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Written by dwight normile    Friday, 06 January 2017 08:43    PDF Print
Losing Olympic Gold Helped Răducan 'Know Myself Better’
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Andreea Răducan of Romania visited the IG offices in December and sat down for an exclusive interview, which will appear in the January/February 2017 issue. Among other questions, she was asked if anything positive resulted from her being stripped of the 2000 Olympic all-around gold medal.

"Oh yeah, of course. I remember very well our first Olympic title in the team final since '84," said Raducan. "Everybody was really excited after we won the gold medal. And even with this moment with the Nurofen (which was administered by a team doctor and included pseudoephedrine, banned by the IOC but not the FIG), it was, of course, tough. "But even though I lost the gold medal, I understand how people can support and what that means. It also helped me to know myself better and understand how [to rise above] these kinds of bad situations. That helped me to understand many things in my life.”

Read the complete interview with Răducan in the January 2017 issue. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Saturday, 31 December 2016 15:08    PDF Print
Iceland's Odinsdottir Revels In History-Making 2016
(6 votes, average 4.33 out of 5)

International Gymnast Online's annual year-end tradition of holiday-themed features continues with this update from Iceland's Tinna Odinsdottir, whose results in 2016 gave her good reasons to celebrate.

Although veteran Icelandic gymnast Tinna Odinsdottir made finals at two World Challenge Cup meets this year, her team's success at the Nordic Championships and European Championships count as her most satisfying achievements of 2016.

Tinna Odinsdottir (Iceland)

"My favorite moment of this season was winning the Nordic Championships with my team," said Odinsdottir, who turned 22 on November 3. "It was the first time ever for Team Iceland to win the senior team competition. It was such an honor to be a part of this great team. We all got into the finals and all got on the podium. It only got better when I got a silver medal on floor, something I really didn't expect. And 14th place at the European Championships in Bern was the best result ever for Team Iceland."

Odinsdottir, who finished eighth on uneven bars at the World Challenge Cup of Ljubljana in April and seventh on floor exercise at the World Challenge Cup of Cottbus in November, said the milestones she achieved in 2016 have inspired her for the coming year.

"This year was amazing and really reminded me why I do gymnastics," said Odinsdottir, who trains in Aarhus, Denmark, under Dutch coach Rene Poutsma. "There is nothing better then getting a good result after working so hard."

As Odinsdottir aims for the major meets of 2017, she plans to upgrade her routines and make them consistent.

"My biggest goals for next year are making it to the European Championships in Romania and World Championships in Canada, and having good competitions there," she said. "I'm upgrading my D-score on vault, bars and floor, and focusing on stabilization."

Odinsdottir is celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve in Denmark with her family and boyfriend, but noted the unusual holiday tradition of her native Iceland.

"Normally people are used to having one Santa Claus, but in Iceland we have 13," she said. "One by one, they come from the mountains to town and put small presents in children's shoes. Every Santa Claus has a different name. ‘Kertasníkir' is a Santa that sometimes steals candles. Some children put a candle in their shoe as a present for him. Our Santas were considered to be thieves and thought to know magic. But through the years they have changed and started to give children small presents during the 13 days before Christmas."

Improving her gymnastics is only one of Odinsdottir's ambitions for 2017.

"I just want to do things that makes me happy, and be around people who make me happy," she said. "I'm going to do my very best in everything I do, and by that I will reach my goals."

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Icelandic gymnastics includes:
"Icelandic Warm-up" - feature on IG's visit to Icelandic clubs (November 2012)
"She's Keeping Her Cool" - Sigridur Bergthorsdottir profile (October 2012)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, or order back issues, click here.

Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 30 December 2016 15:48    PDF Print
Whitlock, Van Hoof Earn British Honors
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

British gymnast Max Whitlock and coach Eddie Van Hoof will receive honors from Queen Elizabeth II as part of the 2017 New Year Honors, announced Friday. Both were named as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Max Whitlock with his Olympic all-around bronze medal (Great Britain)

Whitlock made history for British gymnastics at the Olympics this past summer, winning gold medals on floor exercise and pommel horse, and the bronze in individual all-around. His gold was the first for a British gymnast, and he became the first Brit to medal in the all-around medal in 108 years. Whitlock is also the first British male gymnast to become world champion, winning pommel horse at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow.

Now officially known as Max Whitlock MBE, the most successful British gymnast of all time said he was thrilled with the recognition.

"It is a great feeling now to see it on the name card – the three letters after my name – and it gives me a lot of motivation," said Whitlock, 23. "For me, it's a crazy feeling and I feel so, so proud. It does motivate me a lot to move forward to set more targets and go again for another four or eight years."

Van Hoof is the head coach and technical director of the men's team for British Gymnastics. He has overseen a period of tremendous success for men's gymnastics in Great Britain, which has shot to prominence over the past decade and is now one of the top powers internationally. The team won the silver medal behind Japan in Glasgow, and Whitlock, Louis Smith (pommel horse silver) and Nile Wilson (high bar bronze) all picked up medals in Rio.

Previous gymnastics recipients honored by Queen Elizabeth include British stars Smith, Neil Thomas and Beth Tweddle, who were all awarded MBEs. Gym owners Leonard and Yvonne Arnold, who sold their home to fund a new gym prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, were awarded OBEs (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), as was Tweddle's coach, Amanda Reddin. Smith's coach Paul Hall earned an MBE.

The UK had a record performance at the Olympics in Rio, finishing second in the medal table behind only the United States. Tennis star Andy Murray and athletes Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah were among those receiving the highest honours in the New Year's list, with Murray and Farah earning knighthoods and Ennis-Hill made a dame.

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 30 December 2016 09:47    PDF Print
Malaysia's Loo Builds Momentum, Stamina For 2017
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

International Gymnast Online's annual year-end tradition of holiday-themed features continues with this update from promising Malaysian gymnast Jeremiah (Phay Xing) Loo.

International Gymnast Online's annual year-end tradition of holiday-themed features continues with this update from promising Malaysian gymnast Jeremiah (Phay Xing) Loo.

Jeremiah (Phay Xing) Loo of Malaysia looks to build on the momentum he has gained in the past few years to challenge for a gold medal at the 2017 South East Asian Games that his country will host in Kuala Lumpur in August.

"The most memorable moment for this year was when I won my first all-around medal at the Malaysian (SUKMA) Games, which were held in Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)," he said. "I will keep my training momentum and need to improve my stamina and gymnastics skills in preparation for the SEA Games."

Born September 28, 1997, Wood is a second-generation Chinese born in Malaysia. His parents were also born in Malaysia, and his grandfather emigrated from Fujian, China, to Malaysia in 1946.

Loo's 2012-14 training term in China has yielded some of the best results of his career. He placed 18th all-around, seventh on parallel bars and eighth on pommel horse at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanning; and won the silver medal on high bar at the 2015 South East Asian Games in Singapore. His time in China also made him self-reliant and sharper.

"The training in China was really tough for me because I used to train three sessions every day, for three hours each session," he said. "The stint made me be more independent and disciplined. I was not allowed to go out at night, and that helped me focus on my training needs."

In 2017, Loo intends to solidify his routines on all six apparatuses but continue to concentrate on his specialties.

"I will continue my training on all the events to make sure my routines are stable and clean," he said. "But my main focus will be on pommel horse and horizontal bar because these two events are my best events. And my best chance to a win gold medal should come from these two events."

While many gymnasts around the world might be taking time off to enjoy the holiday season, Loo still has gymnastics as a top priority this month.

"Since I don't celebrate Christmas, I don't think the coaches are going to give us any time off in December," he said. "More so there is a tournament in Hong Kong in January which I am preparing for. I hope to do my best for my upcoming tournament and to start my new year on a good note. And I am really hoping that I can win a gold medal at the SEA Games."

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 27 December 2016 15:39    PDF Print
Olympic Medal Turns Tinkler Toward Tokyo
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

International Gymnast Online's annual year-end tradition of holiday-themed features continues with this update from 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Amy Tinkler of Great Britain.

Amy Tinkler (Great Britain) with her bronze on floor exercise at the 2016 Olympics

Although 2016 Olympic medalist Amy Tinkler of Great Britain enjoyed the greatest achievement of her career this year, she plans to expand on her success heading towards the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

"I got back into the gym pretty much straight away after getting back from Rio," said Tinkler, who placed third on floor exercise at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "I'm continuing to push on all four pieces, looking to make small improvements but also to maintain the form I've had this year. I definitely aim to establish myself further as an all-around gymnast in this next Olympic cycle."

Tinkler, the youngest member of the British delegation at the Rio Games, plans to enjoy an easy pace during the holiday season after a hectic year of competition and public attention. She was on the shortlist of three athletes for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2016 award, which para-swimmer Ellie Robinson won on December 14.

"I'm most looking forward to just having time at home with my family," Tinkler said. "2016 has been a crazy year, so a bit of quiet time at home will be perfect."

Tinkler's resolution for the New Year is simple and assertive.

"Just to work even harder!" she said.

International Gymnast magazine's recent coverage of British gymnasts includes:
"Britain's Best" - Amy Tinkler/Catherine Lyons interviews (June 2015)
"British Breakouts" - Maisie Methuen/Alice Kinsella interviews (December 2016)
Coach Barry Collie interview (July/August 2014)
"A Sorority of Success" - Becky Downie/Ellie Downie interviews (June 2014)
"Britain's New Bombshell" - Claudia Fragapane interview (December 2014)
"European Brilliance" - Ruby Harrold interview (September 2013)
Lisa Mason interview (May 2015)
"Mounting His Challenge" - Louis Smith interview (March 2016)
"Lord Max" - Max Whitlock interview (June 2013)
Becky Downie, Whitlock, Nile Wilson and Brinn Bevan on cover (June 2014)
"Branching Out" - Rebecca Tunney profile (May 2014)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, or order back issues, click here.


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