A roundup of this weeks events in the gymnastics world.
Eythora Thorsdottir working an Amanar:
Ah! The little Dutch wonder who captured everyone’s hearts with her expressive and beautiful floor routines. Known for her artistry, dance and acting ability on the floor exercise this Dutch/ Icelandic hybrid has had a great 2016, placing 7th in the All-Around at the Olympic Games in Rio and also making it to the team finals with her Dutch teammates. This, coupled with Sanne Wevers gold medal on the Balance Beam made the Olympic Games a huge success for this up and coming programme in the Netherlands and Eythora is certainly not stopping after a very fulfilling 2016 and is working on her Amanar. Evidently, still in the early stages, I don’t think we’ll be seeing it in competition any time soon however it is nice to see Eythora still working hard and see that she still has motivation and drive to get better, after reaching great heights so far in 2016!
Jordan Chiles appeared in an Audi UK advertisement:
The (almost) finally senior gymnast Jordan Chiles appeared in an Audi UK advertisement. The insanely talented 15 year old who will turn senior in 2017 is committed to UCLA and has NOT gone pro as a result of this advertisement. The advertisement is very well shot and is a great way to showcase women’s gymnastics for the kickass sport it is. IT’S NOT A SPORT FULL OF LITTLE GIRLS WITH BOWS IN THEIR HAIR (although it kinda is), it’s also a tough sport, for tough young women. Hopefully we can see Jordan take on the senior ranks next year with the same grit we see in the advertisement after having an up and down 2016, winning the AA title at the Jesolo Trophy in March but missing out on the P&G Championships in June due to injury.
Louis Smith under fire…AGAIN:
When will he ever learn!? 4 time Olympic medalist, Louis Smith is once again under fire after a video of him and Northern Ireland gymnast, Luke Carson appeared online showing the two men mocking an Islamic man praying. The video has obviously caused outrage among not only the gymnastics community but the British public at large, given Louis is a well known public figure in the UK, having appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and also having been honoured with an MBE by the Queen. Frankly, for a man with such power and notoriety it is disappointing that time and time again, the news stories that make the headlines about Louis are negative rather than showing him making a positive impact on the world, promoting the wonderful sport of gymnastics to the youth of Britain and the world or using his voice to do some good in the world.
Varvara Zubova shows off new beam routine:
You haven’t heard of Varvara Zubova!? Where have you been!? This 13 year old Russian wonder competed earlier this year at L’International Gymnix in Montreal, Canada and placed 2nd with the Russian team and on Balance Beam. Although Zubova didn’t completely dominate the field, she captured the hearts of many with interesting and creative routines, especially on Balance Beam and Floor Exercise. This creativity can be seen clearly in her new beam routine where she does not just go through the motions but rather uses interesting and different connections and moves to make for a splendid routine. Clearly a talented acrobat, Zubova combines this with great flexibility and form and clearly has a strong personality and great confidence…sounds like the ultimate Russian diva in the making….Aliya Mustafina move over!
Could Komova be returning to competition?:
From one Russian beauty to another, Komova, who has had quite the tumultuous career is now reported to be potentially coming back to compete. Komova, who was expected to become the next star for Russian gymnastics after dominating the field at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 went on to win a silver medals in the AA at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games. Despite becoming World Uneven Bars Champion in 2011, along with helping her team to the silver medal spot at both the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games, the envisaged future for Komova was much brighter than it turned out to be. Komova was disappointed and seemed to be done with gymnastics following the disappointing 2012 Games. However, in a bid to make it back to the Games in 2016, Komova came back in 2015, becoming Uneven Bars World Champion once more at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland and also earning a gold medal with the Russian team at the 2015 European Games. All seemed to be going well for Komova until news came in 2016 that ongoing back pain would keep Komova from competing in 2016, thus ending her bid for the Rio Games. Now, however this report claims that Komova may return to competition. But who knows, let’s not be hasty about these announcements, only time will tell, we will have to wait and see if Queen Komova graces the big gymnastics stages again, one can hope though!
Andreea Raducan married:
2000 Olympic Champion Andreea Raducan has gotten married. The 33 year old who took the gold medal with the Romanian team and the gold medal in the All- Around (but was later disqualified) and also took the silver medal in the Vault final at the 2000 Sydney Olympics was the source of much controversy after winning the AA gold medal and later being disqualified for testing positive for a banned substance after the competition. Raducan contested her innocence in the matter and stated that she had simply taken Nurofen prescribed by the Romanian team doctor which contained the banned substance. Teammate, and AA silver medalist (later promoted to gold), Simona Amanar also took the medicine but no trace of the banned substance was found in her system due to her being taller and heavier than Raducan. The decision has widely been acknowledged as wrong with fellow competitors also acknowledging that Raducan is the rightful winner, with this substance later proven to not give an athlete any advantage and later being taken off the banned substance list. However, despite appeals, the decision has been upheld. Although not officially listed as the 2000 Olympic Champion, Raducan will forever be remembered by gymnastics fans as the 2000 Olympic AA Champ and we wish her all the best in her marriage.