I recently realized that I get a fuzzy version of ESPN2 and some station called FSN (Fox Sports?), which is not actually included in my basic cable package. And I was delighted to learn that these 2 channels regularly air NCAA gymnastics meets. It’s been great watching some of the meets I would never see otherwise.
But I am even more excited about the meet at the University of Washington this weekend. I get very few opportunities to see live competitions so I’ll be hitting up all of the UW home meets this season. In addition to UCLA this weekend, they will be competing against Utah at home in a couple weeks, and at the end of March, they will play host to the Pac 10 championships, which will be a real treat. Will any of you local readers be in the stands at the Bank of America Arena as well?
Earlier today I read a post on The Olympic Effect, a new blog covering gymnastics & figure skating. It was an extensive look at the media coverage that surrounded both Vanessa Atler & Kristie Phillips. One could argue that the media played a large part in the downfall of both athletes. If you are not familiar with their stories, check out the post on The Olympic Effect. It gives a summary for each.
While I am not as familiar with the rise and fall of Phillips (too young), I was an avid fan of Vanessa Atler. I believe she was one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. Many factors played a part in her troubled time at the top of the sport. It would be impossible to place the blame on one party. Parents, Coaches, USAG & Media all play crucial roles in the life of a young athlete in the United States. But after reading the post on The Olympic Effect I was particularly troubled by a statement made by a member of the media regarding the coverage of athletes.
I’ve been without much access to a computer these last few weeks so when I finally got back online today I, of course, immediately hit up youtube for a much-needed gymnastics fix. Sure, I’ve still been watching my VHS tapes regularly but there is something so unique about youtube. Where else could you find some videos of, say, an obscure Mongolian gymnast circa 1978?
Seriously, though, it has been thrilling for me to be able to see more than just the televised coverage in the US (at best, The American Cup, Nationals & maybe Worlds) & more recently, WCSN‘s coverage. I can finally see more of the events on the European circuit and all over the world, not to mention the scores of videos from years past. A sincere thanks to all of you who faithfully post your videos onto youtube. It is much appreciated.
Ok, moving on… I now present the fruit of my youtube perusal for the night. 3 Crazy Beam Mounts.
Isabela Lacatus of Romania in1990. Never even heard of her before tonight. This one actually looks like it had the potential to be quite painful. Basically a staddle front flip off the board to her seat. Slightly off and she could have seriously injured her tailbone.
Daiane Dos Santos of Brazil. The quality of the video is quite poor and she falls. But it’s a layout front! Has anyone else ever attempted this?
Kelly Garrison-Steves of the US in 1988. Round-off, full twisting back. Awesome.
We’re only 2 weeks into 2008 but I’ve already found the best floor routine of the year, hands down. Thanks to kradunzel I found this video of Tabitha Yim from last Saturday’s Stanford vs. Georgia meet. The presentation is exquisite. The sequence following her second tumbling pass is gorgeous and precisely timed. It gave me chills. I wish we saw more of this at the elite level. It is thrilling. Yim is in a class of her own. Outstanding.
My only question is the ending pose. I can’t decide how I feel about it. It seems somewhat out of sync with the rest of her choreography. My husband loves it but he’s not known for his taste in final floor poses. What do you think? Love it or hate it?