Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Entry the Last

Unfortunately the 2000-2009 retrospective is still not yet finished! It will hopefully feature in the early entries of 2010. Apologies for the delay.

I'm about to whip out the door and catch a plane to Sydney where I will be for the next few days.

I hope you all have a marvellous New Year's and that 2010 itself finds you happy and healthy.

Thanks again for another year of fun and frivolity. Memories of late-night live blogging with fellow fans and friends will stay with me for a very long while. I can't wait to see what the bevvy of big competitions in 2010 will bring us to celebrate. I hope I can keep informing and entertaining you at a high standard, whatever the weather.

Best wishes from AGB Central! I couldn't do this without you guys (well, I could, but it would be six hundred times less enjoyable)!

Signing off with big festive smoochies,

Yours gymnastically,

Blog Captain Mez.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Australian Gymnastics Blog Awards WINNERS!

They come but once a year!

Thanks to everyone who sent votes in, especially the gym parents who got whole families on board to vote for their nominated daughters. It was very sweet (and surprising!) to hear from so many of you. This was yet another exciting year in gymnastics with ups and downs across the male and female disciplines.

But let's have a little less conversation and a little more action! Congratulations to...


The Major Categories...

Australian Female Gymnast of the Year
Lauren Mitchell, WA
"Onya!" Honourable Mention: Larrissa Miller, QLD

Australian Male Gymnast of the Year
Prashanth Sellathurai, NSW
"Onya!" Honourable Mention: Sam Offord, SA

Australian Coach/Coaching Team of the Year
Nikolai Lapchine/Martine George, WAIS
Michelle DeHighden/Jeb Silsbury, MLC.

Australian Artistic Gymnastics Team of the Year
European Tour Shadow Squad WAG
"Onya!" Honourable Mention: London World Championships WAG

The Minor Categories...

Routine of the Year
Lauren Mitchell, Beam, World Championships event final

"Smile Moment" of the Year
IDP Girls do Stacey Umeh's dance at camp

"Sad Moment" of the Year

Shona Morgan's Worlds injury

Surprise of the Year
The Jouras move to Queensland

Simon Reeve Award for Gymnastics Media Coverage
Gymnastics Australia, Live-tweeting AUS v JPN

Brittany Boffo Award for Memorable (if Unfortunate) Mishaps
Philippe Rizzo, Worlds, A great high bar routine spoiled by a sat-down dismount

Gymsport Athlete/s of the Year
Naazmi Johnston, Rhythmic Gymnastics

Monique Allen Award for Successful Ex-Gymsporters
Lisa Skinner, Cirque Performer

Photo of the Year
(By just one vote!)
Brittany Boffo, QLD

So pwetty! Lauren Mitchell's kiss-and-hug photo came second.

Congrats again to all the winners, one day I hope to get you all a trophy of some sort! Maybe a little gold laptop or something...

Hope to have more interesting and exciting moments in 2010 to include in next December's awards. Thanks again for voting and enjoy the rest of the year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


*peeks out from pile of paperwork and computer cords*


In addition to compiling votes for the AGBys, I've been putting together a 2000-2009 retrospective. Concurrent work + deadline = Can I handle two massive posts going up on the one day!?

If I don't post the AGbys tomorrow, it'll be early on the 31st for sure. Ditto the retrospective. SOMETHING will go up tomorrow, that's for sure. I just have the option of two things. ;)

Stay tuned!

Meanwhile... who's bringing the jelly shots? There be a housewarmin' party up in here!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Just wanted to wish rising star Larrissa Miller a speedy recovery after what I've been told was a very recent foot surgery.

Hope to see you back out there, strutting yer stuff, very soon!

Two thumbs up:


I also hope that you all had enjoyable Christmasses. I know I did! My laptop now sits pretty on a little stable table which makes sitting on the bed and typing a MUCH more enjoyable experience!

You can check out photos from Waverley Gymnastics' Coaches Christmas Break-up at their homepage here. Looks like a lot of fun was had by all.

It's still not too late to get your votes in for the 2009 Australian Gymnastics Blog Awards! (And I'll say at this point - it's extremely flattering that some people are nominating the blog itself for the Simon Reeve Gymnastics Reporting Award but I don't make a habit of nominating myself, and I don't accept write-in votes. I appreciate the sentiment greatly, though!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have a Bloggy Christmas

Hi all.

I might not surface for the next two days or so, but sometime between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve, I hope to post my decade retrospective post and the winners of the 2009 Australian Gymnastics Blog Awards (keep those votes coming in!)

I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas wherever you are around the world. Thanks for sticking with me for another year and helping the good word of Aussie gymnastics spread. It's nice to know my rantings are entertaining to more than just myself. Hope to catch up again in the next few days.

Very best festive wishes to you and yours,


Saturday, December 19, 2009

And a Beaver in a Pear Tree

I couldn't not laugh at this one.

Mel Jones and Olivia Vivian star in OSU's special 12 Days of Christmas video for fans and family.

Just in case you don't catch it, Mel is "2 rope climbs" and Olivia is "11 bloody rips!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The medals keep coming for Team Australia!

Photos courtesy of Heather Maynez for WOGA.

Frodo Baggins --I mean, Josh Jefferis -- managed a gold (parallel bars), a silver (rings) and a bronze (vault) at this weekend's Valeri Liukin Invitational at WOGA. One of his best ever showings at an international event! Beijing Olympian Sam(wise) Simpson finished 23rd all-around while Josh finished 6th.

Many thanks to Rachel for emailing me the results.

And thanks to the Texas YouTuber for the video of Sam's floor!

Rank Num Name
Floor Pommel Rings Vault P Bars H Bar AA

6 399 Josh Jefferis

23 397 Sam Simpson

Monday, December 14, 2009

Well That's All Well and Good For You

To all gymnastics fans in Australia, best wishes for a great Christmas and New Year.

Gymnastics Australia worked hard in 2009 to engage its members and gymnastics fans in general by providing a website with the most up to date news, photos and modern communication tools such as “twitter”.

There is more to come in 2010 so we invite you to stay connected to GA because we value your support and interest in our athletes and our great sport.

Please note that the GA e-News will take a short break over Christmas and return in the New Year. In the interim, the web site will continue to keep you up to date with all the latest news.

Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Ohhhh snap.

I'm standing right here, ya know.

Can't we all just co-exist? Or at least... can't I squishy in the middle segment of the "GA" and "AGB" Venn diagram and work among you guys for once? Even if it's for free? I don't take up much space.

Please don't put me out of business.

I kinda like it here.


Ho Ho Ho-S.U.

The other Aussie Beaver sends her festive cheer from Oregon!

Don't forget to keep your votes coming in the 2009 Australian Gymnastics Blog Awards! Some categories are splitting the public so far!

Sunday, December 13, 2009




I went to, of all things, A PETER COMBE CONCERT (for over 18's no less) and it turned into a late one. Top night, though. Crudely-assembled newspaper hat and all. Don't think I'll be seeing trendily-dressed twentysomethings chanting "TOFF-EE APP-LE! TOFF-EE APP-LE!" for an encore at any other gig anytime soon...

So, yes, Toyota Cup.

Great results for the Aussies over in Japan. Larrissa won bronze on uneven bars, and Prashanth scored silver on pommel. Onya, Rissa, for medalling in just your second big international competition!

Winners are grinners!

Edit: Australia goes 3 for 3! On Day 2, Philippe Rizzo managed a bronze on high bar (apparently he had a "stumble" on his dismount)! Hurrah hurrah hurrah for all.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Gymtastic Weekend

Hello there!

I love weekends off, and not just because I get to sleep in.

This weekend sees two (count them!) big gym events for members of Team Australia.

The Toyota Cup in Japan will test Larrissa Miller, Phil Rizzo and Prashanth Sellathurai's prowess while Josh Jefferis and Sam Simpson are heading to the Valeri Liukin Invitational at the prestigious WOGA gym in Texas.

Good luck to all our representatives! Come home safely (and with some silverware!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pre-Christmas Cheer

All the way from Oregon!

Get some Christmas spirit up ya and don't forget to VOTE!

Monday, December 7, 2009




Could this girl possibly endear us to her any more?

Say what you will about her diction (and stuff), she's FREAKING ADORABLE and deserves her own two-minute ranty segment on a quirky undergraduate radio station where everyone has a hilarious on-air pseudonynm like "Doctor Wibbles" or "The Snot".

Also, just in regard to the Toyota Cup, I got in touch with GA a week or so ago. I asked about live streaming and they said they'd contact the Japanese Gymnastics Association about it and then get back to me. They did! But it's bad news: JGA confirmed there will be NO live web streaming of the event.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2009 Australian Gymnastics Blog Awards!

Yes, it's that time again (unfortunately I've left it a few days late!) to nominate for your favourite moments, media nuggets, movers and shakers of the year. You will notice a couple of categories have changed since last year.

The AGBys are back, baby!

Here are the rules again for those of you playing at home:

****You may nominate one favourite in each category, and email your nominations to by December 29th with "Awards 2009" as your subject header. You may vote anonymously but please only vote for ONE nominee in each category (choosing only from the names in that category, no open-ended "other" responses will be accepted) and only vote once. Your details will not be passed on to any correspondents or used for advertising purposes. It's just easier than commenting, really. Results will be tabulated throughout this month and posted on the 30th of December. Get your votes in and show your gym community some love!****

Alrighty, here are 2009's all-singing all-dancing shiny happy nominees!

1. Female Gymnast of the Year

* Lauren Mitchell, WA
* Larrissa Miller, QLD
* Georgia Wheeler, VIC
* Georgia Bonora, VIC
* Britt Greeley, VIC
* Emily Little, WA
* Emma Collister, VIC
* Rachel Collister, VIC
* Georgia Simpson, WA
* Fiona Coley, VIC

2. Male Gymnast of the Year

* Prashanth Sellathurai, NSW
* Philippe Rizzo, NSW
* Sam Offord, SA
* Sam Simpson, QLD
* Matthew Curtis, QLD
* Mitchell Morgans, NSW
* Michael Merceica, NSW
* Aaron Thanas, VIC
* Josh Jefferis, QLD
* Elliott Cook, WA

3. Australian Artistic Gymnastics Team of the Year

* London World Championships WAG
* European Tour Shadow Squad WAG
* North American Tour WAG
* Dityatin/Moscow Cup MAG
* Japan Junior International MAG
* Youth Olympic Festival WAG
* Youth Olympic Festival MAG

4. Coach/Coaching Team of the Year:

* Nikolai Lapchine/Martine George (WAIS)
* John Hart/Shaoyi Jiang (WGC)
* Michelle De Highden/Jeb Silsbury (MLC)
* Sasha Belooussov/Olga Beloousov (MBC)
* Tracey Penaluna/Mischa Barabach (VWHPC)
* Vladmimir Vatkin (AIS)
* Sergei Chinkar (QLD)
* Xiong Song-Liang (NSWIS)

5. Routine of the Year:

* Larrissa Miller, Uneven Bars, World Championships event final

* Prashanth Sellathurai, Pommel Horse, World Championships event final

* Prashanth Sellathurai, Pommel Horse, Moscow World Cup

* Lauren Mitchell, Beam, World Championships event final

* Lauren Mitchell, Floor, World Championships event final

* Britt Greeley, Vault, AYOF event final

* Emily Little, Beam, AYOF all-around

6. "Smile" Moment of the Year:

* Lauren Mitchell's airport homecoming
* Larrissa Miller sticks her dismount in the Worlds bars final
* WAIS vox pops featuring Dasha Joura
* Prashanth Sellathurai's interview after Worlds pommel final
* IDP girls do Stacey Umeh's choreographed dance at camp
* Adam Hills salutes the blog
* Larrissa Miller's mum pays a visit in the Comments
* The VWHPC 'open day' bushfire fundraiser

7. "Sad" Moment of the Year

* Dasha Joura out of action
* Shona Morgan's Worlds injury
* Philippe Rizzo stumbles at Worlds
* Lauren Mitchell misses a World all-around medal
* Natalia Joura takes a bad fall on floor at AYOF
* Jade Martin, Tain Molendijk, Kayleigh Cooke retire

8. Surprise of the Year

* Chloe Sims wins N10 national championship
* Amber Fulljames switches gyms
* Philippe Rizzo loses national high bar championship
* GA launches Twitter
* Naomi Russell joins the VHPC
* The Jouras move to Queensland

9. Simon Reeve Award for Gymnastics Media Coverage

* Rohan Kennedy: Aussie MAG interviews
* Universal Sports: Live-streaming the World Championships
* Olivia Vivian: Reporting for OSU's Beaver Sports Show
* Gymnastics Australia: Tweeting the Aus vs Japan WAG competition
* JumpMedia: YouTubing Aussie gymnasts on tv
* The West: Print and online coverage of Lauren Mitchell at Worlds
* Fox Sports: Interviewing Lauren Mitchell and profiling Waverley Gymnastics

10. Brittany Boffo Award for Memorable (if Unfortunate) Mishaps

* Lauren Mitchell: A step out of bounds costs her a World all-around medal
* Philippe Rizzo: A great high-bar routine spoiled by a sat-down dismount
* Emily Little: An unforseen bars slip at the Rushmoor Rose Bowl (she's ok, folks!)
* Chloe Sims: Less-than-stellar performance at South QLD regional championship... but wins her N10 division anyway!

11. Gymsport Athlete/s of the Year

* Shaun Swadling and Aiden Thomas, Synchro Trampoline
* Naazmi Johnston, Rhythmic Gymnastics
* Ben Wilden, Trampoline
* Sarah Millar, Sport Aerobics
* Haylee Wellard and Jaclyn McAliece, Tumbling/Acro

12. Monique Allen Award for Successful Ex-Gymsporters

* Danielle LeRay, rhythmic coach
* Brennon Dowrick, corporate speaker
* Michelle Telfer, pediatrician
* Allana Slater, judge
* Lisa Skinner, Cirque performer
* Hollie Dykes, coach

13. Photo of the Year

1. Prashanth Sellathurai

2. Larrissa Miller

3. Brittany Boffo

4. Danielle Prince

5. Lauren Mitchell

6. Alex Croak

You can see all of last year's winners here.

Voting is now open so GET TO IT!

Friday, December 4, 2009

DJ to Stay

According to The West newspaper today, Dasha Joura will NOT be travelling with her Dad to Queensland. She will stay in WA to continue her university studies. She is still making up her mind about a return to gymnastics once her ankle gets the all-clear from surgeons.

I am awaiting a scan of the article. Meanwhile (thanks Misty), read the online version here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh Noes!

Lauren Mitchell is out of the Toyota Cup with injury:

Please Note that Lauren Mitchell has been withdrawn from this event due to a hand injury sustained in training. Lauren was training on vault and tripped, breaking her fall with her right hand. She has sustained a fracture to the metacarpal in her right wrist. The injury will keep Lauren grounded for the next four weeks, providing her with plenty of time to work on aerial and non upper body weight bearing training on beam.

Get Well Soon, Loz!

Larrissa Miller will compete at the event without her London counterpart. Also competing will be Philippe Rizzo and Prashanth Sellathurai.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

National Clubs/ AUS v JPN Wrap-Up

Thanks to ChaChaKid and Supergymmo.

Some vids can be found here and HERE!

And here are fabulous pics!

Night 1:

(Yes, that is Emily Little giving a gorgeous big smile)

Night 2:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Australia vs Japan 2

All-around and apparatus finals kick off today.

Good luck to all competitors!


ChaChaKid says:

Japan are wearing the same leotards from last night. Australia are in their pink flame leotards from London!

GA confirms Lauren will NOT do AA tonight, just beam and floor.

AAAARGH I hear a thunderstorm a-rumbling! I do NOT want my web connection to get knocked out!


Australia kicks off on vault, Japan on bars.

Coley Y-full, Bonora Y-full, Wheeler "explosive" handspring front pike, Little "awesome!" Y 1.5!

Japan appear to be showing some minor niggles on bars.

GA Twitter says Tsurumi is now out of AA contention so she won't be doing all 4 events tonight (I guess there was hope she might try for it today after only doing 2 yesterday?)

Aussies are prepping the bars...c'mooooon Larrissa!

GA says their warm-ups look good.

The rain is hammering down now, hopefully our power can hang in there!

Emily Little sits in third place AA after one rotation (14.365), Shintake and Minobe of Japan in first and second respectively.


Fiona hits floor after overshoot but finishes off nicely otherwise.
Georgia B sits down her dismount, oh no!
The other Georgia does a nice routine with an extra swing after her "massive tkatchev" - does this girl have power in her or what!?
Emily struggles with a toe shoot up to high bar... falls! Oh no (again)!
Tsurumi on beam as Miller steps up to bars.
Larrissa shows a great routine, rocks the Adler again... but hands down on dismount!

Japan in 1-2-3 all around going into 3rd rotation.

Fiona falls on beam, on a back tuck dismount that is reportedly not her best.
"Great" routine from Georgia B!
Ditto Georgia W! I detect good things coming her way in 2010!
Emily's bad luck continues with a fall on her tuck front somi.
Everybody buzzes as Lauren steps up for beam.
LOZ HITS! "Nails the layout", woohoo!

"Awwww" for Japan: "Poor Ozawa has a cold and hasn't put the tissue box down all night! Yet she nailed an amazing double layout on floor but stepped out of bounds on her 2nd pass. And straight to the tissues after the routine!" According to GA she changed the second pass from what she did yesterday, making it a full-in.


Team Aus "look confident" heading to their last event
Mitchell's score for beam was 15.325!
Georgia B shows a good routine, great comeback for her since London.
Georgia Wheeler, on the other hand, suffers a fall on her double-arabian!
Emily Little makes up for previous errors and hits a great floor exercise, all tumbles stood up and kept inbounds, to end her competition for the day.
Here goes Lauren!
"Peggy quite pleased."


AvJ Vault: 3rd Oshima/Tsurumi (t), 2nd Little, 1st Ozawa
AvJ Bars: 3rd Oshima/Miller (t) 2nd Minobe, 1st Shintake
AvJ Beam: 3rd Minobe, 2nd Tsurumi, 1ST MITCHELL!
AvJ Floor: 3rd Minobe, 2nd Oshima, 1ST MITCHELL!

Japan goes 1-2-3 in the all-around! Oshima, Minobe, Shintake respectively.

Read a round-up here.

Congratulations also to Emily Little won the National Club junior AA title! She was followed by Emma Collister and Georgia Wheeler.

Australia vs Japan


So... interesting stuff coming out of C-town, hey! I'm sorry I missed it!

Hopefully those who had errors yesterday can fix them up in today's AA/EF round of competition. Larrissa Miller is proving herself to be quite the reliable performer when it counts (she debuted the Adler, wheeee!), and I can't wait to see the new floor from Georgia Wheeler! Apparently Emily Little had good floor and beam routines so it's good to see she's getting there with her consistency (vault fall notwithstanding). I hope to cover the event as best as I can today without actually being there. I know that videos are on their way so... that's probably the only thing I can provide that the GA Twitter can't!

Results can be found here.

MLC's website put in a more detailed report of Georgia W's routines, you can read it here.

General stuff, with thanks to ChaChaKid:

* Apparently not all scores were flashed for all routines

* Both teams competed in their Olympic leotards (Australia prelims green-and-gold, Japan prelims red)

* Monica Sloane was there competing IDP10

* Lauren hit a great floor in the last rotation - kept it in bounds the whole time! - and waved to the crowd afterward. Awwwwww.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Smile Time

Have a nice day everyone, whatever the weather.

I'm starting my day with the B-52's and ending it with some gymnastics news! With apologies to Dr Seuss, I really can't complain about that!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Storm Clouds

Sorry everyone, my power got knocked out for nearly 3 hours hours in a huuuge storm that hit my area of Melbourne. I left the house this morning in glorious sunshine, and couldn't have seen such torrential rain coming! It was crazy!

But yes, here I am. The news had already broken but here it is again anyway:

BrittyBritt is out of the Aus v Japan, due to a back injury. She will be replaced on the team by reserve Georgia Wheeler.

Best wishes to Britt for a speedy recovery, and good luck to Georgia in her first national duel meet.

On a more sunshiney note, you can watch the Sports Performer Awards ceremony on Channel 10, this Sunday 29/11 from 1-2pm, or on One HD from 8-8:55pm.

National Clubs scores and standings will be updated here.

Are you attending National Clubs/AUS v JPN this weekend? I'd love to hear from you! Send reports, photos or other tidbits to


Congratulations to Lauren Mitchell for being named the 2009 Age/SMH/Colonial Young Sports Performer of the Year!

See the other winners here.

We're so pleased for you, Lauren, and so very proud!

Thanks (am I allowed to say thanks for this?) to everyone who voted, give yourselves a big pat on the back.

"Hm... my brand new watch says it's TIME TO KICK YOUR BUTT!"

(thanks Nade for the photo link)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quick Twits

Gymnastics Australia have launched their own Twitter page to do live score updates from the SUPER HYPER MEGA ULTRA AWESOME ULTIMATE ASIA-PACIFIC SHOWDOWN OF GYMNASTICS.

Follow GA at Twitter here.

I will do my best to post updates and reports from National Clubs/Aus v Japan as they come to my attention. I am very excited for this event and will cover it as much as I can.

That said, I may be AWOL for much of this Friday because...


I don't like blowing my own horn too much...


Friday's my birthday.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

O.U. Good Thing

What are our Aussie expats up to, eh?

Olivia Vivian and Melanie Jones have competed at the Oregon State Intrasquad exhibition meet.

Olivia performed on bars, beam(!) and floor(!) which all were quite impressive if reports are anything to go by. Freshman Mel competed vault (Tsuk-layout), bars and beam (incl. a layout to two feet). She apparently doesn't have a "completed" floor routine yet. Olivia showed a nice side somi on beam.

Good luck to the girls in the new year! Go Beavs!

(With thanks to Stoddard Reynolds and the Oregon State Athletics Department)

One day later: VIDEOS!

(featuring Mel on beam)

(featuring Olivia on bars)

Ya gotta love the team atmosphere of college gymnastics. Loud cheers, excited high-fives, all support all the time.

Not only do I cheer on our Aussies, I personally love watching Laura-Ann Chong and Mandi Rodriguez perform as well. Last year, Rodriguez went into NCAA finals ranked 2nd in the nation on floor.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reminder Notices

If you missed Lauren Mitchell's appearance on SEN radio, follow the link here to listen again.

I believe voting for the Sports Performer Awards closed today so good luck to Lauren! She had a lot of people vote!

I should also give a shout-out to the Australian Under-19 Men's Synchronised Trampoline team who, like Lauren , won a silver medal at their world championships! Well done to Shaun Swadling and Aidan Thomas for their fantastic achievement.

GA have listed the Australia vs Japan WAG team going head-to-head during National Clubs next week:

Georgia B, Britt, Fiona, Larrissa, Emily L, and Lauren.
Georgia W and Georgia S are reserves.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Larrissa Miller was interviewed by International Gymnast!

Read it here.

This girl has totally turned me 'round. I hope she gets some big opportunities in 2010, if her Worlds debut was anything to go by. What a champion.

It was actually easier than I had always imagined it would be. When I went out on the podium I didn’t look up at the audience; I just kept to myself and kept focused. Although I was nervous as soon as I jumped on to the apparatus, I just did my routine like I normally would.

Thanks also to Ali for this new article from Larrissa's local (click for larger, sorry it's sideways!):

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sports Shake-Up

Unfortunately, SkyNews didn't play all of this morning's press conference featuring Sports Minister Kate Ellis. But I did manage to catch some of it. I hastily took notes while waiting for my laptop to get its bottom into gear.

This morning, Ellis and representatives from the Australian Sports Commission and Independent Sports Review Panel unveiled their report into the state of Australian sports policy, structure and funding.

Ellis said outright that, "There is a lot of power in Australian sport", and that this report was key to harnessing that power and channeling it in the right direction She was quick to point out that the report - essentially an overview of national sports programs based on consultation sessions with over 600 sporting body representatives, as well a series of recommendations born out of findings from these - does NOT recommend or outline any proposals for funding cuts to sports budgets. This was "pure speculation".

Ellis and David Crawford, the Sports Review Panel chairman, highlighted just two major recommendations of the 39 outlined in the report.

The first was to reform the Australian Sports Commission in order to develop a more solid national sporting policy framework, within which issues like funding can be structured (did that sound like corporate jargon or WHAT!?)

The second was to separate the Australian Institute of Sport from the ASC, and 'merge' it with the other state training centres so all are on a more equal footing in their contribution to the training of elite athletes. Crawford alluding to them being Australian Institutes of Sport, so I assume that instead of "The Victorian Institute of Sport" (for example), we might end up having something like "The Australian Institute of Sport - Victoria".

As I said, I didn't catch everything because SkyNews cut away from the conference and it was hard to extract fact from jargon. But the big focus in addition to elite sports funding is boosting support for sports and health volunteers, and encouraging nationwide support for physical education and recreational sports in schools.

You can read a little more about it all here.

ETA Later Today: The AOC responds to the Rudd government's Crawford review. Hmmm!

The Crawford report dismissed the Australian Olympic Committee's calls for an extra $100 million a year for 10 years for elite sports, saying that money would be better spent elsewhere.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


SEN Radio played audio from Lauren's beam final routine then did a phone interview.

* She is happy her exams are over, and with all her maths, health and science-related subjects agrees she's a "bit of a nerd". She has "never thought of it like that", that no Aussie gymnast has quite achieved what she did in London.

* Admits she doesn't like watching others compete so did not watch other beam final competitors before she went up. Mez goes grrrrr at "a little girl from China won the gold" remark by the announcer

* They ask about her "crouching wolf turn" (hidden dragon!) on beam. "Do you need sorta weird toes to do it?" asked the announcer (again, grrrrr and eye roll). Lauren says she found the skill quite easy in the beginning and credits her strong legs with helping master it.

* Explains that she worked hard with Stacey on her dance skills in camp to get her floor routine at its best.

* Admits the floor routine performance felt stronger than her beam one because "the pressure was off" after medalling and she could have a bit of fun out there.

* Thinks that had she got the AA bronze, she wouldn't have been as motivated for apparatus finals. Missing out gave her a good drive for to go for broke in finals.

* Shyly admitted she will probably party and "let loose" after her competitions are over later this year.

* Kudos for working in the word "variables".

* Admits she doesn't crack out cartwheels or handstands at parties but jokes that "C'mon, my [much more impressive] routines are on YouTube!"

* Worlds was a motivation to keep training after injury

* Admits London was great, notably because she's a little more comfortable in accomodation where English is the primary language

* She is a West Coast Eagles fan, NOT a Dockers fan! But never really gets the chance to go to games.

* Doesn't really follow other sports as a fan, "gymnastics has pretty much been my whole life"


* Gives a hint that she wouldn't mind visiting India next year

* Hahaha, SEAMLESS plug of her Sports Award nomination! In so far as she has to quickly ask to mention it as they start farewelling her.

* They play audio of her floor as the interview finishes up

Silver Streak

*munches on a chocolate coconut truffle and thinks about the universe*

Pommel is quickly becoming a race-for-the-minor-medals-behind-China event, like WAG uneven bars.

That said, big claps for Prashanth Sellathurai for continuing his good form and winning the silver medal at the DTB Cup. He scored 16.025, sandwiched between the daring Zhang Hongtao and the Hungarian stalwart Kristian Berki.

And don't forget that Lauren Mitchell will be on the radio tonight (see yesterday's post).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Prash Takes Part in Stuttgart

Good luck to Prashanth Sellathurai who is competing at the DTB Cup in Stuttgart this weekend. Prash is looking to repeat his recent World Championships success, not to mention last year's pommel horse silver medal at the DTB Pokal.

There is a live news ticker (in German) here.

This is ground control to Major Loz...

GA have given us a heads-up that Lauren Mitchell will appear on SEN radio this Sunday.

Lauren Mitchell will be a guest of this week's Sunday Night Sports Party on 116SEN.

She will feature as a guest of Mark Franklin this Sunday (15th November).

Anybody who wants to listen to the interview with Lauren can do so by listening to 1116 SEN here in Melbourne or by listening live over the internet by going to and clicking on the listen on-line icon on the top right hand side of their home page.
All going well, Lauren should be interviewed around 9.30pm AEDST.

ETA: Prashanth has qualified to the pommel horse final ranked second!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Vids

Thanks to the Anon for pointing out JumpMedia's YouTube account, that is hosting the video of Lauren Mitchell on Fox Sports. Dyaaaw. She's the cutest little [self-appointed] 'unco' in the world.

My thanks also to the Team BEEEF representatives for forwading these videos from the European tour. Now I just want to run around yelling "AlleeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ!!!!" at everything.

And, on a non-video-related note, Thomas Pichler features here. Interesting stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I cannot stress this enough.

Please vote for Lauren or a basketful of kittens will cry.

Or this adorable sleepy European child, who ably directed gymnasts around the floor at Olympic Hopes, will be forced to walk home without his shoes.

Also: My very best wishes to everyone's favourite OTHER person nicknamed Mez, Mary-Anne Monckton, who is going in for ankle surgery on Thursday. Big love.

Wheeler's Reel

Thanks to Alar who provided these videos of Georgia Wheeler's beam and bars routines from the Olympic Hopes Cup. The latter is an exhibition routine performed before the medal ceremony.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Via Gymnastics Queensland:

Welcome to Vladimir Joura who has been appointed as Head Coach of Queensland Gymnastics’ Women’s High Performance program. Vladimir joins the HPC team from the WAIS WAG elite program which has recently achieved enviable results on [sic] the international arena. We also welcome Irina Joura as senior coach for the WG program. Irina is a renown [sic] beam specialist who has also been actively involved in the WA HPC and also the Northern Beaches program. Vladimir and Irina will move to Queensland along with their two daughters Sasha [sic] and Natalia who are both gymnasts and we look forward to the gymnastics community welcoming them to our wonderful State and HP program.

Czech Points

Good results for Georgia Wheeler at the Olympic Hopes Cup in the Czech Republic.


Read a full report and see some more photos here.

She finished 9th all-around and showed off a new floor routine.

Floor was difficult in training as Georgia found it hard to get the timing on the Speith Floor. She hit her new floor routine and was the only gymnast with 3 double saultos at the comp. Most athletes - including the Chinese - only did one. Unfortunately Georgia landed out of the floor on her first and last pass – so was given a 1.0 penalty. Given the Arabian double Saulto is new she handled herself really well – and the new floor dance was done clean.


For her first International assignment this was a very good job. Many coaches and judges came to us and commented on her presentation and skill level and were very impressed with her.

Well done, G-Whee! Be proud of your progress and have a safe journey home!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Worlds Photos Exclusive 2

With thanks once again to The Couch Gymnast.

I'm on ur sidelinez
Nickin' ur pantz

Align Center
Apparently Georgia would "talk to herself"
to keep motivated between rotations.

Loz, this is NO time for hide-and-seek!

There is one additional photo TCG provided of the Australian delegation and I was in two minds about posting it. It involves Shona Morgan on vault. I did initially upload the photo to this post and justified doing so by saying that, while I took little joy in posting it, I did so in the interest of reporting what happened to Team Australia in London. Unfortunately, at one point, something bad had happened involving Shona, and we all heard about it, but it was dealt with immediately in the arena as the photo shows.

I decided not to post the photo here but will leave you with the decision of viewing it for yourselves over at The Couch Gymnast's blog. It's there, it was something that happened to occur during the competition, part of it was captured in photography (and, sadly, somewhere on YouTube it turns out). I don't think it's disrespectful as such to have a photo like that made public, as I think it's important to report what happens in a competition. Mind you, if it were captioned with a "LOL!" or something similar I'd certainly feel bristled. I just personally feel a bit weird putting it here and showing such a moment in stasis.

As it did when news of the injury was first broken, my heart goes out to Shona and I wish her the absolute best in recovery. I hope she comes back stronger than ever and can have happier competition experiences in the new year.

Vlad's Vocation Vacation

Right, now, THIS is what I had been holding out for. Sorry to have been snippy but I hate Facebook-based discussion.

GA confirms a move by Joura family members to Queensland and their new coaching appointments there.

The Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS), in conjunction with Gymnastics Queensland (GQ), have announced the appointments of Vladimir Joura (Head Coach) and Irina Joura (Senior Coach) to their Women's Elite Program. In announcing the appointments, GQ Executive Director Wayne Hill stated, "We believe Vladimir's appointment will contribute to re-building a stable and high quality program that will once again be a positive contributor to the National initiative."

Vladimir Joura coached for 12 years at the highly successful West Australia Institute of Sport (WAIS) Women's program and takes with him to Brisbane his youngest daughter Natalia Joura who is a current member of the National Junior Squad.

Vladimir's departure will create a coaching opportunity at WAIS. If you are interested, please follow the links to the WAIS web site for details.

Best of luck to the family in their transition.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

C'est la Ville

Lots and lots of Combs la Ville videos are up!

Emma Collister's beam:

(Some of) Britt's floor:

Britt's bars:

Emily's vault

More are available to view here.

(I haven't been through all of them yet, but just FYI the video of Em Collister's floor has been incorrectly labelled as Emily Little.)

Worlds Photos Exclusive!

Many sopping spongeloads of thanks to The Couch Gymnast for these photos from her whirlwind trip to London.

Click on each image for a larger version.

And thanks also to the Anon for pointing out some Combs La Ville vids (thanks of course to Aurelia as well):

Emma Collister bars here.

Emma Collister floor here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Turn of the Wheeler

Best of luck to MLC gymnast Georgia Wheeler, competing at the "Olympic Hopes Cup", an exciting junior competition in the Czech Republic, November 5-7.

Read more about Wheeler's schedule here and read about the competition itself here.

Go you fluro green fire engine!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Best Ship of All is Membership

Happy belated 2nd(!!!) birthday to the Supporters of Australian Gymnastics group at Facebook, my bouncing baby precursor to the blog, currently boasting over 130 members.

Have you joined yet?

Another good ship is mentorship! Here's Naazmi Johnston at the 2009 NSW State Categories Championships, performing for what looks like an enthralled audience of future rhythmic stars!

Sunday Age

I believe this is what Victorians can expect in their Sunday rag today.

Hurrah (again) for gymnasts in the media.

Speaking of...

Alex Croak features in November's International Gymnast magazine, in a "Quick Chat" feature.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Paris Je T'aime

Results are in from the Combs La Ville international in Paris.
The organising committee and club are extremely friendly and happy to have the Australian Team taking part in their competition again. Holly Dykes [sic] name appears in the program from 2004, which was a great find by the girls when they were reading through it.

Team- 1st: Australia 2nd: Canada 3rd: Dijon

All-Around- 3rd: Britt 4th: Emily

Merci à pour les photos et les résultats!

GA have a short report here.

We started competition on floor, Britt going up first - she did a great routine, which ranked her 3rd, Emma Collister was up next, however they played Emily's music by mistake.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Team Talk

First of all, VOTE FOR LAUREN! in the 2009 Sports Performer of the Year Awards. She has been nominated in the Young Performer of the Year category.



Keep an eye out for the Age this Sunday. Greg Baum (who attended the launch of the 2010 Pacific Rim Championships) has written an article on Lauren. It is rumoured to be part of the Sunday magazine that accompanies the Sunday Age.

Thirdly, what are your thoughts on the team line-up prospects for 2010? Australia has a triple treat of big gymnastics events to take part in - Pacific Rim Championships, Commonwealth Games and Worlds - and a cluster of potential new stars to step into the spotlight.

Do you think Lauren Mitchell could/would/should make all three teams?
Who will make the best of a week between competitions, a mere week between plane trips from Delhi to Rotterdam?
What did Rushmoor reveal?
Whose skills could hold up against those of top-class international competitors?
Which juniors are looking good for big-time debuts and national TV exposure?
How will the seniors bounce back from injury woes?
Where does the line between "A-team" and "B-team" fall for you?

Predict your potential line-ups, show us some score breakdowns, let us know what you know!

But, as always, please be civil.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


More of lovely Lauren today!

I am surprised this was (or at least appears to be) the only network to show an interview with her at the event?

Scroll down on this page to hear an interview with Lauren on ABC Radio. Done over the phone on muck-up day, as you do!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Launch Time

In all the hoo-ha and shizzle-nizzle of meeting the marvellous Miss Mitchell, it's easy to forget the very reason she was in Melbourne in the first place!

The road to Pacific Rim 2010 starts here.

AGB Meets Lauren Mitchell




So I got there at 3:30 and was, for once in my life, the tallest person in the room! A queue of a dozen or so VIS gymnasts had already formed (Zoe Lorenzin dutifully taking photos for the HPC website in absence of her lovely mum) for autographs and photos. Lauren was seated at a card table and had a massive stack of glossy posters in front of her, ready for autographs.

Some girls brought their own printed-out photos and home-made posters featuring newspaper cutouts. They were soooooo excited, and I was only too happy to let them go ahead of me in the line. They had coaches waiting, anyway!

I spotted (what I was sure was) Fiona Coley training double pikes on the tumble track and one gymnast (couldn't tell from afar but was possibly a junior or level 10) was training beam with her arm in a sling!

Lauren was very patient with every autograph, asking for name spellings and personalising each one. I had to laugh when Tatiana Barabach leaned over and asked if Loz could sign one "for my office, okeh? One for my office!" Sharp as a tack, Lauren got ready to write on a poster and asked, "Would you like me to sign it, 'To Your Office'?"

The girl is clearly a COMEDIC GENIUS and should be given a nightly open mic slot in a Sydney bar post-haste.

It was finally my turn and I got my usual case of star-struck verbal diarrhoea. She hadn't heard of the blog or the Facebook fan page but was gracious all the same, and impressed to hear there were some 260 people registered as 'fans' of her at last count. She was touched to hear about all the people that followed Worlds live into the wee hours of the morning and did the adorable scrunched-up-nose laugh when I took a stab at humour and said that all the people celebrating her wins late in the night "nearly broke the internet". I thanked her for making the effort to come out to Melbourne, and remarked that with all her media stuff today she "must be exhausted!" but she laughed again and said no, it was all fine. The launch this morning "went really well" and she's having a good time down here. I got a photo and she very kindly signed my copy of The West Australian on whose front page she was featured. I then thanked her for coming to Melbourne (again!!!) and reminded her that there would always be legions of fans at home and around the world behind her. I also gave my best wishes to Dasha, Emily, and everyone at WAIS. I also nervously asked for a high-five, to which she obliged. I'm pretty sure I am now imbued with the power of flight and the ability to cure diseases.

My total lingering time was just under half an hour, I have no idea what that second half hour was like after all the littlies started training. I can only hope more people came along and got their little brush with fame.

Oh yeah, and this happened as well:

Make sure you catch ABC News tonight wherever you are, they mention the PacRim media launch. Just now, I caught the tail end of a clip featuring Prashanth doing pommel circles and Lauren doing a flip on floor in her EF leo, evidently in the VIS gym so it will have been from the launch earlier today.

What a day!