"Leon Štukelj, a lawyer from Novo Mesto, was the reigning world champion in gymnastics when he entered the Olympics for the first time in 1924. At the Paris Games, competing for Yugoslavia, he used his high score on the horizontal bar to win the gold medal in the all-around event by edging Robert Pražak of Czechoslovakia by .017 points. Štukelj earned a second gold medal in the horizontal bar contest and placed fourth in the long horse vault, the rings and the team events. In 1928, he added to his medal haul with bronze medals in the all-around and team events, while taking another gold, this time on the rings. He also tied for seventh on the parallel bars. Štukelj skipped the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, but he returned in 1936 and, at the age of 37, he won a silver medal on the rings, to bring his career Olympic medal total to six. In 1992, when he was 93 years old, Štukelj attended the Opening Ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics and watched as athletes from Slovenia marched behind their own flag for the first time. Four years later, he was honored at the Atlanta Opening Ceremony and amazed the crowd by bounding onto the stage at the age of 97. He died four days before his 101st birthday."
Boris Shakhlin - "Boris Shakhlin of the Soviet Union won six gold medals in individual gymnastic events, which remains an Olympic best for men, bettered only by Vera Caslavska. Between 1956 and 1964, he won a total of 13 medals (seven gold, four silver, two bronze) with his strongest individual event being the pommelled horse in which he won gold in 1960 and 1964. His 13 Olympic medals was a record for men until it was bettered by fellow Soviet gymnast Nikolay Andrianov. He also won a total of 14 medals at the World Championships. Shakhlin won four individual titles at the 1958 World Championships: all-around, horizontal bar, parallel bars, and pommelled horse. Unusually tall for a gymnast, his height and reach were a distinct advantage on the horizontal bar but caused him difficulty on the floor exercise."

WAG:
Vera Caslavska
- Czechoslovakian gymnast. "After winning three gold medals and one silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Games, Vera Caslavska was the favourite to repeat her success in 1968. In April she had signed the "Manifesto of 2000 Words," which rejected Soviet involvement in Czechoslovakia. Two months before the Olympics, Soviet tanks rolled into Prague. Warned by friends that she was in danger of being arrested, Caslavska fled to the mountains. In hiding, she kept in shape by swinging from tree limbs and practicing her floor exercise in a meadow. After three weeks, the government allowed her to join the rest of the team in Mexico City. There Caslavska successfully defended her all-around and vault titles and added two more gold medals and two silvers. Hugely popular with Mexican fans, she added to her popularity by marrying fellow Olympian Josef Odlozil in a ceremony in Mexico City. After the fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia, Caslavska served as president of the Czech Olympic Committee and, later, as a member of the International Olympic Committee."
Nadia Comaneci -
Romanian gymnast - surely everyone interested in gymnastics is familiar with Nadia?
Olga Korbut-
"Of all the 7,173 athletes who competed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, none captured the public imagination like 17-year-old Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut. During the team competition she caused a sensation with her spectacular routine on the uneven parallel bars. As Korbut later recalled, "It was amazing. One day, I was a nobody, and the next day, I was a star."

Halfway through the individual final two days later, disaster struck. Korbut committed three errors on the uneven bars. The judges gave her a score of 7.5 and she wept with disappointment as she dropped to seventh place. Twenty hours later, Korbut regained her form in time for the individual apparatus finals.

She earned gold medals on the balance beam and for the floor exercise and a silver medal on the uneven bars. Back home in Grodno, Belarus, Korbut received so much fan mail - 20,000 letters in one year - that the post office had to assign a special clerk to sort her mail. In 1976, Korbut won a gold medal in the team competition and a silver on the balance beam."

Larysa Latynina- "Ukrainian gymnast Larysa Latynina holds several important Olympic records. She is the only athlete in any sport to have won eighteen career medals; she is one of only four athletes to have won nine gold medals; she is the only athlete to have won fourteen medals in individual events and she is one of only three women to have won the same Summer Olympics event three times. In 1956, Latynina, then 21 years old, edged Agnes Keleti for the gold medal in the All-Around event. In the apparatus finals she finished first in the vault, second on the uneven bars and in the floor exercise and fourth on the balance beam. She also led the Soviet Union to victory in the team event and was a member of the Soviet team that placed third in the since discontinued portable apparatus event. At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Latynina defended her All-Around title and won another gold medal in the team event. She also earned a second gold medal in the floor exercise, picked up silver medals on the uneven bars and the balance beam and a bronze medal in the vault. In 1964, Latynina won her third team gold medal and gained a silver medal in the All-Around event. In the apparatus finals she earned a silver medal in the vault, bronze medals on the uneven bars and the balance beam and won the floor exercise for the third straight time. Latynina completed her competitive career by winning six medals in each of the three Olympics in which she took part. She also coached the Soviet team from 1967 until 1977."
Catalina Ponor- "During a period when Romanian gymnastics needed new talent, Catalina Ponor was spotted during a nationwide talent search and chosen to train with the national team. She competed in her first major meet in 2003 when she took part in the world championships and earned a silver medal in the team event on her sixteenth birthday. She went on to win two more silver medals, on the beam and in the floor exercise. In May 2004 she moved up to the gold medal in all three events at the European Championships. Three months later, at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad Athens 2004, she led the Romanian team to victory in the team event. She also qualified for two apparatus finals six nights later. On the balance beam, she outscored Carly Patterson of the United States 9.787 to 9.775 to win her second gold medal. After a break of only 45 minutes, Ponor won the floor exercise final. Her margin of victory, .188 points, was the largest in the event's history."

TRAMPOLINE:
Karen Cockburn -
Canadian "Karen Cockburn began her athletic pursuits as a diver and used the trampoline as training for her dives. After trying artistic gymnastics, she switched to competitive trampolining. In 1995 she injured her knee so badly that she needed reconstructive surgery. She returned to competition after a year, but she had to wear a knee brace until 1999. When trampolining made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games, Cockburn was one of the twelve women to take part. Not considered a medal favourite, she performed well and earned an unexpected bronze medal. Moving up in the world rankings, she won the 2003 world championships and established herself as the woman to beat at the 2004 Olympics. She placed only fifth in the qualifying round. In the final she attempted a routine with a higher degree of difficulty than any of other competitors and won the silver medal behind Anna Dogonadze of Germany."
Alexander Moskalenko-"Growing up in Pereyaslovka, Siberia, Alexandre Moskalenko lived across the street from a trampoline coach. In 1990 he fractured his spine when a trampoline collapsed underneath him. That year he won the world championship anyway. He defended his title in 1992 and 1994 and then retired. But when the decision to add trampolining to the Olympic programme was taken in 1997, Moskalenko returned to training. He had to lose 24kg to get back in shape, but he did so and won the world championship in 1999. Thirty years old at the time of the Sydney Olympics, he won easily. Moskalenko gained his fifth world championship title in 2001 and returned to the Olympics in Athens in 2004. There he earned the silver medal, finishing just three tenths of a point behind Yuri Nikitin of Ukraine. Most athletes have some sort of special meal that they like to eat before an important competition. Moskalenko took advantage of an unusual power meal: pancakes and caviar."

In my personal opinion, I think that Rhythmic Gymnastics and many more artistic gymnasts and trampolinists should be featured in this list. People like Agnes Keleti, Alina Kabieva and Canadian Lori Fung - the first Rhythmic gymnast to earn a gold medal at the Olympics, Mary Lou Retton, Daniela Silvas, Cheng Fei, Svetlana Khorkina, Irina Karavaeva, Ludmilla Tourischeva, Carly Patterson and many more. Who do you think should be included in this Hall of Fame? And more importantly why? Comment and let me know. Maybe a poll to follow?
So the talk on most people's lips is the Cottbus World Cup and in particular the not-surprisingly massive score of Chinese competitor He Kexin (16.850) during the uneven bars final. I mean of course we cannot take anything away from her she's good and she has that Chinese "cuteness" about her and she dominated the final! A lot of people have asked me what I think this means for Miss Nastia Liukin... well honestly I am a HUGE Nastia fan and am therefore a little biased but I won't believe that she can be beaten until I see it for myself in Beijing. Valeri knows what he is doing and I trust in him and the WOGA staff to assist her in peaking at the right time. I do believe that the Uneven Bars final at the Olympics will be one of the most exciting! Well actually I lie perhaps all the finals in 2008 will be must-see.

Well I think that is all I can think of. Make sure you head to Youtube and look for Darlene Hill's Floor routine from the finals at Pacific Rim. It is incredible... much thanks to Claybabe6 for posting and for the Will-Moore School of Gymnastics for posting it on their website. I think I may become a newly converted Darlene fan.... eekkk I have too many favourites already - oh well, I guess you can never have enough.

A lot of people have asked me about my display picture of Miss Ekaterina Kramarenko. I loved her floor routine in Stuttgart and she has always kind of impressed me. You know although she made a "bizarre" "mistake" - do we even call it that? During the team finals at Worlds last year I cannot help but continue to feel sorry for the poor girl. I really had hoped that she make a miraculous comeback after injury and make that Olympic team. However with such a deep pool of talent for the Russians I believe that may be a very slim chance that she'll make the team.

Over the next while I shall be alternating the picture with those of some of my other favourites. Stay tuned and see if you can pick the gymnast. I'll try not to make them too hard.

Until next time.
MissChim xx



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