Guan Chenchen Excited to Make Senior Debut

After helping her team win silver at the 2019 Junior World Championships, Guan Chenchen makes her senior debut at the 2020 Chinese National Championships this week.

Chenchen spoke confidently to the reporters, “I have lots of confidence, when I’m competing on the competition floor I feel much more excited. I think if I try hard, I can do better in the competition than I did in practice.”

3 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now To Save Men’s Gymnastics

If we kept lists of NCAA sports programs the same way we do with endangered animal species, men’s gymnastics would be on the critically endangered list. The number of men’s gymnastics programs has dwindled in the past several years, but this year it’s been clear the threat of total collapse is dangerously close. Men’s gymnastics is almost extinct. In order to raise awareness, I compiled a list of simple things you can do right now to help protect the opportunities future athletes may be robbed of if we don’t do something right now.

  1. CONTACT CONTACT CONTACT

Saving a program as big as an NCAA D1 sport requires direct and immediate action. I wrote a letter that YOU can copy, paste and send directly to the University Board of Directors to make your voice heard.

Please copy, paste, and send this letter (contact information included in the document)

2. Sign petitions

University of Anchorage Alaska (WAG team)

College of William and Mary (MAG and WAG)

3. Spread the word!

Post on your Instagram story, tell your parents, Retweet, spray paint the outside of your house, just tell someone! The more people are aware, the more potential arises for action to happen.

‘We Achieved Our Goals’: Liang Qiao on Preperation for Upcoming Chinese National Championships

This week the Chinese National Team held an internal test at the National Training Center in Beijing, where gymnasts showed off routines and upgrades they hope to compete at the upcoming Chinese National Championships in Zhaoqing later this month.


National Team head coach, Liang Qiao talked to reporters about upcoming plans:


“It was very very tricky. I went around the world to get here. First I got into Shanghai then I had to quarantine there, afterward I was able to travel to Beijing. When I got here I came to see everyone very happy. Today’s test we achieved our goal. Some athletes were in better condition than others, but the falls and mistakes were expected, these tests can help us prepare for National Championships. Most importantly it is to help the top contenders prepare for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Chinese National Championships begin September 21, the full schedule can be found here

9/21Men’s Podium Training
9/22Women’s Podium Training
9/23Men’s Qualifications and Team Final
9/24Women’s Qualifications and Team Final
9/25Men’s All Around Final
9/26Women’s All Around Final
9/27Event Finals Day 1
9/28Event Finals Day 2

Source: 祝福体操小花们_

Gymnastics Resumes in Taiwan

This week would have been the week of event finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, all gymnastics has been put on hold: except in Taiwan. Taiwan was able to swiftly control its outbreak back in March and has not reported a single attributed death since May. The timely protocols taken by the Taiwanese government allowed for athletes to continue training with little disturbance. This week the Taiwanese Sports Department held a mock competition for all sports in place of the Tokyo Olympics at the National Sports Training Center in Kaohsiung City.

On the men’s side, 2019 World Championships pommel horse silver medalist, Lee Chih-Kai won the meet with a 78.750, and also took home the floor, pommel horse (with two falls!) and parallel bar titles. After the meet, Chih-Kai laughed off his mistakes, “This is the most I have fallen in the recent year, I didn’t realize this competition would be in front of my fellow countrymen [the competition was live streamed]. I hope in the future to get rid of my mistakes and not fall again.” He added, “I hope today I don’t get rid of my luck so I don’t fail at the most important moments.”

2019 World Championships team member and high bar ace, Tang Chia-Hung clinched the high bar title and showed off some spectacular new upgrades, including a massive triple-back dismount. “This is the first time in a while I performed my routines again, I achieved my goals so I am very happy,” he told a reporter.

On the women’s side, Fang Ko-Ching won the competition by a slim margin over Ting Hua-Tien. Ting Hua-Tien, who is Taiwan’s first female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics since the 1968 Mexico City Games, struggled on her first event bars but had a clean routine on her signature event beam to clinch the title with a 13.450.

The competition can be streamed on YouTube via MOESports

Men Day 1, Men Day 2, Women Day 1, Women Day 2

Overcoming Adversity, the Story of He Licheng

He Licheng’s mother first put her into gymnastics when she was just three years old, “when she was younger she didn’t eat very much. If you don’t eat enough it’s easy to be dehydrated or get sick. I wanted to send her to do gymnastics so she could make her body stronger.”


Even at a young age, Licheng stood out from the other gymnasts. Her coach, Wang Su Hua told the interviewer, “she had very strong physical abilities, and she showed a lot of talent, during training she never complained about being tired or feeling sore.”
Licheng had positive memories going to the gym when she was young, “I thought to go to the gym was very fun, it was like going to the amusement park,” she recalled.


But disaster struck during the summer of 2009 when Licheng and her mom were walking out of a grocery store, a careless delivery truck driver hit Licheng, who was only five at the time. “I ran over to her and saw she had blood all over her body,” her mom recalled. Licheng was transported to the hospital where she received eighteen stitches. After this incident, Licheng’s mom didn’t want to see her injured again and considered taking Licheng out of gymnastics. “I feel like my kid was suffering so much. I didn’t want her to do gymnastics.”


After Licheng’s recovery, she was adamant about returning to gymnastics. She even hid from her family and walked to the gym to continue her practice. After seeing Licheng so happy doing gymnastics, her mother finally gave in and allowed her to continue. When Licheng was six, she represented her city, Bengbu, at Anhui Provincial Games and won gold on floor and silver on beam. Her stellar results allowed her to be selected for the Anhui Provincial team. She was the youngest and shortest gymnast on her team.


After training on the provincial team for a while, her physical abilities began to slowly deteriorate. Her Coach, Li Chaogang critically told the reporter “she used to be able to do ten cast to handstands, now she only can do three or four; she used to run four hundred meters in a minute and sixteen seconds, now she can only make it in a minute and thirty-five seconds, this is obviously a regression.” He added, “her coordination is not as good as other kids, it takes longer for her to learn skills.”


He Licheng also spoke critically of herself, “I learn elements by observing how others do it, then I’ll repeat it many times, just like a stupid bird trying to learn how to fly.”
During the summer of 2012, Licheng was plagued by injuries. She severely injured her back while training bars and caused her lots of pain during training. Because of the injury, she had a hard time during competition and didn’t place high. In addition to physical pain, Licheng’s psyche was shaken. “During that time I worked so hard but I didn’t get any return. I was a little discouraged, I didn’t want to continue this journey,” Licheng recounted.


During this difficult time, she received lots of encouragement from Olympic Champion, Deng Linlin who took on a big sister role. “There is always a time where you will find yourself in a hole, but you have to keep walking forwards and slowly you will rise, continue to encourage yourself,” she said to Licheng.


Licheng restarted her journey and worked hard to fill the deficit between herself and others. Licheng’s mom told her to take breaks, but Licheng was determined not to stop. “She had blood in the palm of her hands that started dripping down her fingers. I told her that she should take the day off to rest, but instead, she replied ‘if my hands are injured I can still practice using my legs,’ I felt sad watching her walk into the gym.”

Licheng’s hard work began to pay off. At the 2014 Anhui Province Games she finished first on bars and beam and continued her success at the 2014 National Youth Games by finishing fifth all around. Every time Licheng goes away for competitions, she asks her teachers and classmates for help with schoolwork.


“She always wants to do her best,” her teacher said. “She has very strong self-discipline. During math, Chinese, and foreign language midterms she always finishes in the top three.”


Licheng told the reporter her idol was Deng Linlin. “She works really hard and gets good results. I only work a little bit, so I felt like I need to work harder,” she modestly told the reporter. “I hope after I train hard I can represent China on the world stage to make the country proud, and to help add more luster to Chinese gymnastics.”

Source

1991 World Championships Women’s AA Final Live Blog

Welcome to the live blog! Please refresh your browser every 2-3 minutes to get the latest updates

Here’s the YouTube link if you want to follow along

00:03: This just started and I’m already screaming at this intro piece

4:07: I wish NBC had these helpful informative intro pieces instead of those dumb stoplights

6:02: Kim Z doing the most perfect FTY as always

then Betty Okino UB – great handstands but only a layout half out dismout??

9:00: Bogi BB- can we just talk about how she points her toes as she hurdles ALL THE HEART EYES

10:25: Bontas FX- American medley? This music is sooo patriotic it hurts. Great DLO though, amazing tumbling

12:38: Lysenko UB- stuck double front half wonderfulllll

13:17: Okino BB- I wish more people did this mount, I know it’s not worth like anything but it’s so pretty, Perfect double turn, LOSO LOSO series solid, dismount is a little wonky

15:41: Bontas VT- It looks like she had her landing on her first FTY but then she just slipped or something?? 2nd FTY is much better.

16:32: Fluff piece about Bogi- the only thing that matters ever. She’s serving looks -a fashion iconnnn

17:15: Bogi FX- the only good pike full-in done ever, immaculate choreo, 1.5 thru to double tuck, double pike a little low. This is one of my favorite Bogi floor routines

19:05: Miller FX- whip to full-in nice, full-in 2nd pass is slightly off, double pike solid.

21:23: Lysenko BB: Awesome mount, backspin!!!!!!!!!!, totally misses her foot on the round off and crashes the double tuck 😦

23:38: Zmeskal UB: but first a fluff piece about the ranch YIKES. It looks like they’re making some kind of sad taco salad?? Oh 1991… Great gienger into transition, solid double pike dismount 9.937

28:56: Okino FX: Double pike nice, QUEEN OF TURNS, whip into 2/1, double tuck. Tumbling is a little easy but executed cleanly.

31:18: Bogi VT- FTY perfect in every single way 9.962

The way the media was obsessed with Bela Karolyi…

32:10: Kim Z BB- Iconic mount, loso loso solid, nice double tuck!

34:48: Bogi UB: Tkatchev kinda flat- a trend it seems, cool straddled giant, stuck double pike. 9.912

36:50: Bontas BB, I miss confident Romanian beam work, but those leaps… RO BHS double tuck, amazing

38:30: Miller UB nice gienger, tkatchev into transition, full-in a little untidy but great landing.

39:50: Kim Z FX: Pike full in great, iconic hooked on america floor routine, three whips into double tuck great, oh god they mic’d Bella karolyi up, double tuck final pass great. The crowd is screaming standing ovation, it’s everything.

43:18: Okino VT: Great FTY, I actually prefer her hollow FTY technique than the arched ones everybody seems to be doing. 9.937

Final Standings:

  1. Kim Zmeskal (USA) 39.848
  2. Svetlana Boginskaya (URS) 39.736
  3. Cristina Bontas (ROM) 39.711

Chinese Women Show Off Major Upgrades in June Training

After intense winter conditioning, the Chinese women have been hard at work upgrading their routine difficulty. Each athlete presented new elements in front of coaches and judges in a recent skill verification at the National Training Center in Beijing.  

Although footage doesn’t show every gymnast, it does highlight upgrades from notable Olympic hopefuls.

2019 Junior World Championship stars, Ou Yushan and Guan Chenchen both showed off their new double-doubles (Silivas) during floor verification.

2019 World Championship team member, Qi Qi, upgraded both of her vaults, presenting an Amanar-Cheng duo reminiscent of former Chinese vaulting star Cheng Fei.

Newcomer Wei Xiaoyuan verified a new triple-full immediate punch front in addition to a full-twisting double layout dismount off bars.

2019 Asian Championships gold medalist, Zhou Ruiyu, showed off a new DTY on vault.

Among those who showed off brand new routines was 2018 World Champion, Liu Tingting

“Basically right now I’m doing better than average. I’m doing full routines, the first time I verified my routine I fell, the second time was good and I was very happy. I also added 0.2 difficulty to my beam routine.” When asked about winter training, she responded routine execution and consistency were her main focus, “Basically I didn’t really increase overall difficulty because I wanted to focus on execution and consistency.”

Unable to attend the verification camp in-person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, head coach Liang Qiao watched the verification live through his cell phone back in the United States. “Because of the virus, the Olympics have been postponed by one year. This is the first test to show off new, difficult skills for the women’s team. Through testing, we have seen a lot of positive things. We have done a lot of training and practiced basics while also including very difficult skills. In this year’s short time we noticed a lot of improvement, therefore we have lots of hope for next year’s domestic and international competitions.”

Catching Up With Deng Linlin

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Deng Linlin has barely left her house. She groaned when the interviewer asked about adjusting to indoor life. “I came here [California] last September, the situation [COVID-19] has been getting worse. I’m at home every day and can’t go out.”  Although stuck inside, she has found ways to stay busy. “Besides studying, I get together with others and do some exercises. Then we cook together, my culinary skills have improved quite a bit.” 

After retiring from gymnastics in 2013, the two-time Olympic champion attended Peking University, one of China’s most prestigious universities, to get her bachelor’s degree in international relations. She admitted transitioning from an elite level athlete to a university student was difficult at first “When I first started at Peking University, I wanted to study really hard but I didn’t know how to begin. There were so many things I needed to do- I was a little lost. Because in fact, we grow up on the sports team from a young age, we have a totally different path than regular students.” In China, athletes usually receive minimal schooling thus the transition to student life can be extremely difficult compared to regular students who are accustomed to the rigorous academics. “For university life and your career afterward, you need to plan for yourself. When I first started University I was confused. There were lots of curvy roads, I didn’t know how to plan, I just wasted a lot of time. Until now I continue to study, take notes. How do you study? In this area, I’m continuing to learn.” 

Linlin is continuing to improve her English skills while staying in California. During her time on the National Team, because of her rigorous training schedule and limited resources Linlin’s English didn’t develop at the pace she had hoped. “When I was an athlete, I feel like another athlete who could speak two languages was really impressive. During my time on the National Team, a sports donation association donated resources for an English class, we took classes frequently. Every time we went abroad for a competition, we saw athletes from non-English speaking countries like Russia who could speak English and thought this was a really cool thing. I thought “why can’t I do it?” so this made me envious. I feel like learning sports and English aren’t too different, it’s a tool, you need to continue to train and study. Memorizing words is like doing a flic-flic-layout, practicing it once is not enough, all you need is to work hard.”

In addition to obtaining her Master’s degree at California Baptist University, Linlin is also working on another graduate degree in Sports Administration from Beijing Sports University. She dreams to put all her credentials to use and work for the FIG one day. 

When asked for advice to current National Team members, Linlin responded “I’m a graduate student at Beijing Sports University and California Baptist University. In other countries, a lot of people in the sports field don’t just concentrate on sports. The knowledge they have is not only limited to sports. If we only train and don’t study, our intelligence can not reach a higher level. Studying for knowledge can be very helpful for training. For gymnasts who plan to retire, my advice is to go to University to study not only for a college degree. I think a regular college student experience is an important component of your life. Because looking back, not having that experience would be disappointing. Athletes can think about what kind of profession you want, plan your future, and your work. This can help you plan ahead for your goal and direction.” 

Source: 体操大咖课第二期完整录像

Can You Get 10/10 on This Simone Biles Tumbling Pass Quiz?

“File:Simone Biles, Jogos Olímpicos Rio 2016 (cropped).jpg” by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Which tumbling passes has Simone competed before?
Silivas
Dos Santos I
Double Layout
1.5 step-out into full-in
2.5 step-out into double-pike
Double Arabian
Triple twist
Triple-twisting double-tuck
Front-full
Mukhina
Double-front
Back 2.5 twist
Rudi
Cojocar
Moors
Double Layout 1/2
Chusovitina

Gymnasts Born in 2005 Are Now Eligible for the Tokyo Olympics, but Should They Be?

Controversy exploded on the gymternet yesterday when the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) announced that WAG athletes born in the year 2005 are now eligible to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Games were originally scheduled to begin on July 24 and run till August 9, 2020 until global COVID-19 concerns forced the organizing committee to delay the Games by a year, creating a nightmare for the organizers and a plethora of implications: one of those being age specifications for gymnasts who become seniors in 2021.

On one hand, there are many who believe the WAG field at the 2021 Olympics should comprise exclusively of gymnasts born on or prior to December 31, 2004. Considering the Olympic Committee is still marketing these Games as ‘Tokyo 2020’ and not ‘Tokyo 2021’ they’re making it clear this is not a brand new Olympics, but a postponed one.

Because these are still the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, just pushed back a year, it would only be fair to preserve the same rules and standards as if the competition was still being held in 2020. Therefore granting WAG athletes who don’t yet have senior eligibility by December 31, 2004 the ability to compete would be a deviation from the prescribed rules and original competition field. The FIG even made it clear that the rules will remain the same for the Games, stating the 2017-2020 Code of Points will continue to be used until the end of 2021 in order to accommodate for the postponed Olympics. They also announced the judges will remain the same and those who were invited before, will remain invited. Because we’re adhering to the standards of the original 2020 Olympics, shouldn’t we also keep the athlete field consistent and only allow those to compete who were eligible at the time?

Speaking of those who were eligible to compete at the time, allowing athletes born in 2005 to compete at the Olympics creates a huge question pertaining to Olympic qualification, specifically for 2005 athletes from countries who haven’t qualified full teams. For gymnasts who wish to qualify to Tokyo as individuals, they are able to do so via the 2019 World Championships, the Apparatus World Cup series, the 2020 Continental Championships, and 2020 All-Around World Cup series. However, since most of these competitions have already been held or are in progress, it makes it nearly impossible for 2005 seniors to qualify for Tokyo. Let me use Julia Soares from Brazil as an example. Brazil did not qualify a full team to the Olympics since they finished out of the top nine teams who did not already qualify. Soares, a 2005 senior, won’t qualify to Tokyo with a team since Brazil didn’t qualify. She also won’t be able to qualify via the Apparatus World Cup series since there is only one more competition left (Doha World Cup) and she isn’t age eligible to compete in it- not to mention she would also need at least three World Cups to rack up enough points for Olympic qualification. The Continental Championships (Pan-American Championships in this instance) also aren’t possible for Soares. Although they’ve been postponed, it’s possible they may still happen later this year, still making her ineligible to compete and qualify an individual spot.

On the other hand, giving 2005 seniors eligibility to compete at the 2021 Olympic Games gives opportunities to gymnasts who are capable of making the Olympics, but weren’t able due to their age. This ensures the Olympics feature the best of the best which is basically what the Olympics are, right? Talented 2005 seniors like Konnor McClain and Viktoria Listunova have high chances of making their country’s Olympic team and could potentially be medal threats.

The FIG technical regulations state that athletes must be 16 in order to compete at major international meets like the World Championships and Olympic Games. Excluding age eligible athletes from competing would contradict their own rules. Blythe Lawrence also brought up an interesting point mentioning athletes born in 2005 could file lawsuits for being barred from the competition, even though they are age eligible to compete.

These rules also apply to the men, meaning MAG athletes born in or prior to 2003 are now age eligible for the Olympics. However because most MAG athletes don’t hit their peak until they’re in their mid-twenties, the impact upon the competition is much lower for the men than the women who usually have a higher proportion of younger athletes (however the average age for WAG athletes has steadily risen over the past several years). It’s also not impossible for a talented 18 year old MAG athlete to make a major team (take Kenzo Shirai at 2013 Worlds for example who was only 17 at the time) therefore it still creates potential inconsistency in the field as well as unequal Olympic qualification opportunities for younger athletes.

This is a tough call for the FIG- no matter what decision they make there will be controversy. There are legitimate arguments for both sides of the issue, but the one thing we all can agree on: these Olympics will be like nothing we’ve ever had before.