Montage Monday

3:45 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Here is a montage from YouTube user nade00. It's hilarious and on bad choreography. Try and watch through the whole thing because there are some amusing non-gymnastics clips that show what other things the dance might bring to mind. Hopefully, this one puts a smile in your day.

Hideous Choreography Gymnastics Montage:

Watch it on youtube here


Gymnastics Media - Photos

7:15 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Just a collection of a few photos that have been passed around.

This gallery has 12 pictures of the Russian gymnasts. You can use, paste the URL into the box, then click on the translated URL. The captions don't quite translate correctly and are rather amusing.

Not going to lie, I wish Ksenia Semenova was competing and not coaching.
Russia Training Gallery

Here are two sets from the Friendly Tri-Meet last weekend, between Switzerland, Great Britain, and Russia.

Russians via

I love that the girls left their hair curly.
Russians from Stefan Wurzer on facebook
Swiss from Stefan Wurzer

NBC Olympics photos including the 2011 Worlds Team, Nastia, Shawn, ASac, Bross, and a few of the men, including future husband, John Orozco.

Baby Photos

Young Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney!

Can you guess who this baby is?
Rebecca Bross
Hover over image for the answer.
more of her with some other elites!

And more baby galleries
1. Gabby Douglas
2. Alicia Sacramone
3. Kyla Ross. I ooh-ed and ahh-ed the entire time.

(By the way, the picture above is Bross, if the link/hovering isn't working)


My Pick for Russia’s 2012 European Championship Team: Maria Paseka

4:04 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Photo by Stefan Wurzer

Currently, the Russian European Championship Team is listed as Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, Anastasia Grishina, Ksenia Afanasyeva, and Anastasia Sidorova. 2011 World Floor Champion Ksenia Afanasyeva recently withdrew due to illness and the lack of training caused by this illness (some reports have also mentioned a leg injury sustained from Russian Nationals). Mustafina, Komova, and Grishina are considered locks for this European Team as well as for Russia’s Olympic Team. I agree that Sidorova should stay on the roster and would choose Maria Paseka to replace Afanasyeva.

Anastasia Sidorova has been the athlete most often rumored to be doing the Amanar, the coveted 2.5 Twisting Yurchenko with a 6.5 difficulty score. Head Coach Alexander Alexandrov is very passionate and very vocal about his team needing Amanars in order to compete with Team USA for gold at the Olympics. If Sidorova is one of the Russians to have an Amanar, I believe that she will be on the team heading to the Olympics. Gymnastics is a sport of reputation so it will be important that Sidorova can get in front of international judges and show what she is worth.

The gymnast that I think will take Afanasyeva's place is Maria Paseka. Paseka was originally assigned to the World Team but then had to withdraw due to injury. Yulia Inshina was the athlete chosen to replace her. Inshina already has international experience and even made the balance beam finals at 2011 Worlds. Again, if Paseka can get the Amanar, she will join the aforementioned trio and she, unlike the others, really needs the international experience in a competitive stage. She would most likely be used on vault and floor exercise, as her uneven bars and balance beam do not compare to the trio.

You can see her powerful vault from last weekend below. Can she do the Amanar?

Dementyeva is one of the other gymnasts up for this spot but I’m not sure she will get it. She already has 2 years worth of international experience compared to the new seniors, like Sidorova, or those that have not had as much experience, such as Paseka. Some of the factors working in Dementyeva’s favor is the fact that she is reigning European All Around Champion and reigning Balance Beam Champion. On the other hand, she has not been performing as she usually does. In the 2011 World Championship team final, she was only used on balance beam and had a somewhat shaky performance. Her recent competitions have also been shaky so I am curious if the coaches will want to risk her reputation in the case that she still is not ready.

After this meet, the athletes will also compete at the Russian Cup. Hopefully, Afanasyeva will be back for that meet and all athletes will be healthy. That meet, along with the European Championships, will be one of the defining meets to determine Russia’s Olympic team.

The European Championships will take place May 9-13 in Brussels, Belgium. Full schedule can be found at


100 Days to London! The Questions Amongst The Excitement

6:34 PM Arabian Punch Front 1 Comments

The Olympic Games Facebook

The Opening Ceremony to the 2012 Olympic Games, the 30th Olympiad, will be on Friday, June 12 in London, England. Here are some of the things I am excited for and many of the questions that came up as I thought about the different gymnastics events that will take place starting on July 29 (July 28th for the men).

1. The Team Competition - who will win in the battle of USA vs Russia? China vs Romania? Any surprises from the other teams that aren't in the big 4. Will Wu Liufang (China) finally make a team? Will Pitic (Raluca Haidu of Romania) be left home?

2. The All Around Final - Russia seems to be leaning towards Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina. The United States seems to be stuck in a stalemate. Jordyn Wieber is a sure all-arounder for Team USA with Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross all fighting for the same spot in the all around finals.  For Romania, the clear option is currently Larisa Iordache. The question is who the 2nd all around gymnast will be since Sandra Izbasa is training bars again. Last year, the 2nd all around gymnast for Romania was Raluca Haidu but she is currently not on the Olympic team predicted by Octavian Belu, Romania's head coach, earlier in the year.And let us take a moment to remember the grace and beauty that was one Miss Ana Porgras. Who will make the finals for China and will they be able to compete and medal without a fall?

For the other countries that aren't power houses - will Jessica Lopez of Venezula have a successful Olympics? Will Elsa Garcia be able to make a name for herself and Mexico? Will Hannah Whelan of Great Britain be able to hold it together in front of a home crowd for a top 8 finish? Will Koko Tsurumi get to redeem herself after a tough outing in front of her home crowd at 2011 Worlds in Tokyo?

I might be the only person in the gymnastics fan world still rooting for Jessica Gil Ortiz, the gymnast from Colombia that fell horribly on her head during floor finals in 2010, but I sure hope she is chosen to represent Colombia and does an excellent job doing so - and maybe even sneaks into floor finals again.

3. Vault Finals - Will Maroney of the USA even make the team, let alone become Olympic Vault Champion? Will Chusovitna of Germany medal or unveil a new vault? Sometime back, she mentioned that she would perform a vault at Worlds never done by a woman. This was around the same time Alicia Sacramone (USA) posted a video of her doing a front handspring double full. Was this the vault Chusovitna meant? Heck, will ASac recover well enough from her Achilles injury to make the team? Will Pena (Dominican Republic) successfully (and not life threatening-ly) land the Prudunova? I'm rooting for Jade Barbosa (Jade Barbosa) and her NOT twisting her ankle into 4th place. Will Cheng Fei of China be back and be able to medal without a fall? Will Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland sneak her way in to the medals?

4. Uneven Bars Finals - Will Tweddle finally medal and will it be gold? Who will make finals for the Russians - Komova vs Grishina vs Mustafina? I also wonder the same thing for the Chinese. Will He Kexin make the team? Will she and Tweddle get to have another duel? Will Nastia be there as well? My fingers are crossed for Gabby Douglas getting a medal. Can Youna Dufournet of France make event finals and successfully compete in the finals? Will Seitz of Germany make the finals with both the Def as well as her original move, the Seitz?

5. Balance Beam - I guess I'm not that excited for balance beam finals. It will likely be a battle of who stays on, with the highest difficulty, and the least errors. I am hoping that Vasiliki Millousi of Greece can make event finals. She is such a pleasure to watch on beam. Everyone talks about Ponor's maturity and attack on beam. Millousi has a different kind of maturity and attack. She really dances along the beam and just makes everything look so... perfect.

6. Floor Exercise Finals - I think I am most excited for these finals. There are three gymnasts that I can think of right now with double twisting double tucks on floor exercise and all with a good chance of making it into floor finals and receiving a medal - Vanessa Ferrari of Italy, Jordyn Wieber of the USA, and Victoria Moors of Canada. The Romanians have so much depth on floor, so one has to stop and wonder who will be the 2 gymnasts allowed to compete in the floor exercise finals - 2004 Floor Olympic Gold Medalist Catalina Ponor, 2008 Floor Olympic Gold Medalist Sandra Izbasa, 2010 Floor World Silver Medalist Diana Chelaru, or 2010 Youth Olympic Games Floor Silver Medalist Diana Bulimar.

I am most excited for this. I really hope Victoria Moors does well. I also think part of the reason I love her routine is that her split series is actually choreographed to be with the music. Also, she's actually performing! Such an amazing concept!


Montage Monday

2:03 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Hello all!

I've decided to add a new feature where I post some of my favorite montages. We'll see how long this lasts. Feel free to comment with some of your favorites.

This one is a bit controversial just like it's subject matter - the 2011 World Championships All Around Final. The user is AshleyakaFlipper2 and I think she did a great job highlighting the amazing parts as well as the faults in our gold and silver medalists. In the end, only 0.033 points determined the winner. The music is a little eerie and highlights all the tension that developed throughout the competition. Her use of color vs. black and white, flashes, and fades helped to point out the errors of BOTH gymnasts. I really enjoy watching this one!

[Watch in HD.]

Comment and let me know what you think. Feel free to leave your favorites or your own montages and maybe they will be featured as well. If you watch it on youtube, you can also see what John Geddert, Jordyn's coach, said in the description box.


People's Republic of ... Purple?

6:26 PM Arabian Punch Front 0 Comments

Huang Huidan

It seems that China is deviating from their national colors of red and yellow in the same way that the Americans have drifted from the red, white, and blue to #teamhotpink.

The Zibo Cup was held in China this past weekend and we were delighted for the return of Cheng Fei, the opportunity to say Huang Huidan compete exhibition (like Gabby Douglas at Scam), and to see how Huang Qiushuang and Yao Jinnan are doing in their training.

Just a few highlights:

Cheng Fei

Cheng Fei won gold on vault with a double twisting yurchenko and a round off 1/2 on, 1/2 off as her second vault. The vault that Cheng Fei created is a round off 1/2 on, 1.5 twist off. Here are her vaults in the event finals: here.

Huang Qiushuang
(I actually really like this one)

Huang Qiushuang has an Adi Pop choreographed floor routine with a new Memmel turn (double turn with foot at head, or a double Y turn). Upon first viewing, I thought it was a bit too "wiggly," for lack of a better word, but at least she's dancing. I don't think I realized how good of a performer she was until now. However, I do agree with the youtube commenter tbee20101, "What a dramatic finish after that last tumbling pass." You can watch the routine here.

Based on this and Huang Qiushuang's leo at the 2011 World Championships, I'm curious what color the Chinese women will be wearing in the all around and event finals!

And on a funny note, they audio people were having trouble finding the right music for Huang Qiushuang at least three times. Poor girl!

Credit for photos: Chinese Gymnastics (tumblr)