Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm a Sucker for a Show Tune...

This is a wee bit old, but I simply cannot get over the coolness of it.

Clever, clever.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Olympic Games Fun-and-Games

GA have put up some photos of our gymnasts from during the Games. Looks like they had a great time in and around the village and venues.

I just wanted to post this particular one because I love this guy and I love these girls:

Here's Dasha being welcomed home in WA...

And here's Ash touching down in Melbourne...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Aussie Gym Girls at the Closing Ceremony

Pretty self-explanatory, really. These are from the Herald Sun website.
Apologies for the apparent crapness in quality of the last one, I edited the photo in Paint.

1. Ashleigh on a basketballer's shoulders, with the team physio at the bottom looking on. This is a cropped version of what was in the newspaper, Olivia was off to the left.


2. Here she is! Livvy and Ash (with her back to us) ride high in the crowd of athletes

3. And here I was, thinking I wasn't good at "Spotto"!


If you caught Sunrise this morning, you'd have briefly seen the Aus girls doing nice handstands for the camera (great efforts to stand them up for more than 10 seconds given jet lag, confined space and the potential for shirts-riding-up-on-national-television) and Naazmi doing a lovely...erm... I don't quite know what they call it when they do the bend-your-leg-and-hold-your-foot-up-to-your-head thing. One-legged stationary sheep jump? Anyway, she did that with a big smile. Such a shame they made the girls look like performing monkeys...)

ByeBye to Beijing

And so endeth the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Page 4 of today's Herald Sun features a photo from the closing ceremony in which you can see Olivia and Ashleigh riding on the shoulders of other athletes and looking like they're having a ball. Georgia and Dasha can be glimpsed on the ground below them (but it's like frickin' Where's Wally down there).

It was an up-and-down gymnastics competition, particularly for Australia's gymnasts, but certainly an interesting week at that. Our competitors have had quite a journey to learn from and build on as we roll on to London in 4 years' time.

Elation, tears, celebration and fear, we commend our gymnasts for all they have been through to bring us their fantastic performances in Beijing this month.

Sydney-based readers can cheer on the gymnasts in the athlete parade tomorrow. Fans in other states can watch on Sunrise.

Images courtesy of Fairfax Media and Gymnastics Australia.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

TV Alert

Victoria's own junior national medallist Britt Greely will be featured on Channel 7's news tomorrow night (Monday) at 6pm. She will be one of a few athletes from the state profiled as a 'sports stars of the future' sort of thing.

As with most things gymnastics-related, I'll be missing it because of work :(

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

1. Before she left for Beijing, rhythmic gymnast Naazmi Johnston, who finished 22nd last night in qualifications, met some primary students at Moreton Bay College. They gave her a 'good luck' gum tree made of the usual twine, paper, crayons, glue and kindergarten squares.

Aaaah, kindergarten squares. What simple times we lived in...

2. Shona Morgan did a "Chat to the Champs" web link-up with Victorian students to talk about her experiences as an Olympian. Read about it here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nicely Nicely Naazmi

or "Naazmi Naazmi Johnston" for those of you who've seen Guys and Dolls...

Good luck to our rhythmic gymnastics rep who will fly the flag for Australia tonight in Beijing!
She's looking for a placing above 19, which would better Danielle LeRay's finish from Sydney 2000.

(Oh my - it's pouring outside my house and it's pouring in Beijing over the poor 20km walkers!)

Speaking of drenched things, IG has put up an interview with Australian artistic gymnast turned diver, Alex Croak. Croak, along with team-mate Melissa Wu, has made the semifinal in the 10m platform after qualifying a VERY impressive 4th.
(ETA- Eeeeeek, bad opening dive for Alex. Buck up, chuck!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Double Act

It's been bugging me all day, really!

New Aussie athletics darling and quite unJana-like silver medallist in hurdles Sally "Aw my gawd you guys I seriously got a medal I seriously can't believe that like this is the coolest thing ever I'm seriously gonna cack oh I so love you guys!" McLellan = Aussie bars specialist, Olympic team member and future NCAA 'Beaver (I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it STILL makes me snicker) Olivia Vivian?

Well, maybe not. The photos (scarce as they are to come by) are hard to make the comparison and therefore aren't doing it much justice. But for me it really came out when you saw Super Sally on the news...

Give It Up for Not-So-Simple Simon

Yet another kudos post.

I wanted to commend Simon Reeve for his much improved commentary on Channel 7's gymnastics coverage this year.

He made an effort to point out the competitors' past achievements and medal chances in each competition. He encouraged the audience at home to react to or engage with certain routines or personalities. He kept it exciting and, heck, he even cracked some jokes ("chink in the armour" remark notwithstanding) and predicted some scores all by himself. He was quite pleasant to listen to this year, and complemented Liz C very well, even if she did sound as sick as a dog early on in the week.

Well done, Simon. Much improved and very enjoyable.

ETA: Please do not contact me regarding the Today Tonight piece about the uneven bars final. I had nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The "Not Cool" entry has been deleted for a number of reasons:

1. I'm generally a positive person. Anger and high-horsiness don't "fit" me (like leather pants or turtlenecks).

2. Though I have a right to question scores and results (as any sport fan does), I had admitted that I am no code expert and therefore couldn't bring in substantial talk of deductions or scoring technicalities to support precisely what I wanted to say.

3. I can't change the results!

4. I don't exactly like what the argument towards HC has spawned into. I'm all for criticism and remarks that won't be followed through. But flat-out harassment just isn't my bag, baby. So don't count me in for that.

Let us move on. I have taken all the comments from the entry in my stride and considered what all contributors had to say. But I think the fallout from this event is going to get bad before it gets better, and I've said my bit and listened to the reactions so that's the end for me. Those who want to see this woman unseated or kicked up the bum or whatever can do so. I wrote a note expressing my feelings, I agreed and disagreed with how it was acknowledged, and now I don't want to dwell. There have been a few results at these Olys that I have not liked, but see point 3 - I can't change them and nobody got anywhere remaining bitter. Call it a cop-out, call it what you will.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Give It Up For the Waverley WonderTwins

As Beijing gymnastics draws to a close tomorrow with the beam final, in which Shona Morgan made the first reserve position, I just wanted to end our team's campaign on a positive note.

What fantastic work from the two Waverley girls, Shona and Georgia. Our AA finallists who hit solid (for the most part) their routines in 3 rounds of competition and scored some personal bests. They came out as the team's rocks, despite not being dead-set favourites for finals or coming from a prestigious, government-funded state training centre.

They are always smiling and wear their team colours with pride. Onya girls. Keep it up!

Beijing Discoveries

1. Photos of Ash from podium training and team prelims that you may not have seen:

2. Olivia Vivian had blogged while in Beijing! Hot on the heels of Kyle Shewfelt, how could I have missed that!? (If the link doesn't work, type it into Google then look at the entries cached).

3. Here we go - the Today Tonight piece!

Ewww... a preview of Michael Phelps' diet. That's a whole lotta crap and calories right there.
They're recapping the triathlon and sailing results from today. Gold, gold, gold for 'straya!

Oh sweet Lord. Now it's their fluffy 'exclusive' into the equally-exclusive Speedo party for the Olympic swimmers. God , the superficiality and ass-kissing in the room would do your head in! Thankfully they're not flashing a money shot of Grant Hackett's wife's head gash.

Double ewwww...... the Diet a la Phelps piece. Pancake stacks, giant bowls of pasta, coffee, fried egg sandwiches... he's got the lungs of a blue whale but must have the heart of a couch potato.

Now it's a Usain Bolt profile. None of these pieces were advertised on the commerical two days ago! Come on, make with the gym!

Um... 'scuse me? Next we're getting a piece on the Opals fans? Gym didn't feature in their "on tonight's show" introduction, maybe they've taken it out? Wow, Channel 7 is really mucking people around this week. Well, by the looks of it they'll be doing the 'hottest Olympians' piece. If you're telling me they jacked Liukin for yet another Stephanie Rice mention, I will scream.

Why do we need a weather report in the middle of the show?

Oh hang on. The 'beautiful people' piece is tomorrow night. And.... nothing about gymnastics. You bastards! That's it, where can I find Anna Coren's address!? I gots an itchin' typin' finger...

Yours Truly...

1. Got her letter published in The Age today! Shame they cut out the 'footballer or basketballer' bit.

2. Is stunned at last night's WAG apparatus finals. Cheng's falls? Pavlova's 0.00? Izbasa winning!? Crazy stuff. But I'm happy for Louis Smith. It wasn't his best performance, I am sure, but enough to create history. Secretly I wanted Beth to be GB's first Olympic medallist... but good on Smith anway, he was so happy!

3. Thinks Channel 7 is finally LISTENING to all the backlash and showing all the gym finallists. Last night's significantly extended coverage was fantastic.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

No, really - No No Noonan!

Aheheheh. *sheepish grin*

Er... turns out one Mr Graeme "NoonDock Saints" Noonan is competely innocent. I looked at the wrong name on the online Age letters page. My bad. Please direct all vitriol to Ekke Martini (if that IS his/her real name) who penned the original letter, not Noonstones. Sorry BlueNooooooonISawYouStandingAlooooooone for any apparent antagonism. The last thing I'd want would be for him to drop his monacle into his teacup in shock upon opening his weekend rag and seeing little old me blasting him from a cold, weatherboard house in the suburbs.

Apparently Dasha J was on Yum Cha this morning. I didn't catch it because I was at work. I did, however, catch a Herald Sun piece on my way home, basically saying that people were switching off from Channel 7's heavily edited and constantly delayed broadcast, as well as from Yum Cha because the presenters are annoying and show little knowledge of sports (Exhibit A: Sonia Kruger).


(No really, DarkSideoftheNoon. I am sorry. Tea sometime?)

ETA: Well, I was going to say that you can see Dasha on Yum Cha (Episode 8) at the videos page but (for me at least) the sound cut out about 2 minutes in. So let's wait for some kind uploaders, eh?)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

No, No, Noonan

Those of you that know me (and my fine volume of written works) know that I don't take oversights and criticism of gymnasts or gymnastics lightly.

Well, one Mr Graeme Noonan of Phillip Island is going to open his funny pages in the coming days to read a finely-crafted (yet sadly-culled-to-200-word-limit) piece of MezMail. I had a bit that went along the lines of "Bronte Barratt and Emily Seebohm are teenagers, and they sport tight-fitting attire. Do we ever criticize them?" but it wouldn't fit. So here's what I cranked out:

I disagree with Graeme Noonan's remarks regarding women's gymnastics. Noonan makes it sound as though competitors are paraded naively like child beauty pageant contestants for adult male judges.

Had Mr Noonan been paying attention to the changing nature of the sport rather than buying into antiquated armchair commentary that rolls around every quadrennium, he would realise that many elite gymnasts are not "pre-pubescent", rather, still competing well into their 20's because they love it. They may be petite but they are far from pre-schoolers. The minimum age requirement for major international competitions is 16. One of Australia's Beijing team members is 18, another is 19. The USA boasts a world champion who put aside college studies for the Olympics. Germany's best gymnast is 32; a mother who competes to raise money for her son's leukemia treatment.

Furthermore, tied hair and leotards are gymnastics requirements, they cater for freedom of movement. Glitter serves as eye-catching fun.

These are not children raiding mum's wardrobe for high heels. These are well-adjusted young women who are fine examples of athleticism and sportsmanship, alongside any footballer or basketballer.

Advantage, Meredith.

Your move, NoonFace.

On Your Television, Gymnastics Is.

Hoy goys.

1. "Today Tonight" will be running a piece on Monday about Nastia Liukin and gymnastics in general (ie why it's one of the most popular sports at the Games, conveniently not suffixing this with, "but why won't we show enough of it in our broadcasts?") Naturally, it will be airing after the piece on "which country has the sexiest Olympic competitors"... and possibly something about dole-bludging shonky builders who've collectively lost over 6 billion kilos just walking around their clotheslines while at the same time employing underage Tibetan children to screw over old ladies who can't pay their gas bills and are wearing the wrong sized bras while feuding with the neighbours from hell.

2. Yum Cha just did a short profile on Oksana Chusovitina. It started REALLY well, talking about how inspirational she is in competing for her son etc etc, but THEN it turned stupid and inane (as most things on Yum Cha do) as Sonia Kruger and Rebecca Wilson chimed in with, "I bet she didn't get baby-belly" and "I bet she doesn't eat". *sigh*

3. I missed the final rotation and medal ceremony of the AA final on telly yesterday :(

4. They're at it again. Hot off the back of the 'chink in the armour' remark, Yum Cha just did a montage of the AA final using Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever". You know the one. With the line, "lucky that my breasts are small and humble"...? Ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Australia: All-Around Final


I'm sorry everyone, I only just walked in the door from doing banking and such down the street. I'm trying to keep up with the AA final happening right now! Am wishing hasty good luck vibes to the pride of Waverley, G-Bo and DJ Sho-Mo who are flying the flag for Australia AND their club today.

Rotation 1: Georgia on beam, Shona on bars.

Shona rotating with big guns- the likes of Nistor, Chusovitina and Barbosa. Georgia rotating with Hopfner-Hibbs and Ferrari. Oh, I love the group that has Gaelle Mys and Becky Downie in it!

*bites nails*

Georgia got a 15.1 on beam, good on her! Come on, come on, where's Shona's score? Apparently she hit a steady routine........ Ah, here we go: 14.625 for her.

Rotation 2: Georgia goes to floor, Shona moves to beam.

Come on Sho-Sho, make it three for three!

(Speaking of Ms Morgan, there's a nice little piece written here about her.)

14.375 on floor for Georgia. B-scores in the high 8's but no deductions (eg out of bounds) to be seen.

15.100 for Shona on beam, hurrah! Another good routine for her. What a rock this girl is! I see another Worlds team slot for her...

Rotation 3: Vault for Georgia, Floor for Shona

Shona's sitting in 11th place at the moment. Let's hope she can better Lisa Skinner's effort of 9th from Sydney.

G-Bo's up first on vault. Stand it up, Georg!

(Go away, Tamsyn Lewis. Go Away, Go Away, Go Away, Go Away.)

14.850 for Georgia's vault, what a great effort. Just hit bars, GB, and you'll have done yourself a great campaign. A few A-scores in there measuring 9.4, woohoo!
(This puts her in 5th for now... for her to look up at the scoreboard and see that must be so cool. I mean, I know the rotation isn't over yet but see that would be pretty encouraging)

Shona 14.425 on floor, execution scores in the low-to-mid-8's. One 8.7 in there. A competent job. This puts Georgia up in 7th, Shona in 9th.

Rotation 4: Georgia to finish on bars, Shona to finish on vault

I hope Shona cranks out the Y-double. If not now, then when!? She had been training it successfully in camp after all...

It's not saying a start value so I don't know if she did a double... but Shona scored a 14.650 on vault. Execution scores in the low 9's, one in the 8's. What a great competition this young lady has had. What an example to set for the national junior program!

Georgia is last up on bars, she must be nervous. It's a 14.625.

She ends up in 13th place, Shona Morgan in 15th,

Ladies, we are so proud of you! Keep the good vibe going into 2009 and beyond!

*collapses onto keyboard in exhaustion*

Oh, crongratulations to Anastasia 'Nastia' Liukin (Gold), Shawn Johnson (Silver) and Yang YiLin (Bronze), our Olympic all-around medallists! Congratulations USA for your second consecutive Olympic champ and a truly 'artistic' one at that!

ETA some hours later - I missed the last rotation of Channel 7's broadcast because I had to go to work. So unless they magically replay it tonight, I can sadly say that I missed the medal-clinching floor routines and the medal ceremony itself *sigh*
In a twisted way, I'm secretly glad no Aussies made EF's because I can't spent another afternoon jumping between results pages and typing like a mad woman and flicking the tv channels over to see if Channel 7's showing it yet. It's too much!

VOTE 1 Beth Tweddle for Olympic Uneven Bars Champ. My vote's now going to the artistic lovelies and the underdogs!


1USALIUKIN Nastia15.525 15.025 16.650 16.12563.325
2USAJOHNSON Shawn15.525 15.875 15.275 16.05062.725
3CHNYilin YANG15.000 15.175 16.725 15.75062.650
4RUSSEMENOVA Ksenia14.775 14.750 16.475 15.92561.925
5ROUNISTOR Steliana14.500 15.025 15.975 15.55061.050
6CHNYuyuan JIANG14.775 14.825 15.875 15.42560.900
7RUSPAVLOVA Anna15.050 15.275 14.525 15.97560.825
8ROUIZBASA Sandra15.500 15.075 14.300 15.87560.750
9GERCHUSOVITINA Oksana14.600 15.750 14.900 14.87560.125
10BRABARBOSA Jade13.950 15.025 15.075 15.50059.550
11ITAFERRARI Vanessa13.950 14.700 15.200 15.60059.450
12GBRDOWNIE Becky14.100 15.025 15.625 14.70059.450
13AUSBONORA Georgia14.375 14.850 14.625 15.10058.950
14ITAPAROLARI Lia14.500 13.950 15.350 15.12558.925
15AUSMORGAN Shona14.425 14.650 14.625 15.10058.800

Thursday, August 14, 2008


You knew it was coming, people.

A New Day, A New Focus

Good to see Dasha's not giving up despite her horrific bars accident (her face! Her beautiful face! Oh, the huge manitee!) and that the team in general are now keeping their spirits up. It must've been a bit of a shock at the time but they rallied behind her and made sure she was ok.

No more dwelling on this, ok ladies? *points up, then down*

Of course, Miss D in the past has bounced back amazingly after disappointment. I know she's going to get thinking, "I don't want to be remembered as the girl who smashed her face at the Olympics, I want the world to REALLY know who I am and what I can do! Take THAT, adversity!" I just can't wait to see what she brings out in 2009.

She's already got her next year's routine planned out,'' Liddick said.

"She did that the night after she jammed her ankle.

"So she's not going to take her toys and go home. She understands. She's disappointed and I'm going to give her time to be disappointed."

The team did their best without her and will continue to grow in light of their Olympic debut.

For now, we have Georgia and Shona's all-around competition to follow. Go girls! What a marvellous achievement for a non-institute program.

The whole country is behind you!
(ETA: The panel program Yum Cha just announced that Dasha had won their "Onya!" Award for the day, for continuing with the bars routine despite the painful mistake. Yes, they showed it in slow-motion and it looked quite hurty. Hurty a lot. But you could see her face, she immediately regained a focussed look and kept on swinging like she'd caught the release perfectly. Onya indeed!)

ETA - Some 20 minutes later, Yum Cha is actually talking about the team final! Great montage of the gold, silver and bronze medallists. Replaying a bit of China's dominant performance... Lauren and Ash are on! Wow, they look good. And they're so well spoken! They're talking about the distraction tapes from camp that helped them master the crowd noise. Damn, they're showing Ash's floor which we didn't get to see. They're saying that they fed off the excitement of the crowd and had a good time but still stayed focussed. Heeheehee, they sheepishly say they've enjoyed shopping in China a lot... What the? They got a present from the hosts? Errr... cooking pots? Yum cha pots or something? How patronising.