Reflecting on 2011
2011 WAS AN AMAZING year for gymnas- tics in many ways. It began with the sense that both the women and men had young all-around stars who could quite possibly dominate our sport for a long time. Aliya Mustafina and Kohei Uchimura were beautiful to watch and showed
huge difficulty with ease and elegance.
Hence, many thought there was now a
chance of regaining the artistry that everyone seemed to long for, even with this
ridiculous Code of Points, and that the
most artistic would also win! Plus, both
gymnasts restored new hope for the resurgence of two of the greatest teams of all
Then came the European championships in Berlin, where Mustafina tore
her ACL on her first event of the all-around finals while performing a slightly
under-twisted Amanar. What a blow to the
Russian program and art of gymnastics.
Nevertheless, Uchimura managed to
avoid injury to totally overpower and out-execute all of his competitors by winning
his third consecutive world all-around title
by 3.101, the widest margin in history. In
this quadrennium, his record is silver in
the Beijing Olympics (with two falls on
horse) and then three world golds. That’s
not only incredible, it’s historic! It has
become quite apparent that no one can
beat him except himself. I can’t imagine
anyone other than Uchimura to symbolize
the model for gymnastics.
The world championships in Tokyo
produced some interesting scenarios for
London this summer. Jordyn Wieber,
Viktoria Komova and Yao Jinnan
competed in their first worlds and made
their cases as strong contenders for the
all-around gold this summer.
Wieber impressed most all of us with
her calmness and confidence which
showed in how steadily she performed
throughout the championships. She didn’t
miss a single routine. Komova moves like
a ballerina and yet is very powerful, so she
can do the big skills. Maybe trying too
hard for perfection, she often makes
unnecessary errors. Nevertheless, with
only 60% of her difficulty she would have
won in Tokyo with just a little more killer
instinct. Yao was the surprise for me. She
took the bonze with a fall on beam. I love
her gymnastics; it’s precise and beautiful.
Much like Komova, she seems to perform
her skills with such perfect technique that
small errors seemed to get larger deduc-
tions than they should.
Serving Gymnastics Since 1956 P.O. Box 721020, Norman, OK 73070 Tel: (405) 447-9988 Fax: (405) 447-5810 Printed in USA IG Online: www.intlgymnast.com Letters to the Editor: email@example.com
Glenn M. Sundby
EDI TOR /AR T DIREC TOR
John Crumlish, Amanda Turner, Christian Ivanov
Anneleen Kaptein-Dekker, Amy Van Deusen
The world championships
in Tokyo produced some
interesting scenarios for
London this summer.
John Crumlish, Amanda Turner
The team competition also is evolving.
For the women, the main three—U.S.,
Russia and China—all look to be in the
mix for medals, with Romania trying very
hard to be competitive as well. This should
be a very interesting final. Will Marta
Karolyi again give up too much in the D-scores, as she did in Beijing, and then
hope the more powerful teams make mistakes? Or has she learned her lesson and
will push for more difficulty but taper back
on repetitions to avoid injuries? We know
the Russians and Chinese will not hold
back in difficulty!
And last but hardly least, I hope you will
enjoy our small tribute to Nadia, who
turned 50 in November. No one has done
more to keep our sport in the spotlight
globally. That historic moment when she
attained perfection with that magic number 10 will forever define her and our
sport, no matter what the Code of Points
Happy New Year!!!
Lynn Landis, Allison Keiffer
Tel: (405) 447-9988 Fax: (405) 447-5810
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