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Written by dwight normile    Monday, 21 November 2016 09:33    PDF Print
FIG President-Elect Morinari Watanabe Has Innovative Plans
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

The December 2016 issue of International Gymnast features an interview with Morinari Watanabe, who will succeed FIG President Bruno Grandi on Jan. 1, 2017. A former gymnast in high school and college, the humble Watanabe, 57, also served as Executive Director and Secretary General of the Japan Gymnastics Association. In his interview he openly discusses several topics, including his plan to grow gymnastics, a 24-hour Gymnastics Channel and even his Samurai upbringing.

Following are excerpts:

On how to improve the popularity of gymnastics…

"Currently, competitions are best for those who know and follow gymnastics. To those who are not familiar with gymnastics, it is hard to understand what is excellent in gymnastics or why those scores are given. In such circumstances, the number of fans will not increase. I will transform a gymnastics competition into one that is easy to understand and exciting for everybody. That is to say, to evolve the competition from one for gymnastics fans to the one that generates gymnastics fans."

On the 2020 Olympics featuring 4-member teams…

"I understand that the reason why the number of gymnasts on a team at the Olympics will change from 5 to 4 is because of the opinion that as many federations as possible should take part in the Olympics. It is impossible to argue with this. The most important thing is to develop gymnastics in the world. I myself am aware that there is something in the new Olympic qualification system that is not clear enough."

On how long he envisions remaining as FIG President…

"I would like to devote myself with utmost effort for the world gymnastics family every single day. When the gymnastics family thinks that they don’t need me anymore, it will be time for me to end my term. How long I remain as FIG President is not decided by myself. It’s a matter all of you decide."

To subscribe to International Gymnast, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, click here.

 
Written by IG Staff    Thursday, 17 November 2016 09:16    PDF Print
Competition Brings Out The Best In Smith
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



In a cover story in the November issue of International Gymnast magazine, rising U.S, talent Ragan Smith said the prospect of competing energizes her to confidently face the challenge.

In a cover story in the November issue of International Gymnast magazine, rising U.S, talent Ragan Smith said the prospect of competing energizes her to confidently face the challenge.

"I feel like I’ve always been competitive since I was little," said the 16-year-old Smith, a reserve member of the gold medal-winning team U.S. team at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "Once I hear the word 'compete' or I have a meet, I just get anxious, and I get ready to go and fired up. It makes me want to just be excited and go out there and hit my routines."

Read "Prone to Success," the cover story on Smith, in the November 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the digital and/or print editions, click here.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 04 November 2016 19:42    PDF Print
'Dancing With The Stars' Variety Keeps Hernandez On Her Toes
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



In an exclusive interview in the November 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine, Olympic gold and silver medalist Laurie Hernandez of the U.S. said she enjoys getting into character with each new weekly performance on ABC TV's Dancing with the Stars.

"It's almost like acting," said Hernandez, who with her partner Val Chmerkovskiy has emerged as a favorite to win the competition. "It's cool to have to come in one week extremely intense and then next week be a completely different person. I have to change my roles."

Read the complete interview in the November 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine. Hernandez is also featured on the cover of the November 2015 issue, which includes "Human Emoji," a Hernandez profile. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, or order back issues, click here.

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 03 November 2016 15:51    PDF Print
Mustafina Marries Bobsledder Zaitsev
(16 votes, average 4.06 out of 5)



World and Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina married her boyfriend Alexei Zaitsev, becoming the third member of Russia's gymnastics team to tie the knot since the Olympic Games in Rio.

World and Olympic champion Aliya Mustafina has married bobsledder Alexei Zaitsev, becoming the third member of Russia's gymnastics team to tie the knot since the Olympic Games in Rio.

"Aliya married Alexei Zaitsev in a wedding held at the groom's home in Krasnodar," said her father, 1976 Olympic wrestling bronze medalist Fargat Mustafin, to the TASS agency on Thursday. "I am very happy for my daughter."


Zaitsev is a hopeful for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Mustafina, who turned 22 on September 30, won three medals at the recent Olympics in Rio: silver with the team, bronze in the all-around and a gold medal on uneven bars, matching three of her medals from the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is the 2010 world all-around champion, 2013 European all-around champion and 2015 European Games all-around champion.

The pair have reportedly been dating since the fall of 2015. Zaitsev also turned 22 on September 17, two weeks before Mustafina.

Zaitsev is a hopeful for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and has been competing internationally in both the two-man and four-man events. At the 2016 World Championships, held in February in Igls, Austria, Zaitsev was a member of the eighth-place Russian team in the four-man event.

Mustafina, who competed in Rio despite a back injury, indicated after the Olympics she planned to take some time off and rest before considering a return for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She is currently studying at the Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism in Moscow.

"I want to graduate, to become a mother and raise children. And my childhood dream – to go to the moon," she said last week. "I'm tired of the gym and I want to relax. If I miss the gym, then, I'll come back. I'm thinking about how to do something for the development of gymnastics, rather than coaching."

Mustafina joins recent newlyweds on the Russian Olympic team Denis Ablyazin, who married long-time girlfriend Ksenia Semyonova in September; and David Belyavsky, who married his girlfriend Maria this past weekend in Greece.

 
Written by IG Staff    Sunday, 30 October 2016 10:06    PDF Print
Romania's Forminte Eager to Seize 'Second Chance'
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



Recently appointed Romanian team coach Nicolae Forminte said he is eager to get the team back on track after it failed to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In an exclusive interview in the November 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine, recently appointed Romanian team coach Nicolae Forminte said he is eager to get the team back on track after it failed to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"One of the priorities in my program of preparation would be to modernize and optimize the preparation on uneven bars, but also to find ways to pleasantly surprise the judges," said Forminte, who also served as the team's coach from 2005-10. "I'm sure that all my efforts will not be possible without the support of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation, which I want to thank for giving me a second chance to prepare the national team."

Read the complete interview in the November 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, click here.

 


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