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.