I found this photo on Geza Pozsar’s official website. For those of you who don’t know, Geza Pozsar was the choreographer for Nadia, Mary Lou Retton, Kim Zmeskal and dozens of other American gymnasts (including the entire 1996 Olympic Team) throughout the past 3 decades. He defected from Romania with Bela & Martha Karolyi in 1981 and owns Pozsar’s Gymnastics in Sacramento, CA.
One of the reasons I like this photo so much is that it reminds me of a very special day in my life when I was a 13-year-old Level 8 gymnast…
I lived in a small town south of Sacramento. It was the Summer of 1992 and I was enrolled in Pozsar’s week-long Gymnastics camp. My parents had agreed to let me sign up for a Floor routine choreographed by Geza himself. It was an additional cost but I had convinced my mom and dad that it would be worth it. But on the second day of camp Geza was called away (Michelle Campi, who was vying for a spot on the 1992 Olympic Team was from Pozsar’s gym). I was so disappointed but we were assured that Geza would still choreograph routines for those of us who had signed up.
Now that you’ve read review 1 and review 2, it’s time to move on to the third and final installment of my 2007 World Championships reviews. I’ve given you my take on the good & the bad and now we’ll talk about …
This list is actually not that long. I thought it would be longer so I added an extra section at the end titled Things that made me go hmmmm.
Steliana Nistor winning the silver medal in the All Around. I will grant that she is an amazing athlete and admittedly one of the top in the world. But her scores were so completely outrageous that her All Around placement must be mentioned on this list. I just can’t believe that she is second best in the entire world. I know that Barbosa and Ferrari both fell and I’m usually not a fan of athletes falling and still placing ahead of someone that hit four for four. But I might have to make an exception in this case. If you don’t think her scores were a little out there, check out her beam routine from the All Around Final. This scored a 15.55.
Second best? In the world? I’m not buying it. (more…)
I came across this photo of Nadia on Flickr last Friday. It was taken by Dave Gilbert in October 1977 at the Hartford Civic Center. He gave me permission to post it here. Click here to see the other great shot he got of Comaneci that day. If you have time, check out some of his other fantastic (non-gymnastics) shots.
I’ve been reading on the other gymnastics blogs and sites lately that people are starting to worry about Shawn Johnson. The concern seems to be that all the media attention will ruin her game, that all the talk shows and appearances and interviews will distract her and ultimately place too much pressure on her.
While I see why this might be a concern and I certainly understand from where the sentiment stems (Kim Zmeskal in 1992, Vanessa Atler in 2000, etc), I’m not sure the gymnastics community should be so uneasy about the attention on Johnson. She has had an unbelievable year. She’s undefeated on the world and national level. It’s unlikely she will ever have such a magical year again. If she does have another such year, wonderful. If not, let’s let her enjoy this one for all it’s worth.
To my knowledge Cheng Fei of China, the reigning Olympic and World Vault Champion has only competed on Vault, Beam and Floor in the past few years. Why is that? Why isn’t she an All Around gymnast? You would think that it’s because she is significantly sub par on Bars and has therefore been relegated to a position on the Chinese National Team as a specialist. Now, granted she may not be quite up to the Chinese standard on Bars but she’s certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Check out this youtube video of her as a junior in 2003.
As you can see she certainly has the technique and body line to be fantastic on Bars. And supposing she was only so-so on this event she would still be a threat for All Around gold in any competition she entered. Don’t believe me? Check out her Beam performance from the recent Shanghai World Cup earlier this year.
She scored a 16.10 and won the gold for that routine (and rightfully so). So why doesn’t she compete Bars? Anyone know?
Ok, so you’ve read the first post about the good stuff from the recent World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Now on to…
The US Women’s leotards. Who picks these things? They look like some weird cross between the leotards of the early 80s (note the neckline) and an Adidas running shoe. I wasn’t a fan of the all white leos of the early 90s but even those would be better than what the poor US women have been sporting of late.