Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Say Hhhello to Mah Leedle Frend

Please welcome a new addition to the blogosphere, VicGym! This bouncing, bonny babyblog promises news and views on the gymnastics scene in Victoria and around Australia. Can't wait to see what crops up.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Poker? I Don't Even etc etc innuendo here.

Here's an interesting concept for all you coaches and choreographers out there.

We've seen "Enter Sandman" used already this year, and all manner of adapted pop songs in college gymnastics.

Do YOU think an orchestral version of Lady Gaga's "Pokerface" would work as floor music?

It's pretty damn awesome and catchy.

QLD States 2

Thanks to my ever-observant Queensland sources (is it it sunshiney where you are? No, don't answer that. I already know... *shiver and sigh*) who sent me the following info from the Queensland state championships.

The international portion of the Queensland State Championships, which are currently being held at the Sleeman Centre in Chandler, suffered a sadly depleted field, with only three gymnasts competing in the Senior and Junior International divisions. MBC's Larrissa Miller was crowned senior champion by default, being the only competitor in her category (no sign of Amber Fulljames et al). Miller is a beautiful gymnast, but she didn't have the greatest of nights, suffering a fall on bars (her strongest event) and several falls on beam and floor. It is to be hoped she will fare better at the National Championships in Perth and at the Japanese competition she is scheduled to attend.

The Junior International division was won by QAS representative Bridget Beattie, the only one in her category to compete on all four events. Like Miller, Beattie was far from faultless, but she did quite well on beam and floor and avoided large mistakes on bars, although her handstands need some work on the latter apparatus. Teammate Amaya King-Koi, the only other competitor in the Junior International category, did not compete all events. She did pretty well on beam, showing off several difficult skills, but suffered a nasty fall on bars on a rough-looking Jaeger.

MBC's Shar-lee Clark and Georgia-Rose Brown had to sit out the Junior International competition, presumably due to injuries. Rumour has it Clark will miss Nationals too - again.

There was no IDP 10 competition, and only two gymnasts took part in the IDP 8 competition, both from QAS. In the end, Brittany Boffo edged out Tianye Boorman for the AA gold. Both girls displayed good strength, flexibility, skills and confidence on all apparatus. Their leaps and turns need a little work, but other than that they're very promising.

Several other promising girls from the junior IDP ranks had to watch the action from the sidelines, including QAS' Brittany George (who reportedly had elbow surgery a while ago) and MBC's Georgia Godwin and Brianna Wong.

Chloe Sims competed in the Level 10 competition, but did only two events - bars and beam. She suffered falls on both events and failed to medal.


* Emma Longmuir won (National) Level 10.
* Alyce Arrowsmith was spotted judging lower level girls
* MBC's Courtney Haley won Level 9, and was also named QLD Levels gymnast of the year.
* Sam Simpson won QLD International MAG of the Year
* AMBER WON QLD INTERNATIONAL WAG OF THE YEAR! Big love from the Team (B)ambi Queensland Delegation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

QLD States

Little tidbits from Queensland source -

Brittany Boffo won IDP 8, scoring 16.40 on what I'm told was a gorgeous beam routine (A-score 8.2, B-score 8.2).

P-Liddy was in attendance, watching the IDP 5,6,8 girls, National 8 girls, and helping with medal presentations.

I can't seem to find results or work orders anywhere (at GQ or GA websites).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Phantastic Photos

Some great Vics photos can be viewed here.

Everybody give Nade a pat on the back!

"I love my club thiiiiiiiiiis much!"

She officially gets 100 coolness points in my book.

"Aaaaaand it says you're cleared of swine flu. Carry on, dear."

"Pssst! Fi... I forgot the words to the national anthem!"
"That's ok, Britt... so have half the people in the stands."

"Um... didn't you read the dress code on the invitation?"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sign Flu

Sick, housebound, losing my voice.

Here are some things I'd say if I could speak properly right now.

Back in Perth for several weeks before a return to OSU. Look at that attention to detail, even using fluro orange paint.

That's, "And anyone else with hurty bits" if you can't quite make it out. Stupid camera.

I'd add more o's if I could...

For realsies.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Paintin' Their Nails, Talkin' About Girls...

The NSW Gymnastics Sports Management Committee has taken an interesting, wordy approach to men's Nationals this year. They've strived to make their state MAG contingent more cohesive and confident before hitting Brisbane. I wonder if such an idea has ever (or often) been undertaken by other states in the past.

When you bring a group of athletes together for the first time and expect them to all work together without knowing each other that well, it can lead to some interesting outcomes.
This is true. Not everyone has a clubmate or other familiar face with them to compete in the same division, let alone the same competition.

Solution - slumber party in the gym!

NSW gymnasts in Level 6 U/12 and Level 7 U/13 all stayed in camp overnight at the Sydney Academy of Sport with the NSW team of chaperones as many of them have not been away from home without their parents, so this was an important part of their preparation. The rest of the squad came in on the Sunday for team training which was held at the Northern Beaches Gymnastics Club.
The outcome of the weekend was rewarding and beneficial on so many levels to which NSW will continue with their camp based team weekend and look to work collectively to grow the sport.

The approach is was dubbed an address of the issues, "Teamwork and Formularisation".

I repeat: formularisation.

I repea--nah, too many syllables.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How The West Was Won

WA state championships have been on, how could I have been so neglectful!? I apologise.

Results are here. I'm confused by the 'Winter Challenge' thing but I assume it was incorporated into the competition just as the Chalk Gymnastics Challenge was at the Victorian state championships. Oh, you didn't notice? That's alright, not too many did.

Yes, Lauren Mitchell's got herself a 6.8 difficulty value on beam (6.4 on Day 2) so I really hope she can work towards London with it and atone for Beijing. Her Day 2 all-around total was 105.700, compared with potential national title rival Shona Morgan's 108.835. As far as I can understand the results, Lauren was the ONLY senior female competitor so she has won the state AA title by default.

Or something.

ETA: Ohhhhkay, apparently those Winter Challenge results are NOT standing in for/incorporated into/particularly relevant to the state title component and final standings therein. Stay tuned for actual state results, I'm away until later this evening.

WAGadelic, Baby - We've Lost our MelJo

According to an Oregon State insider, Beaver-to-be Melanie Jones will NOT be trying out for our London Worlds team before heading to college. Her plan is to, "try to arrive this summer with the rest of the incoming Freshman for the BRIDGE program and not attempt to make the World Championships".

Best of luck, Mel, if this is truly what you're pursuing. Hope you enjoy yourself in your new environment and do your new team proud.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last of the Vics

MLC results round-up and a couple of photos here.

High Performance Centre round-up here.

Vive La Resistance!

Are YOU related to, or associated with, an Olympian?
Are YOU frustrated with the limited coverage the 7 Network gave us last August?
Are YOU unsure of where to find your sister's/daughter's/charge's/niece's historic performances from 2008?
Are YOU looking for full routines captured from somewhere that wasn't the stands?
Are YOU wishing to avoid the long download times that come with trying to view them?



I believe more will be on their way, I realise there are some omissions here.

Catch them quick before certain television networks pull out their Men In Black memory beam thingies and wipe away every trace.

*fixes miner's helmet on head and goes back to digging underground tunnel with teaspoon*

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sam Says...

It's not just the women's program getting a guernsey in IG lately.

John Crumlish interviewed our sole MAG representative in Beijing, Sam Simpson in a piece that talks about his aspirations for the rest of 2009 and 2010. From the sounds of it, he's tired of being second banana at Nationals so good luck to him in Brisbane next month.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Courtesy of Nade.

Gymnstands a Gem

An awesome treasure trove has been unearthed in YouTube user Gymnstands2 (an off-shoot of the Gymnstands website? Not sure). There are fantastic playlists including the 1994 Commonwealth Games (with, yes, THOSE opera house leotards) and 1997 Australia vs USA event. There are also lots and lots and lots of individual videos of routines, old and new, including Aussies competing at Shanghai, France, Stuttgart and Glasgow World Cups.

Also of interest on YouTube are a few routines from the 2003 Groningen 8-country competition that hadn't surfaced until recently.

Steph Moorhouse's beam is here.
Steph's bars are here.
Monette Russo's beam is here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vics: Club Round-Up

Get the proud perspectives of participating clubs at the following links-

MLC Gymnastics (love those photos!)

Waverley Gymnastics Centre

PIT Gymnastics

Box Hill Gymnastics Club

Balance Gymnastics

There are a few more to be updated, including MLC and the High Performance Centre.

Detailed results can be found at Gymnastics Victoria.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Vic Pics

From camera phone. Apologies for quality.

WAG National Level 7-9 and MAG 7O, 7U and 8O qualification

MLC and Waverley National 9's showed they're friends as well as competition rivals

G-Bo and ShoMo 'avin a laff

Clockwise from left: Amaya, Annaliese Varga, Tianye and Bambi. With added ShoMo!

My camera phone didn't do this moment justice. There were four Level 2 boys sitting on a crashmat together when their session was over, like birds on a wire, looking tiny and adorable (especially when they ALL were resting their heads on their chins).

Videos are very slowly on their way! If you haven't done so already, check out MistySakura's.

Happy Birthday To...

Waverley's Emma Dennis, who turns 17 today!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vics Day 4

I have been spending ten to twelve hours each day at the venue so please excuse me for any errors or ramblings. Please also excuse the brevity, I need my bed and I need it NOW. I was there at 6am today, before the outside lights were on or the doors were open and was home just after 7pm.

I spent most of the morning typing up results round-ups and media releases of the previous day's sessions, and then compiling short biographical notes on various competitors for the announcer to read out. And then it was back to mad scribbling of notes during the actual competition. Go me. *clap clap*

Everybody boo and hiss at the family that sat next to me and INSISTED on leaving their seats fifty times to go and get food or burp the children or speak to the girl they were cheering on (before her rotations were finished I might add) and who constantly made me shift in my seat to make room. I ended up moving. And then moving again after taking a phone call. I never sat in the same seat twice!

I saw Amber Fulljames sitting in the stands, with Amaya and Tianye, cheering on her Queensland IDP counterparts. As she got up to leave (senior warmup would be startng eventually) I approached her and Amaya shyly and said, "Um, hi, sorry, um, I'm a big fan of your gymnastics. I'm one of many, actually. And... we're really excited you're here and I hope you have a great competition today, good luck!" and they said thankyou. I wanted to bundle them up in my pocket and take them home as cute charms. They're great.

Unfortunately Amaya had what must have been the crash of the day, if not the competition. Early into the general warmup, she slipped on the vault runway and plummeted onto the beatboard, smacking her face. She didn't get up for a little bit. To her credit she returned for the competition sporting a big red bruise near her eye. She didn't do so great on beam, an early fall rattled her but she did really well on floor to make up for it (stuck double pike, double twist, lovely leaps).

Amber again sat down her double arabian and went OOB on her double pike on floor but her cause was helped by a steady beam routine that earned her a massive hug from G-Bo. She also caught a lovely straddle jaeger on bars and had a near-stick on the dismount.

Despite showing herself to be a cool, calm, quiet operator, Shona showed some uncharacteristic mistakes today. She had a big flappy-arm wobble on beam, sat down her 2.5 twist punch front and suddenly lurched forward on her double front bars dismount going into a roll. It was an otherwise good round for her (see below).

Alexandra Eade, poor dear. Had three false runs at vault. Not to be outdone, Amie Martin of Grips experienced music problems AGAIN (it happened on Saturday) and was presented and re-presented about four times before starting the routine.

Emma Dennis and Shona showed off double Yurchenkos, Britt did a 1.5. The final vault standings ended up being just that - Dennis 1, Morgan 2 (even though it was stuck like crazy, think Dasha in Stuttgart prelims, she had slightly bent knees), Greeley 3.

Had there been some horrible surface-to-air ginger-seeking missile launched at the venue today, Waverley's senior and junior lineups would be mostly wiped out. Thank heavens such a device has not yet been created. I loves me the redhead frecklies. Doin' it for the pale, sun-sensitive ones, woohoo!

Rachel Collister is a star of the future. Ditto Laura Hingston (filling Hollie Dykes' prima ballerina shoes), Alex Eade, Alex Byers-Armstrong, Amelia McGrath... hell, the MLC program full stop! These girls have got some big skills done with some serious style. I stood to the side of the floor while presentations were going on. I remarked to one of the MLC coaches as another girl won an umteenth medal that, "I guess it doesn't get much better than this being a coach, eh!" and she replied, "Nope, and I'm really happy, they did well today!"

On the MAG side, Luke Wadsworth, Vincent Lam, and the "Raging" Bull brothers (nickname courtesy of my non-fan friends) are proving the MAG program is not all doom and gloom. Teeny-weeny Lachlan Fitzgerald and Caelen Bacon scored some medals in the lower levels, as well as some fawning hearts, over this weekend. Them + Bambi in the same room = I wouldn't be able to stop going "fwaaaaaw...!"

In IDP 5, the visting New Zealand gymnasts took the bulk of the honours; almost all final placings had a 'residential' medallist sharing the position.

Grace Flood won the IDP 8 division, over club mate Madelaine Lleydin and Jets gymnast Isis Lowrey. Isis is the one who looks like a Russo/Larson clone, with a cute little sister to match! She has great presentation on floor, and along with her fellow all-around medallists is definitely one to keep an eye on. Grace also took out the beam, bars and *I think* vault titles with Madaleine winning floor. IDP 6 was dominated by MLC. Due to a computer error, the IDP 5 all-around was re-presented. The original winner turned out to be ranked second. Oooops!

Happy Birthday to Hannah Johnston of BTYC and Samantha Bognar of the HPC!

SHONA MORGAN is our new state all-around senior champ, with BRITT GREELEY in second and FIONA COLEY in third!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Vics Day 3

Worked my tail off when I got in this morning, preparing press releases. It's difficult, though, to report on an event when you don't have the final results sheet available so there are some gaps here and there. They will be worked on as the day goes on, please don't think I'm sitting back with my feet up the whole time. I look it, I'll admit, as I do sit and take notes in the stands; but I also help on the front desk and in keeping the volunteer space locked up. All the volunteers are lovely. Truth be told, there is little I am qualified to do down on the floor, e.g. moving equipment or doing scoring. I did, however, have to dash across yesterday, laptop bag banging my hip, to get something to the announcer's table at short notice. As much a sudden inconvenience for me as it was for Frogman. Sorry, mate. And audience. I know I'm not much to look at.

Last night was totally ace, I love seeing the elites up close. There are some littlies performing today, just adorable. The boys are tiny, barely higher than the standard pommel horse.

Britt and Zoe are here to watch today, I passed them looking at the leotard racks.

In my video of Amber's floor, I comment that it was very So You Think You Can Dance-ish, it's a hip-hop piece a la Britt's new floor, with some sassy choreography. If she gets the double arabian down she'll be on to a winner.

I noticed a girl last night (Junior or Inter 10) using floor music by one of my favourite bands. It was Fourplay string quartet's cover of Metallica's 'Enter Sandman'. It really does make for good floor music, contrary to appearances!

I can't add much that Misty didn't already say or film! Just extraneous stuff, really.

*VWHPC have a nice new tracksuit. Tight stretchy black and white material.
*Some of the WAGs made light (nice!) cracks about the sport aerobics performers, about how so much smiling and appearing happy for the full two minutes must hurt quite a bit.
* One of the Grips girls did her bars routine with gymsocks on.
* Peggy was wearing the new blue and white national tracksuit top. It looks pretty good!
*Did you know... Emma Dennis and Georgia Bonora share a favourite colour in green?
* It's a shame the MAGs didn't appear so confident yesterday. There is A LOT of buzz around VWHPC's A.J. Thanas.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vics Day 2

Due to working on media releases I missed most of the Levels 3-6 today. I snuck in and caught a bit but sadly not enough to do an entry on.


IDP 10's, Juniors and Seniors:

I missed most of rotation 2 because I had to do a task so I'm pretty sure I missed Waverley on bars. I only recall seeing Georgia's routine before ducking out...

I have taken a few videos and photos but don't have time to upload until the event is over. Sorry.

MistySakura should have some YouTube fabulousness up in the coming days so stay tuned.

I did not stay to see/hear results because it was 11:30pm and the last MAG rotation wasn't over. I had to get home.

I "checked in" Georgia and Shona at the front desk, they were friendly. Georgia said 'thanks' when I said 'lots of fans are wishing you luck tonight... believe me, there are lots of them!' I unfortunately didn't get to say as much to Shona.

Zoe Lorenzin was off with a minor (not to detract from the fact that it's a bad situation) injury.

Amber Fulljames is still teeny tiny and smiley as ever. Unfortunately she didn't have the best night, with falls on beam and floor (new routine, too). Peggy was working hard with the Waverley and QLD girls tonight, particularly on beam and floor. She was really helping Amber and Amaya prep for beam and consoling after falls.

Spotted in crowd: Ash Brennan, Steph Moorhouse, Karen Nguyen.

Shona and Georgia are Victoria's dynamic duo. They're great (save for an uncharacteristic floor fall from ShoMo). As they warmed up for beam they did a little fist bump/handshake and my mind immediately reeled at what we should call them, using a combination of their names. The best my brain came up with was either Team Shorgia or Team Bogan. A bit wrong on both counts, I think.

Cute moment - Amber passes by Georgia on beam warm up, G-Bo gives a fake death glare and "I'm. Watching. You." gesture (think Meet The Parents).

Britt rocked floor (no double arabian) and beam (2.5 twist dismount, no rulfova); Tierra proved shaky once again on beam but still shows promise; Georgia W, Alex and Amelia of MLC showed they're ones to watch (double tucks on floor and off bars if I remember correctly, smashing stuff), Grips girlies have great planche mounts, and CAN SOMEONE CONFIRM IF THAT WAS A YURCHENKO DOUBLE THAT SHONA COMPETED!? I thought my eyes might be deceiving me (it had been a long day after all... there's only so long one can spend in front of a computer screen... I'm glad I'm not a scorer this weekend!)

There were some nasty high bar falls tonight from the men, and when I stole a glance at pommel it didn't look super encouraging either. Several guys went for layout-full dismounts or double-doubles on HB and crashed very badly. One missed what was going to be a spectacular laid out kovacs, another boosted spirits with a caught kovacs. Mixed bag for the fellas tonight. Maybe more luck in event finals!

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway it's 1am . *collapse on keyboard and snore*

Vics Day 1

Oh, hello there. Don't mind me, sitting her in my PJ's eating some toast. I am a very, very, very tired blogger.

Last night's session ran an hour overtime but be glad I'm not a gym parent because I'd probably be less inclined to give the event staff the benefit of the doubt (hell, I AM one of the event staff) and this would be one vitriolic entry. But it's not going to be. Das blog ist liebe.

Anyway. I'm doing six things at once right now, one of which is typing my scrawled notes from last night. It was the National Levels 7 and 9 WAG and Level 7 Open, 7 Under and 8 Open MAG competition last night.

Briefly -

Waverley beat MLC for the WAG 9 title (vice versa for Level 7), which was no surprise. The girls rocked some big skills (double tuck on floor, front aerial to side somi on beam) and pretty much looked like they owned the place form the moment they walked in. I should know - I was on the accreditation desk.

I couldn't watch much of the men as I was sitting nearer floor and beam. Pommel, high bar and vault were quite far from me and even then attention was on the girls. Oh yes, spectators: Men's and women's events run IN THE SAME ARENA AT THE SAME TIME. If you ever you wanted to ask Santa for extra eyes, now's your moment. I can tell you that pommel and high bar, from what I saw in stolen glances, were a little disappointing.

The Collister twins are more vibrantly ginger than they appear in photos. I checked them in after a slight delay. They weren't too happy - then again, after the kerfuffle of getting all the gymnasts into the arena, then out (to check in) and then in again, I'm not surprised.

John Hart: Seriously. Have you never EVER appeared in a David Jones catalogue? Really? What a travesty.

Tonight will see the Int'l 10's, seniors and juniors so I hope I get to spend some time at the accreditation centre to celeb-spot. VIP's expected to be in attendance include Athens and Sydney Olympians who... I don't think I'm at liberty to name just yet.

I really have to go now and keep typing this notes. Check out the GV website for results and press releases which yours truly will have a hand in. You'll spot them. They'll be the ones with the header, "Thorpey reckons this press release is fully sick!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Victoria: The Place To Be

Best of luck to all the gymnasts, coaches, judges, physios, drivers, score-flashers, ushers, runners, gym parents, cashiers, cheer squads, security personnel, vendors, coffee cart guys and announcer (no plural necessary there) at the Victorian Gymnastics Championships and Rhythmic Aussie All-Stars Invitational tomorrow.

I offer a big squishy Melbourne hug to our interstate and NZ visitors, and welcome them with an ancient Australian Gymnastics Blog tradition of doing the happyhappyjoyjoy pyjama-clad daggy dance of awesome. It's really quite an art form, I must show you some time.

If our paths cross, do introduce yourself/ves. There are some sessions where I will be not doing my rostered media work/miscellaneous helping out and instead just watching the event (most likely with green notebook in tow). I will admit I'm biased towards artistic gym but will certainly have a squizz at the rhythmic gym if I get the chance. It means a lot when I get to say hello to new people and put names to faces. If you happen to hear someone behind you asking a gymnast for a photograph and you turn and they're wearing a white volunteer's shirt and blushing a lot... that'll probably be me.

I'm really excited about the event, particularly about seeing some of our elites up close. I hope my volunteer capacity gets me down on the floor at some point, even for a very short while. For me it's like walking on the MCG grass, I just love being part of something we so often see only on television or in internet footage, something that sometimes feels like a whole different world.

Well, different world - here I come!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breaking News: Morgan Out, Miller In!

Omgz you guys. Shona Morgan's, like, way intelligent and in touch with her scholastic side 'n' whatever. She's just like Tina Fey.


Shona Morgan has withdrawn(!) her invitation to the Japan Cup, her slot will go to Queensland's Larissa Miller(!!). Shona cites her reason as the competition clashing with a school exam(!!!). Good on you, darl. Way to make a tough decision. Way to prioritise. Wait til you hit university, where getting your work done comes before everything - breathing, eating and sleeping in particular.

We love ya, Sho-Mo. Ace that test then come back and kick arse!!!

*ahem again*

And good luck, Larissa on your first big international assignment!

Pommel Prince Prash in the Press

I hope GA continues to bounce back press clips from competitions. They're great. At the moment it's all about our World Cup silver medallist Prashanth Sellathurai and his time in Russia. Gold nuggets this week include a post-event interview and a video of his routine from the final.

If he's ALREADY standing on a box, I'll totally squee.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Would You Like to Know...

What the Australian Gymnastics Blog is laughing about right now? Out loud? Shamelessly?

If you haven't yet come across the current trend of Literal Music Videos, then this is the introduction for you!

Kudos for the hilarity, double kudos for the brief mention of gymnastics.

...and ninjas.

Late Breaking News

I hate the way eight hour work shifts completely throw off my blogging priorities! How rude!

Yes, the Japan Cup WAG team (July) has been named.

Shona Morgan, Lauren Mitchell, Britt Greeley and BAMBI!

I really like this team. I really do. Except I, too, would've liked to see Georgia Bonora have a crack at it also. But you can't have everything I suppose. Any of these four girls (notably the first two) could head to Worlds this year, this will be vital competition experience.

International Gymnast expands a little on Dasha Joura's injury update (correction: they're expanding on GA's latest piece). She will take on a 'team management' role alongside the WA team at nationals this year. This little beacon of hope crops up so I don't think all is lost:

“Looking on the calendar…the Pacific Rim Championships in April next year… I suppose I can put a red flag on there and see how I go and see if I can prepare for that one.”

So... who wants to sign my cast?