A random girl's random gymnastics ramblings.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

being thrown up on, it just does something to a person.

She of ill-formed vaults.  She of jaw-dropping release moves.  She of scandalous internet pictures. 

Tatiana Nabieva.

Has there been such a controversial gymnast in recent times?  Certainly not since Khorkina.  Gymnastics fans see either her blatant disregard for form and execution, or they see her ability to do ballsy, innovative skills.

The "diva" who brought us this

Unfortunately also brought us this

I am personally blinded by the visuals of her skills.  Having developed during gymnastics' golden years, it is nearly impossible for me to appreciate a skill for difficulty alone, while completely ignoring its aesthetics.  That said, I do admire the tenacity to attempt creative skills, and to go against the grain.  Even if the grain is doing pretty gymnastics.

Do I respect her gymnastics?  Not so much.  Do I respect her as a gymnast?  Yes I do. 

Nabieva: Gymnastics' Russian Roulette.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

despite the fact that your mouth to face ratio is way off, you still somehow manage to be cute.

After taking a sizable break, the montage bug has returned in full force.  That's the only thing that sounds like fun to me.  I love the process of scouring the Youtubes for video.  I love hunting for new music, and for themes to use.  It's all very mindless and time-consuming.  Funsies.

I have had this song on my drive for awhile.  I heard it on Perez, of all things, and I thought  

This will make a fine "Welcome Seniors" montage!

And it did.   Then, like the day I uploaded my video, some stupid commercial came out using the same song.  And it airs every, oh, I'd say 35 seconds.  So I'm totally over hearing the song.  I don't even know what it's a commercial for.  Trees, or cars, or something.

There really are a ton of exciting kids joining the senior ranks this year.  It's so bizarre to think that had this been the old days, these girls would have been seasoned vets at this age.  But now they're just newly-born fawns, learning to use their awkward, gangly limbs.  And throwing standing fulls on beam. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

i’ve had mono so many times I’ve turned into stereo.

Men's Gymnastics.

It's a subject that I am woefully uneducated about.  That's not to say I don't enjoy it, it's just more that I don't totally follow it.

But the news about Cal losing their men's NCAA team has got me all salty.

It's a shame that NCAA is cutting their men's teams so drastically.  But this is nothing if not old news.  These teams have been on the chopping block for almost two decades.  Some teams just take the cut, and fade into oblivion.  Others fight back.

Arizona State used to have a wildly popular NCAA team.  Started back in 1969, this team peaked with crowds upwards of 10,000 in the early 80s, before being cut in 1993.  After being axed, a few of the starters headed off for greener pastures.  But the rest of the team stayed. 

Under the wonderful leadership of a fantastic man, and my old boss, Scott Barclay, the team registered as a club sport.  Despite being a club, they still competed against many NCAA teams, and ended up winning the USA Collegiate Club National Championships their first year.  Not a shabby feat for a team that had been axed a year prior.

Almost 20 years later, this club team is still very much in action.  The question is, without the NCAA funding them, however did they make this happen?

So much of the credit goes to Scott Barclay.  I had the privilege of working for Scott back in the day, so I saw first hand how much hard work went into not only owning a recreational gym, but also leading and maintaining a men's club gymnastics team.

Per www.sundevilgymnastics.com:

"As a club, all operating expenses for the each season are raised through three sources: 1) through Booster club memberships and donations, 2) Corporate sponsorships and 3) Team fundraising events. Of these three, the team members themselves raise over 60% of the needed funds each year by hosting junior meets and clinics, setting up equipment for local junior competitions, building competition floors for local gyms and scoring junior competitions. These fund-raising activities keep the team busy throughout the school year. On top of that, they remain active in doing school and promotional shows whenever they have the chance."

These guys do not mess around.

I personally saw these guys all over town at different events.  They supported the community, and in turn, the community supported them.  Attending a home meet, large crowds would consist of people from all walks of life.  Little girls would come to watch their coaches compete, and looked up to them as idols.  Little boys participated in contests, trying to emulate the big strong guys they were watching.  It was an all-around good time, and only a drop in the bucket of hard work that these guys did in order to maintain this team.

It never ceased to amaze me that restaurants on the campus of a notoriously slutty party school would sponser a men's gymnastics team, and hold successful events for them.  But they would and they did.  And people showed up.

The ASU women's team was the NCAA sanctioned team, so they got the big arena with all the bells and whistles.  And at most home meets, you would see the men's team setting up, and helping tear down the equipment afterward.  They didn't just help out the local women's team.  A year after I moved to LA, at the Olympic Trials in Anaheim, I ran into these same guys, helping tear down the arena after the meet was over.  They were everywhere, using their able and quite muscular bodies to make money to support the team they loved.

My question is, what is keeping the Cal men's team from doing the same thing?  I understand that not every team is blessed with a Scott Barclay, and that's unfortunate.  But surely there is one person, one person who is either on or involved with that team with the drive or determination to keep the team alive.  And it will suck, because scholarships are lost, and funding disappears.  But isn't keeping the tradition alive worth it?

I understand how overwhelming it seems, and I would be one of those thinking it's impossible, had I not seen the ASU men's team survive in front of my own eyes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

that's my man and his legs don't work!

It was announced yesterday that Nastia Liukin would be starring on the "hit" CW show "Hellcats."

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't watched every episode since the pilot.

So imagine my excitement when I heard the news.

"Hooray!" I thought.  "Nastia, being a former elite level gymnast, will surely be able to pull off some awesome gymnastics-themed plotline on the show!" 

The possibilities are endless!  Maybe she would play a rich, bitchy rival cheerleader.  Or at least be one of the nameless background cheerleaders, I don't know.  I'm either given her too much credit, or the show not enough, but I think Nastia would be able to pull off a number of characters.

So why does she always get stuck playing herself??

If she's only on the show for five seconds to hawk sandwiches, I'm going to lose it. 

I felt the same way when she "starred" on Make It or Break It.  Let me start by saying that you could cast the entire show with real gymnasts, and it would be infinitely better than it is now.

Tell me Alicia wouldn't make a fabulous bitch.  The producers don't know what they're missing by not doing this.  And with Jade as Kaylie, you would be able to have all sorts of emotional scenes.  It's win-win.

But no.  They drag Nastia in to play Elfi Schlegel.

How flattering.  An announcer in a Barney suit hawking more sandwiches.  It's downright shameful.

Which is why I think Nastia, and her creeper agent, need to get her in some real roles ASAP.  Here are a few she has already missed out on.

Again, she could have been a real gymnast on Make It or Break It.

And sticking with the gymnast/cheerleader theme, she would have been a fine pre-Britney on Glee.

Or Bring It On.

She could easily pass as a slutty college student

Plus, if she finds scripted characters too difficult, there is always the option of reality television.

She already has a bigger poof than Snooki

And I think she'd be a real hit on The Real Housewives of Plano.

So many possibilities!  So Nastia, Creepy Agent, producers.  Get on this.  Bags of money are waiting.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

students that ate the ravioli today and are not up to date on their tetanus shot should see the school nurse immediately.

I know it's a day late, but whatever, it still counts.  This is as big of a WTF as any. 

This is frightening on several levels. 

First of which, this comes from a seemingly professional, legitimate publication.  It's the Gymnastika magazine, which in itself is awesome because lord knows I'd love for the US to come out with an in-depth gymnastics magazine that was more about gymnastics and less about Chellsie Memmel brand mats or whatever stupid ads the pages are filled with.  This picture was included above a calendar, which leads us to ask

Why does a seemingly professional have a bunch of teenage girls trying to pull off a sexy calendar look? 

If this was, in fact, the goal, then they missed it.  Big time.  The exception of course being Kurbatova.  She's just divine.  I love her dress, and the heels.  She looks like a classy Macy's business suit model. 

The other girls though, YIKES YIKES.  We've all seen them dressed up in their classiest club wear before.  It seems to be the Russian Facebook photo de-jour.  And if you put on your tightest blackest dress, then obviously you need the heels to match.  But why in the world are they on the beam in these things?  Mary Lee Tracy won't even let her girls put chalk on the beam, let alone stomp around in their clod-hoppers.  This is all sorts of wrong.

I'm going to play Tyra for a moment, as a female is who older and therefore much, much wiser.

Musty- Do you have a bellyache?  Unless this is the case, do not pose like that.  Legs together missy. 

Semy- Burn that hat.  I've seen it several times now, and it is not acceptable.  Also, the thick straps on your shoes make your legs look stumpy.

Nabs- I like the bangs pulled back.  Do this more often.  Why are you leaning forward and sticking your rump out?  You don't do this in gym, and you shouldn't do it in real life.  Also, white shoes do not go with a black and red dress. 

Demy- Sigh. 

Afan-  You need to stay away from strapless.  When you shrug your shoulders all the way up to your ears, it makes them look even bigger.  The black tights together with those horrible strappy shoes really cut off the leg line. 

Kurbs- You are perfect and I love you. 

Hopefully some real gymnastics news comes out soon so I have something to do other than rip on teenage girls for their terrible fashion choices.