Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Best of 2012

It gets tricky to recall every gymnastics happening of 2012. It becomes more and more of a debacle to put together the categories I would normally put up each year. Also, isn't mentioning 'sad' events a thing that makes you sad? Yeah.

This year I'd just like to narrow down AGB's highlights to the "best of"s.

1. What was the best Australian artistic, rhythmic or gymsport routine(s) you saw this year?

2. What was your favourite moment in Australian gymnastics this year??
(medal win, sideline moment, media or social media appearance etc)

Comment on this post with the routine details (gymnast name, competition, apparatus/discipline), and say why you liked it, or what it meant when it happened. Was it the best execution you've seen? Was it huge skills nobody else was busting out? Was it someone's comeback? Was it an event Australia hasn't done well in before? Was it a clutch routine for the team? What excited, delighted or ignited your gymbrain this year? And if you can't find a video of it to link to, describe it and I will try to track it down for you

Here are some the AGB elves enjoyed...

Artistic: Women's floor. Lauren Mitchell, London Olympics team prelims. What can we say? Resplendent in the green and gold, Lauren battled an abdominal injury to complete a routine good enough for a finals slot, which then led to a wonderful moment for 2012: our highest ever women's individual Olympic finish.

Artistic: Men's rings. Josh Jefferis, Pacific Rim Championships event final. Cool Hand Joshy! One of Australia's few medal wins (bronze) on American soil at a PRC. Clean with a very determined dismount. Hearing he medalled for this brought a smile to my dial.

Artistic: Women's uneven bars. Olivia Vivian, National apparatus finals. At the national championships, our expat expert on bars proved irrefutably that she can still rule the roost. What a dismount! What! A! Dismount!

Acrobatics: Odyssey, Australia's Got Talent 2012 grand final. Awww yiss. Acro on the nationally televised stage... and SUCH acro! Just listen to the reception!

Rhythmic: Ball. Janine Murray, London Olympics prelims. Yes, she quite literally drops the ball towards the very end. But her fluidity and personality prior to the mistake are just great. So stylish! The ball and ribbon routines are my personal favourites of Janine's repertoire.

So, over to you.

I'll add your suggestions and comments to a new post that will continue to be updated as they come in. Feel the love!

And also feel free to highlight routines that aren't at Olympic or otherwise elite levels (but preferably not ones from budding gymmers "just because they are my son/daughter"! Otherwise the post might explode!)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Breakfast With Brennan

If you missed the chat with Ash Brennan at the Victorian High Performance Centre a while back, video of the day has gone up at their channel here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WA Leads The Way

Like her trophy cabinet wasn't overloaded enough...

On December 13th, Lauren Mitchell was awarded the Winter Strickland Medal for 2012, at WA'S ANZ Sports Star Awards. The medal is awarded "for the most outstanding performance by a Western Australian olympian at the most recent Summer and Winter Olympic Games, as voted by Members of the Olympians Club of WA".

Lauren's coaches, Martine and Nikolai, were also up for Coach of The Year. Her training partner and London teammate Emily Little was up for Junior Sports Star of the Year.

A full list of the gymnastics nominees in all award categories can be found here.

If you're interested in the medal's namesake, read a short piece here.

Image courtesy Gymnastics WA

Monday, December 17, 2012

NCAA G'day/Goodbye

The US university gymnastics season is soon upon us.

We have had Aussies farewell the collegiate world this year, while some are still plugging away at it.

So what are they up to as the 2012/13 season fires up?


Perth's Olivia Vivian left the OSU Beavers in good spirits, and even brought bottled some to bring back back to Australia, in winning a maiden National Clubs senior all-around title. Back in Oregon,  2008 Olympic squad team-mate Melanie Jones is bouncing back from disappointment at last year's NCAA Nationals floor final to barrel towards a new season, her last with the school. Let's hope there are more perfect 10s for her beautiful work next year.

You can see photos of Mel in action at the recent OSU intersquad competition here. She was apparently 'unwell' and did not compete all events on the day. I wish I looked that good when I'm under the weather!


Monique Blount has also graduated from the collegiate scene after a shaky four years in the program. Strongest on beam and floor just like she was back home, the Psychology major battled injury for much of her time in the lineup. However, she managed to compete in two conference championships (the EAGL) with her team.

 Image courtesy GWU Gymnastics page at Facebook

There hasn't beeen frequent (or easy to find) video coverage of Monique throughout her GW career. Here is a video from the start of the 2012 season, of her in action on floor, courtesy of Gymnastike.

You can see a farewell video to Monique and her fellow final-year teammates on the GWU homepage right here (Click on the Videos tab, look in the sidebar for "Senior Day vs Towson"). We wish her the best and hope she has many happy memories of her time with the Colonials.


You can't keep a good ginger down. Waverley's own Shona Morgan will be taking on her third of four years in the Stanford program.

Image courtesy SWG

A regular lead-off for the team, Shona rocked 2012 on beam, bars and floor. She also finished the season with the "Team Academic Award" and Stanford's highest beam score of the year (a phenomenal 9.925).

You can see Shona in videos of the team's very recent December Intersquad for the 2012/13 season on Stanford's Facebook page. (Shona leads off on bars and beam.)

They've got spirit, yes they do! They've got spirit, how about you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Got It Pegged

Australian women's national coach Peggy Liddick shared a word with International Gymnast this week.

You can read the interview here.

"Dasha [Joura] is still in and out of the gym, keeping her feet wet. Again, she has not committed either way and I feel she can always contribute to our team when she is fit."

Happy Birthday To...

Junior Olympic Games medallist Angela Donald!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AGB MIA - November 4

Hi everyone.

This is just a quick note to advise you all that on Sunday I am heading off to the USA for two and a half weeks. So the blog and AGB twitter will be on hold until after the 23rd of November. Feel free to discuss gym matters in the comments of this post. But I will still check in on them, as my primary email is where all comments are cc'd. So I advise you, as always, to keep it civil. I look forward to hearing good things out of National Clubs.

If you have matters regarding competition start lists or scores for anything in the upcoming period, please contact your gymnast's club or your state associaton first before making an open query here.


I'll bring you back summin' nice.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Breaking: Chetkovich Cup Videos!

Oh yes, my friends, they are starting to surface!

Olivia Vivian floor

Janine Murray ribbon

ETA 01/11: Below is an event report, courtesy of by Gymnastics WA

On the 26th of October WA’s top gymnastic athletes competed at Challenge Stadium in a competition never seen before, the inaugural Chetkovich Cup. The Chetkovich Cup pinned athlete against athlete in a mixed discipline team competition format, a new concept for a gymnastics competition in WA. Gymnastics WA together with e- Event Promotions constructed a perfect competition to display all disciplines of gymnastics to the general public.

With a crowd of 1600 strong, one by one the athletes came out and wowed the audience with their fantastic skill and co-ordination, all competing for the Chetkovich Cup. Teams were selected prior to the competition by the event sponsors, creating 6 very competitive teams. The teams all competed very strongly, with only 2.8 points separating 1st- 6th place. The winner of the inaugural Chetkovich Cup was the Proseal Panthers who were led by the 2012 Olympian for Rhythmic Gymnastics, Janine Murray. Team members who contributed to winning this prestigious cup were Zoe Tisdale (AER), Amy Quinn (RG), Stefanie Bruder, Lia McEwan and Ava Delahunty (ACRO trio), Eloise Valli (WG) and Joshua DiNucci (MG).

Team results: 
Proseal Panthers                   144.441 
Prime Trophy Patriots          144.333 
Northern District Knights     143.899 
e- Fire Flames                         142.625 
e- Event Eagles                       141.983 
Northern District Cougars    141.633

Athletes were also competing for the Allana Slater Medal, awarded to the most entertaining routine of the night. This award was judged by 5 Olympians with no background knowledge of Gymnastics. The winner of the Allana Slater Medal was Olivia Vivian (Women’s Gymnastics) with a really entertaining and crowd pleasing routine. The event could not have been possible without the fantastic assistance from event sponsors, volunteers, judges, athletes, coaches and event staff. Our sincere thanks goes to the event sponsors Proseal Constructions, Prime Trophies, e- Event Promotions, Northern Districts Gymnastics Club and e- Fire & Safety. We would also like to acknowledge the judges for giving up their valuable time. To the coaches and athletes, for your time and effort in supporting this inaugural event and the event staff & volunteers who worked tirelessly to deliver this amazing new concept to gymnastics.

Gymnastics WA would like to personally thank Rick Elkington, Director of e- Event Promotions and GWA Board Vice President. The event concept is the brainwave of Rick Elkington and his time, effort and energy he has put into the development of the event is much appreciated.
All in all, the event was an amazing way to promote gymnastics to the wider community and to showcase the talented gymnasts Western Australia has to offer. Gymnastics WA hopes you enjoyed your night and look forward to seeing you at the next Chetkovich Cup!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

AGB Whip-Around

Still here!

WA: The big buzz this past week has been the inaugural Chetkovich Cup. The unique multi-disciplinary WA event has been the talk of the gymnastics world, notably for the move to recognise a participant at the event with a medal named after local legend Allana Slater. The event would also feature a return to the Perth floor for Olympians Lauren Mitchell, Emily Little, Janine Murray and hometown Beaver believer Olivia Vivian.

Over 1,600 people turned up to Challenge Stadium last night to watch the show. When all was said and done, flips flopped and turns twisted, Olivia took home the Slater medal for (quoting Miss Slater herself!) showing "the most entertaining, flamboyant performance", notably her Pink Panther-themed floor routine.

Gymnastics WA has some photos and observations here, and I am sure videos will surface soon.

Georgia Simpson has been rocking and selling Bandana Day fash in support of youth affected by cancer.

VIC: Ashleigh Brennan was once again the toast of the Victorian Women's High Performance Centre with a Q and A held for families and fans. Ash talked about her gymnastics journey all the way up to London 2012, and though I have not seen confirmation, I am told Ashleigh announced her retirement from artistic gymnastics at the session. You can see photos of Ash taking the spotlight here.

You can catch Gymnastics Victoria's profile program on gymsports across the state, that has been airing on Channel 31, right here.

SA: We are not only farewelling QLD's Tom Pichler this year, but his MAG compatriot Sam Offord as well. Sam, pride of Adelaide now retiring with 6 World Championship team experiences under his belt, will be greatly missed.

QLD: Add a date to your calendars before Christmas, funsters! Queensland's High Performance Centre will be hosting an open day for MAG and WAG enthusiasts on December 15th. See more details here.

NSW/ACT:  Sydney has been playing host to the Indo-Pacific Trampoline Championships with Australia holding its own against the likes of Japan and Canada. See placegetters here.

Phillippe Rizzo may be retired, but his brother Antoine is still going strong in Masters gymnastics. Check him out at 3:58 of this video courtesy of Gymnastics NSW.

TAS: Speaking of the Indo-Pacs, shout out to Jack Penny, Tasmania's first gymnast to win a men's individual title at the championships. Jack bested Olympic rep Blake Gaudry in the process!

(Jack is centre)

General News:

- Australia does not have a representative attending the upcoming Stuttgart or Glasgow world cups
- An AIS/GA squads camp is slated for November 25th
- Applications closed recently for the women's artistic national coach position

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wild Rose of Mexico

Very best wishes to Victoria's Georgia Rose Brown competing at the Mexico Open tomorrow.

Follow the event here. Georgia has a solo profile page. You can also check out the "galerias" tab to see photos from the 2011 event, at which Australia also competed. The Couch Gymnast had a quick chat to Georgia before she departed.

Update -

After day 1 and two apparatus, GRB is currently in 3rd place overall on 27.700, and sitting in second place on bars. She vaulted a yurchenko full, and VHPC reports her bars was clean for 14.150.

Gymnastics Australia are putting up photos here.

See video of Georgia's bars routine here and her vault here.

Update - beam and floor a little hesitant but stood up, according to bootleg viewers. 12.95 for her floor (incl. double tuck, double pike).

After 2 days of competition, Georgia has finished in 4th overall with a score of 54.300.

Video of her beam routine from day 2 is here, her floor is about 12 minutes in here and her (stunning!) routine from the competitor's gala can be seen from 17 minutes onwards here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tom Calls Time

Queensland's Thomas Pichler announced his retirement from artistic gymnastics today. His statement is linked below.

We wish Tom all the best in the future, and thank him for his inspiring contribution to the sport.

I’d like to officially announce my retirement from competitive gymnastics. For the past 20 years, I have been training at the Queensland High Performance Centre and the time has finally come to hang up my guards once and for all. As a five year old with too much energy, to my time in London recently, Gymnastics sport has taken me all over the world and I have memories that will last a life time. It has been a tough decision to make but all good things must come to an end. Getting to go to the London Olympics as first reserve, I feel as though I have reached my full potential as a gymnast and would like to leave at the top. I have, however, not been on this journey on my own and there are many people and organisations that I’d like to thank... [read the full statement]

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday To...

Pommel horse wizard and all-around good guy Prashanth Sellathurai!

The pommel dynamo nicknamed "Proshie" turns 26 today! He unfortunately missed an Olympic qualification berth this year and experienced injury, but we look forward to the tricks he pulls off in the 2013 season, on the road to Antwerp!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Assignments Due

First senior post-Olympic assignment has been announced:

Victoria's Georgia Rose Brown will be heading to the Mexican Open in Acapulco this October!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Little Big Time

Hello and all that!

Still here, scuffing my heels as the gymnastics world slowly recovers from the London party.

Gymnastics Australia have given us an update on the recent junior camp in Canberra.

A highlight of the camp was the exquisite quality and skill direction demonstrated by Peter Abbott and his young WAIS crew – many Adlers, Double layouts, Hindorfs and Shaps were on display. 


And the VWHPC has just announced you can book now to have a chat with Ashleigh Brennan!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Birthday To...

London Olympian Josh Jefferis! Hope he's enjoyed all those Welcome Home parties!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday To...

Comeback kid and 2012 national squad member Chloe Sims!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Morning After The Night Before

Ah, the shaky, uncertain void that is the post-Olympic period. Everybody rubs their eyes, slows down their pace and loses a big chunk of internet traffic.

... well maybe that's just me. ;)

Watch out for our gymnasts during coverage of 'welcome home' parades being held nationwide over the coming days.

Meanwhile, Lauren Mitchell says thanks for the support and reassures us she will still be around for the rest of the year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

London Lullabye

The Games of the XXX Olympiad have come to a close.

 Thank you all so much for joining in the excitement of the 2012 Olympics.

Our entire gymnastics delegation should be very proud. Achievements and PBs are not just about medals. As the old saying goes:

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".

Congratulations to artistic gymnast Lauren Mitchell who was elected to the AOC Athlete Commission.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympics: Rhythmic

Best wishes to Janine Murray competing tonight.

Like her on Facebook here and see some candid snaps from London (and her cheer squads around the nation!)

Gymnastics Australia are doing quick hits at twitter and Facebook. Channel 9's broadcast has just kicked off (9:10pm AEST). I am trying to hear the music over pouring rain!

After a friendly reminder that she's competing, Foxtel ( is now trying to get #TwirlJanineTwirl trending, so go for it all you twittlebugs!

UPDATE: An unfortunate error in an otherwise delightful ball routine has bumped Janine down in the standings, so it is doubtful she will make all-around or event finals, though there more apparatus to be competed. Some lovely messages of support were coming through during her performances last night.

You can read a short wrap-up here. Press photos of Janine in action are going up here.

UPDATE DAY 2: Janine again represented Australia well in clubs and ribbon but it was not enough to see her through to any finals.  She finished a commendable 22nd.

Read a wrap-up here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympics: Artistic Wrap-Up

What can we say, as the artistic portion comes to a close?

 Lauren Mitchell (5th, floor) and Josh Jefferis (19th, all-around) officially notched Australia's best ever individual Olympic finishes by a female and male gymnast respectively. Certainly nothing to sniff at.

 Like everyone else, I was cheering my telly at 1:30 in the morning, proud we'd seen a Netherlands gold and hoping the good vibe could keep going into the Australian camp. It was a pretty tense 90 seconds and none of us are her coach on the sidelines!

Image credit: Reuters

Lauren finished 5th thanks to some jump/leap errors, but managed to successfully stand up and keep in bounds all 4 tumbles, capitalising on mistakes by Wieber, Izbasa and Afanasyeva. She should be very proud of herself.

 Read media coverage about Lauren here and here. The Age has a photo gallery of Lauren here.

There were just four of the others who were better than me," she said, a metaphoric shoulder shrug. "I think it probably would have been more heartbreaking to finish equal, and then just because of execution come fourth. I'm happy where I am."
A post-competition interview with Lauren is here. Revisit the Australian footage of the routine here.

Now we turn our attention to rhythmic gymnastics, as Janine Murray flies the flag for Australia.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Olympics: Women's Floor Final

Cometh the hour, cometh the gymnast.

At 1:20am AEST tonight Australia's greatest gymnast, Lauren Mitchell, goes for a maiden artistic gymnastics gold in the floor final. She will compete in the 02 arena, home of her first world championship medal, the country's first in a gymnastics world championship apparatus final.

She goes into the event with world gold and silver under her belt, World Cup prestige, Commonwealth Games acclaim and the hopes of a nation. Lauren is only the second Australian woman to compete at Olympic floor final, after the elegant Lisa Skinner in Sydney 2000.

The final start list is here.

Peggy Liddick has shared her thoughts prior to the competition here.

If Channel 9 is bothering you as much as it's bothering me, follow a live feed of the BBC coverage right here. Click on the pink triangle.
Gymnastics Examiner should be doing quick hits at her blog here.

Get in the mood for what could be a medal-winning routine with her previous podium-finish performances:

World Cup gold, 2012

All-Around top floor score, 2011

World Championship gold, 2010

Commonwealth Games gold, 2010

 Otherwise.... follow me at to join in the fun! Cheer loud and proud for Loz!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympics: Trampoline

The life of a trampoline gymnast really is full of ups and downs.

I tuned in to catch Blake Gaudry's two qualifying routines. He did a fantastic first one to place 9th in the rankings, then unfortunately had a stack in his second and misses the final, finishing 13th.

Gaudry unfortunately does not get the chance to better Jai Wallace's silver in Sydney, but goes away from London with a bouncing bounty of memories... including meeting some royals!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympics: Women's All-Around

Get ready to stay up late and chuck eleven kinds of sickie tomorrow, Australia has TWO girls flying the flag in artistic gymnastics tonight!

Competition kicks off approx. 1:30am AEST. Check out the start list here. Emily and Ashleigh will rotate together, starting on floor.


Wow wow wow, what a tense final! A lot of unexpected performances across the field, and like everyone else I was biting my fingernails in the final rotation!

Em and Ash improved their preliminary rankings, finishing15th and 20th respectively, so despite errors can count themselves among the top 20 gymnasts in the world. A brief wrap-up is here.

Videos from inside the arena are going up here.  Bless you, Fulltwist!

photo via Reuters

Our last artistic gymnastics representation will be Lauren Mitchell in the women's floor final. Not to count out that we also have Janine Murray strutting her stuff in rhythmic and bouncin' Blake Gaudry in trampoline!

Olympics: Men's All-Around Final

What a coup for men's gymnastics and what an inspiration we have in Josh Jefferis!

Josh blitzed his qualification performance and finished in 19th place.  He was 5th after rotation 2! Team liaison Layne Beachley even called him "best in show"! So 7 years after making our highest ever men's AA performance at a World Championships, he notches our highest Olympic finish too.

I like to think it was the lucky undies. ;)

He's pretty darn stoked about the result, and so he should be!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympics: Australian Finallists

Well, now that the dust of preliminaries has settled, we have the following finallists to cheer on:

Men's All-Around: Josh Jefferis
Women's All-Around: Emily Little, Ashleigh Brennan
Women's floor: Lauren Mitchell

Some articles from the women's preliminary last night can be found here and here and here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rotation 1 interlude

Can we just for a sec? Yeah. Legend.

I am very proud of this team. They held it together until the end there, and even in mistakes were there for eachother every step of the way. I hope they walked out of the arena with their heads held high. What wonderful ambassadors for gymnastics.

Olympics: Women's Preliminaries

Tonight, the Australian women take to the floor (literally, it's their first event!) to better their 6th place finish from Beijing.

Lauren, Ash, Georgia, Emily and Larrissa are set to shine in subdivision 2.

A start list is here.

Foxtel will be broadcasting prelims live from 6:25pm AEST on London3.

International Gymnast, GA, The Gymn Examiner and Gymnastike to name but a few will be livetweeting preliminary competition throughout the night.

Gym Examiner quick hits here.

Foxtel coverage kicked off with the revelation Lauren Mitchell had sustained an abdominal injury but it's been treated, and they are confident for Australia's competition round.


Quotes from Mitchell in this article and also here.

"I have to take a step back and just reassess everything," she said when asked if she felt the pressure going into competition.

"I spoke to the psychologist the last couple of days and that's really helped.

"I think I took on a bit too much pressure from the rest of Australia to take it to that next level."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympics: Men's Preliminaries

Very best wishes to Australia's sole representative in men's artistic gymnastics, Josh Jefferis. We hope Josh can keep the good vibes going from podium training as he flies our flag in session 2, starting on floor.

The start list is here.

Foxtel will be showing the men's preliminary rounds from 7:55pm AEST this evening on London3. Josh's session kicks off at approximately 12:25am.

The men's all-around final will be shown from 1:25am on August 2, live on London3.

Gymnastics Australia will be providing quick hits at Facebook. The Gymnastics Examiner is on the scene, check out Blythe's quick hits as they go up here. If I get word on a working feed, I will let you know. Otherwise, make the most of Foxtel if you have it.

NBC live scoring is coming through here.


West Australian article featuring quotes from Josh here.

What a joy to watch him (on delay!) on channel 9, making the whole nation proud.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olympics: Training

Hi all.

I'll update this post with pre-podium-training information as it comes through.

Aussies feature in NBC's latest photo gallery from training here. Yikes, more pink! And for more of a pink overload, the VWHPC has some candid snaps up here.

Further comments from Lauren on the team's preparation and finals chances here.

Here's a pic of her celebrating her 21st yesterday in the athlete dining hall, courtesy of AOC:

Speaking of lovely photos, these ones of the Aussies in training are watermarked but still nice! I do so love that green and gold leotard...

AGB ALERT - We have video of Lauren in the training gym running through her floor! (Refresh if it doesn't work at first)

The Aus Olympic Team twitter gave us a little look at Josh in podium training, and here's a new article on Peggy Liddick's thoughts as the women's team heads into their own podium training session.

Nadia Comaneci talks up Lauren's chances on Fox Sports here.

7:54pm Follow podium training quick hits here. You wouldn't believe the bad luck I am having with my internet connection tonight!

Aussie girls ""in emerald green leotards with sparkly black mesh sleeves and some yellow details on the bodice", according to Blythe, awooooo!

Hope Lauren is alright. Thus far she's had a rough trot on floor and vault (just a Y-full).

On the Olympic broadcaster, Hamish and Andy just shouted out Josh Jefferis!

Catch some un-watermarked photos from podium training here and some watermarked ones here. I really like the leotard!

Inside Gymnastics chatted to the Aussies about their time and environment adjustments in Olympicsland.

IG2's  hi-res photo gallery featuring the team in training is here.

Sydney Morning Herald's gallery of the team is here.

photo courtesy Gymnastics Australia at Facebook

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday To...

Proud London olympian LAUREN MITCHELL!!!

Our 2010 World floor champion, Commonwealth Games juggernaut and Coles/Foxtel/VISA commercial starlet turns a festive 21 today, and appropriately celebrates it among her Olympic teammates!

Friday, July 20, 2012


There are a number of ways you can chart the Aussie performances in London, and join in the celebrations with me and other Aussie supporters.

This article lists a number of official IOC social media resources you can use to follow Olympic results and participants. Search for an athlete's name to find out if they're tweeting!

You can also follow the Australian Olympic Committee website and twitter .

Good blogs to follow are my chums at The Couch Gymnast or Gymnastics Examiner, who you can find on Facebook and Twitter under those names, outside of their websites.

Gymnastics Australia will of course be on the scene, keeping us in the know.

And me?

Well, I'll be putting up as much content here as I can as competition draws nearer and then gets underway, but your best bet is my Twitter account. The benefit of Twitter is that it can be speedily updated from my phone or computer. It's also easier for any of you other users to contribute to (I am happy to retweet articles or photos you find of our gym delegates).

All our team have officially touched down in London (check out Lauren being fitted out with the team kit), so start warming up those cheering muscles!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Come Fly With Me

Very best wishes to our women's Olympic team who jet off for London today!

Read all about their farewell function here, and don't forget to check out yesterday's post to find out how to support the team through the Go You Big Red Fire Engine Project!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Go You Big Red Fire Engine: Destination London

Lots to talk about today, folks! Time's ticking away!

1. The latest episode of Tom and Josh's web series is up. They now have a desk and mugs, so I think they're going for an "In London Tonight" pitch. Watch out, Roy and HG!

If you've missed any instalments so far, check them out at Tom's channel.

2. Thanks to Brindabella for capturing this profile piece on Emily Little (click on image to expand). She's all smiles.

3. Yes, fire up the sirens and lights, it's back once more!

 Over the next 10 days, show your support for the Australian gymnastics delegation by taking a photo of yourself and/or friends (two-legged or four-legged!) holding a sign that says "Go You Big Red Fire Engine" which I will proudly post here and then forward on to our gymnastics support team in London. The more we get, the bigger the love!

Email photo files to or tweet them to along with your city/state/country. Only include your name if you are comfortable with that. Any messages of support you include will happily be included along with your photo. Most of all, be sure to smile!

Previous years have had some really clever, touching contributions and very nifty signs. So show your true colours (green, gold and red!) as London draws ever closer.

And if you needed a bit more convincing, don't forget the endorsement from Gordon Street's most famous resident, and the man who popularised the phrase.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Birthday To...

TWO lovely gymnasts currently in Olympic camp right now, Olivia Vivian and Larrissa Miller!

Both are wonderful ambassadors for gymnastics in this country and will continue to do us proud in the years to come. Have a great day, girls!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

C'mon Get Happy

Check out Josh and Tom's latest pre-Olympic video blog... from inside Waveney Gymnastics in the UK! Some cheeky candid happysnaps make an appearance.

 The Telegraph has an interview up with former Olympian Allana Slater from the WA Olympic team farewell luncheon. She shouts out Lauren Mitchell and talks about Australia's chances as a team.

 And Oregon State touched base with Aussie alum Olivia Vivian on her role at the women's Olympic team training camp.

Note that both Vivian and Slater stay firm to the belief that, in gymnastics, "anything can happen"!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More Camp Mail

Hello muddah 
Hello faddah
Here I am at 
Camp Canberra!
Camp is very 
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining...!

Another bright and bubbly update from Olivia Vivian and the girls at Olympic camp. They've been bonding inside and out of the training gym.

 Now I know that 8 gymnasts in a kitchen doesn’t exactly sound like the smartest idea, especially when there’s knives and fire involved, but I can assure you we are fully capable. Last week we all made Lamb steaks with mint snow peas and cherry tomatoes. It was a delightfully refreshing change to our weekly schedule.

We also get weekly BBQ food prepared and get to go out for dinner on Saturday nights. Not only does it get us out of the dining hall, but it also creates team-bonding moments that bring us closer as a team.
Liv must have the writing bug. Hot off the presses here is Blog #3! GA also have a link to a picture of the delightful sign Waveney Gymnastics Club erected in honour of the Aussies there for training.

Here's Livvy's Blog #4 with an interesting insight into distraction training for beam. Am I jealous the girls got to see 'Tap Dogs' perform? Heck to the yes!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


All the very best to Tom and Josh who depart today for London. On behalf of the minions and munchkins at AGB HQ, I wish them both a safe and comfortable journey to the UK.

So thrilled to have you flying the flag, the cheering starts right here right now!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Writing Home From Camp


Gymnastics Australia have given us a nifty update from camper and Olympic reserve Olivia Vivian, on the mood at camp and the all-important team trial.

We also have episode 5 of Tom and Josh's Olympic journey vlogs to check out!

For Sale!

Hello there!

My family is moving house in 4 days and I have some old editions of International Gymnast, Australian Gymnast, Ten and Somersault gym magazines to give away to anyone wanting to fill gaps in their collection. Most are ones I bought myself but some I have inherited from previous owners. So I will admit some editions in the pile have things clipped out of them.

I have the following to offer:

Australian Gymnast
April 1983
summer 1990
autumn 1990
summer 1991
winter 1991
autumn 1991
winter 1992
summer 1992
spring 1992 x 2
spring 1993
winter 1993
autumn 1994
spring 1995
autumn 1996
winter 1996

Somersault (Victoria-centic)
Issue 2, june/july 2006 (Bonora cover)
Issue 3, Aug/Sep 2006 (Russo cover)

Ten (Australia-centric)
Issue 1, Issue 3, Issue 4, Issue 6

Aug/sept 1991
November 1991
December 1991
March 1992
May 1992
June/July 1992
June/July 1993
Aug/Sept 1993
Oct 1993
Nov 1993
Dec 1993
June/July 1993
January, February, March, May, August/September 1994
February, March, April, May, December 2005
June, September, October, November, December 2006
Jan/Feb, March, April, May, June, July/Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov 2007
Jan/Feb, April, June, Oct 2008
March 2009

Please email me at if you'd be interested in taking any off my hands.  Unfortunately I cannot post internationally.


Monday, June 25, 2012


Two nifty vids to check out today.

One, from the WAG Olympic team announcement in Canberra (includes footage of the team being named, interviews and training).

Two, from MAGs Josh and Tom as they continue their London journey together. Check out their facetime with London-bound Lauren Mitchell!

Edit Wednesday: Have yourself a third! Lauren features in this stunning commercial for Foxtel's Olympics coverage, made by Clemenger BBDO.

How's about a fourth!? See more from the London squad in training in this feature on the Olympic 'Green And Gold Room', and hear Peggy Liddick's take on video analysis in sports.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I couldn't resist.

London Calling: WAG

Congratulations to the female gymnasts selected to represent Australia in London:

Georgia Bonora
Ashleigh Brennan
Emily Little
Larrissa Miller
Lauren Mitchell
Georgia Rose Brown (1st Reserve)
Maryanne Monckton (2nd Reserve)

Do us proud, ladies!

L-R Emily, Ash, Lauren, Coach Peggy Liddick, Sports Minister Kate Lundy, Larrissa, Georgia. 
Pic courtesy Aus Olympic Committee.

Edit 5:50pm Lauren and the team featured in the Channel 10 sports report this evening. We saw Ministers Abbott and Lundy take a tumble on the trampoline and the team getting a happy snap taken (as above). Lauren admitted that she will "see out the rest of the year" after London, then reassess her future in gymnastics.

Gymnastics Australia's release is here.

6:20pm AEST We're about to see the girls on Channel 9's news!

7:30pm The gymnasts also featured on SBS and ABC1 news.

7:40pm Ninemsn article featuring more detail from Peggy Liddick.

 If ever a photo was crying out for a caption....

11pm: International Gymnast online article, including this teaser:

Read "Why I Came Back," a first-person narrative on [Dasha] Joura's comeback, in the July/August issue of International Gymnast Magazine.

  11:40pm Canberra Times article featuring photos from the trial and additional quotes.

Friday 6:30am A nice article on second reserve Maryanne Monckton. Despite missing out she is maintaining a positive outlook for the competitions to come.

12:50pm Interesting take on the media pack that turned up at the AIS.

2:40pm Photos from the announcement day training session + team member solo shots

Saturday, June 16, 2012

London Calling: Trampoline/Artistic

HUGE congrats to Australia's sole selected trampoline gymnast to the London Olympics, South Australian superstar Blake Gaudry!

Lucky Blake, also our current national champion, has been featured on channel 10, 9 and Sky News since the announcement.

Below is his routine from the 2012 Olympic Test Event final.

In other men's gymsport news, episode two of Tom and Josh's Road to London web series is now up:

Not much news out of Camp WAG, I'm afraid, except that the girls had a bonza time at their "80s Night". Gotta let your hair down sometime!

Here's Lauren Mitchell doing just that in a Team Visa downtime segment:

You can 'cheer' for Lauren at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


You can be forgiven for thinking there might be bad blood between training partners Josh Jefferis and Tom Pichler, given one is now set for Olympic glory and one will watch on from the sidelines.

But the two Sunshine staters are in very good spirits, with a brand new online video series following their journey to London. It's believed they'll be updating weekly, but of course their schedules are pretty packed! Watch the first instalment here:

London Calling WAG Olympic Squad


Following the first Olympic qualification trial held at the 2012 Australian Gymnastic Championships, Gymnastics Australia is pleased to announce a finalist squad of 12 selected to attend a pre-Olympic training camp and second round Olympic nomination competition at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from 11 to 17 June.

The squad as follows in alphabetical order:

1. Georgia Bonora (VIC)
2. Ashleigh Brennan (VIC)
3. Georgia-Rose Brown (VIC)
4. Angela Donald (VIC)
5. Daria Joura (QLD)
6. Emily Little (WA)
7. Larrissa Miller (QLD)
8. Lauren Mitchell (WA)
9. Mary-Ann Monckton (VIC)
10. Chloe Sims (QLD)
11. Olivia Vivian (WA)
12. Georgia Wheeler (VIC)

West Australian gymnast Nikki Chung was forced to remove herself from selection after she sustained an injury to her the deltoid ligament in the ankle and a torn ACL in her knee during warm-ups of the first day of the Championships.
Victorian Zoe Lorenzin has withdrawn from Olympic selection as well, with a stress fracture of the navicula (bone in the foot) that was a diagnosed soon after the completion of the first trial.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Buds

Best wishes to Christopher Martin and Prashanth Sellathurai, representing Australia at the Maribor World Cup this weekend, and Ghent Challenger Cup in Belgium the following weekend.


Update June 2: Congrats Prashanth! 15.725 on pommel for World Cup gold in Maribor!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

London Calling: MAG and Rhythmic

Gymnastics Australia will be announcing our men's and rhythmic gymnastics delegations to London at 10am AEST tomorrow (Friday, 01/06).

Women's Olympic training squad TBA. Read a West Australian preview article (incl. lovely photo!) here.


Tom Pichler will act as MAG travelling reserve.

Wide World of Sports release, featuring quotes, can be found here.

A more detailed release, including Janine discussing a new skill, can be found here. On a tangent, I finally watched one of her ribbon routines and it's stunning!

GA says:

We've had plenty of questions about when the WG selection for the second stage training camp will be announced. We're hoping to complete this early next week. Keep an eye on Facebook for more information on Monday!

Poster Boy

Hop on over to Luke Wiwatowski's blog to check out a pretty awesome giveaway and auction he's running.

Score yourself a piece of Nationals 2012 memorabilia. It's better than a Kate and Wills plate, that's for sure!

Hurry, entries close Sunday, June 3!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Returned Retirees R What They R

The Couch Gymnast has new interviews up after Nationals, with 'oldies' Olivia Vivian and Dasha Joura. I highly recommend reading the Joura piece, as we finally get to hear her reflections on Beijing, and she opens up about "that" bizarre floor moment during nationals.

"I am actually really embarassed about that whole ten minutes of my life, really. I am very sorry everybody had to see that.  I just wasn’t really feeling up to it that day. That’s not an excuse, or anything. I am not trying to make excuses for myself, but basically I got out there and I gave it my all and it just wasn’t happening and I think I was frustrated..."
(ps I realise Olivia didn't "retire" as such... I just really like alliteration!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pretty As A Picture

Check out the stunning, STUNNING professional shots of our elite gymnasts. Scroll through to see them in action.

A prettier national program you would be hard-pressed to find!
I must applaud Gymnastics Australia for listening to and addressing our concerns. It's not an easy job. What's more, they have extended the possibility of guest-posting.

Hi everyone! 

I'm writing to let you know that we have heard your concerns over the last day so I wanted to address them honestly in one post with you all:

Podium removal: unfortunately due to the number of resources, equipment changes and funding available we had to remove the podium in the second week of Nationals. We'd love it there too but it would mean adding an additional week of events to the calendar, which with our resource restriction, size of venue and current funding was not possible. I know many are disappointed by this so we'll take feedback for next year.

Social updates: again, our resources this week have lessened majorly, this being said we'll try to provide a twice daily update on results. Our results page at also contains up to date results. It's just not practical for us to provide live commentary for every event as we are light on for resources. This said if you're attending an event and you'd like to guest post, I'd love to hear from you! Email me at

Thanks, Tim

So... over to you guys.

How would you like to see Gymnastics Australia approach social media in the future?
What innovations would you like to see?
What other federations have something cool you'd like to see done at home?
What makes a good competition experience for you?
What's been commendable on the administrative/coverage/management side of events?
Are live updates a help or a hindrance?
What have you always wanted to ask GA?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2012 National Championships: Rhythmic, Acro and Trampoline

Sorry to have neglected the other gymsports.

Here are some nuggets of news and media on rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatics and trampoline:

* ARTICLE: Sydney Morning Herald on Blake Gaudry and Janine Murray

* ARTICLE: Ty Swadling withdrawal notice (hang in there, Ty! Get well soon!)

* ARTICLE: GA interviews Dani Prince; see Janine Murray's routines here.

* ARTICLE: Revolution Gymnastics preview piece in Gladstone Observer

* ARTICLE: Jarrod Spear and Patrick Cooper preview piece

* RESULTS: Rhythmic results

* RESULTS: Trampoline results

* RESULTS: Acro results

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2012 National Championships: Follow Along

There are a few ways you can follow along with nationals if, like me, you can't be there in person.

1. Gymnastics Australia. The official event website is here. You can also look for them on Facebook. They have some videos and photos up already, as do the Waverley Gymnastics Centre and Victorian HPCs. I dare say GA will do live updates again.

2. Follow I have a source on the scene for WAG events texting me as quick as her fingers will take her, and I transpose those to twitter as fast as MY fingers will take me!

3. Follow The Couch Gymnast on Facebook. Brigid does a heck of a good job of event coverage.

4. Join in the discussion on the posts below.

Now let's have some fun!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 National Championships: WAG Senior

Please discuss matters concerning WAG Senior rounds of competition in the comments of this post.

Comments are moderated.

News and Notes:

* PHOTO/VIDEO: The Age online feature on Ashleigh Brennan

* ARTICLE: The Couch Gymnast WAG Senior podium training report and Nade's photo gallery

* PHOTO/VIDEO: Sydney Morning Herald Photo Gallery... includes video too!

* VIDEO: Podium training videos (incl. Miller, Mitchell, Brennan)

* ARTICLE: The Age, Brisbane Times, NineMSN

* RESULTS:  Snr/Jnr Team Final here:

* WRAP-UP: The Couch Gymnast night 1 report incl. photo 

*VIDEO: Night 1 here and here. Thanks so much, guys!

* Gymnastics Australia has Steph Moorhouse and Monette Russo doing live AA hits at their Facebook page and twitter.

* ARTICLE: NINEMSN on Ashleigh Brennan

*ARTICLE: International Gymnast wrap-up

* VIDEO: All-Around videos (incl. placegetters outside the top 3)

* RESULTS: Now up at Gymnastics Australia. All 4 Senior national apparatus titles won by 2008 Olympic team members!

* ARTICLE:  International Gymnast's scores and rankings wrap-up 

* ARTICLE: The Couch Gymnast apparatus finals wrap-up

* ARTICLE: Sydney Morning Herald profile on Maryanne Monckton

* ARTICLE: ABC News on Lauren Mitchell (lovely photo)

* VIDEO: Apparatus final routines (incl. Vivian bars, Miller bars, Lorenzin vault, Donald beam) here.

2012 National Championships: WAG Junior

Please discuss matters concerning WAG Junior rounds of competition in the comments of this post.

Comments are moderated.

News and Notes:

* The Couch Gymnast Junior Day One report

2012 National Championships: WAG IDP and Levels

Please discuss matters concerning WAG IDP and Levels rounds of competition in the comments of this post.

Comments are moderated.

News and Notes:

* ARTICLE: The Couch Gymnast's IDP6 report 

* ARTICLE: The Couch Gymnast IDP10 Day One report

2012 National Championships: MAG Senior

Please discuss matters concerning MAG Senior rounds of competition in the comments of this post.

Comments are moderated.

News and Notes:

* ARTICLE: Gymnastics Australia form guide 

* TV: MAG Seniors to appear on Ch 9's Wide World of Sport from 10:40am on Sunday, May 20th.

* VIDEO: Grant Denyer + male, female, rhythmic and trampoline gymnasts on Sunrise 

* I don't think my usual sources will be at MAG nights, but Gymnastics Australia will be providing Facebook updates tonight (Thurs 24/05; other sessions TBA?)

* VIDEO: GA have pre-event interviews with Offord, Wiwatowski, and Pichler here 

* RESULTS: Results and standings here.

* TV: Tom and Josh were mentioned on ABC News Breakfast on Fri 25/05 during a discussion of Australian sports having Olympic trials. It included footage from podium training. The reporter seemed all but convinced that on Night 1 performances alone, the spot will go to Josh. Don't count your chickens, mate!

*ARTICLE:  The Herald Sun on Josh, night 1

* VIDEO: Australian Olympic Committee interview with Josh and Tom after night 1 (includes routines)

* ARTICLE: Sydney Morning Herald on Tom and Josh

2012 National Championships: MAG Junior and Levels

Please discuss matters concerning MAG Junior and Level rounds of competition in the comments of this post.

Comments are moderated.

News and Notes:

* RESULTS: Results page here.

* ARTICLE: Caelen Bacon pre-event article: Owch!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Leaping To London

Every day brings us that little bit closer!

Lauren Mitchell has a Q&A up courtesy of Qantas.

Check out the cool new "Leaping To London" t-shirt the Victorian High Performance Centre is sporting, to support its gymnasts in their Olympic campaign. Fun fact - they were designed by choreographer Lisa Bradley!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bus A Move

Pride of Perth, Lauren Mitchell, will be revisiting her "GymBus" beginnings with a special appearance on May 12 alongside London hopefuls Emily Little and Nikki Chung.

Check the vitals here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Unlucky in Osijek

Australia unfortunately came home empty-handed at the Osijek World Cup, with Nikola Chung toughing it out for last place in the floor final and only making a reserve position on beam.

Despite this, Nikki is to be commended for doing her best in a field that included medallists from the recent Pacific Rim Championships. This will be a valuable experience on the road to Nationals.

Scores can be found here.

Onwards and upwards, Nikki!

(Loooooooove that dramatic ending!)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Victor: Victoria


I am updating this at stupid o'clock.

Unfortunately I'm not able to attend the Victorian State Championships over at JETS this weekend.

Thankfully, some of you are! The Couch Gymnast has a report up, and a few of you have noted in that comments that results are up at Gymdata.

My biggest thanks is reserved for special ops agent Ange for getting video.

Congratulations to the senior and junior AA champions, Ash Brennan and Kiara Munteanu! Full results will be up here.

GV has linked to video of Zoe Lorenzin's cool Baitova warmup here!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Forever Chung

The West Australian has a small feature on Nikki Chung today, which reveals she has a World Cup assignment this week and that Olivia Vivian has indeed returned to the WAIS fold.

Update: Nikki will indeed travel alongside Larrissa Miller this weekend to compete at the Osijek Grand Prix Challenger Cup on bars, beam and floor. Good luck, ladies!

The Satellite also has a quick feature, including video from the Kyle Shewfelt Invitational, on male Olympic contender Josh Jefferis.

"I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch," he said.
If you can disregard all the background crashing, check out this new video interview with WAIS wondergirl Lauren Mitchell (filmed in the AIS gym). She talks about her London expectations and funding for the national program.