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Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 10 March 2017 15:33    PDF Print
Polish Partners Invest Big In The Little Gym
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Featured in the March issue of International Gymnast magazine, married Polish Olympians Marta Pihan-Kulesza and Roman Kulesza (pictured here spotting) are enjoying their newest pursuits as instructors at the Szczecin franchise of The Little Gym, a non-competitive gymnastics and activity center in their native country.

“You can learn everything if you really want,” Marta said. “We decided that coaching is not enough. To be on top, you need to focus on your goals and be determined. You know that everything depends on hard work. The rules are the same, no matter whether it is sport or business.

Marta likes the motto of The Little Gym, which is 'Serious Fun.'

"In Poland too many gymnasts, or even before they come to be gymnasts, get discouraged and never come back to the gym," she said. "Based on the Polish system, we notice a lack of a positive way of teaching. Not everyone can be at the top."

Read “Big Dreams in Small Places,” a feature on the Kuleszas’ new business venture, in the March 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, or to purchase back issues, click here.

Written by Admin    Thursday, 09 March 2017 15:21    PDF Print
Nichols On International Return: 'It's Never A No'
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Featured on the cover of and in an interview in the March issue of International Gymnast magazine, 2015 World Championships team gold medalist Maggie Nichols of the U.S. said she is enjoying her freshman year competing for the University of Oklahoma but has not ruled out a return to international competition.

"I'm thinking about college right now, and I’m just trying to finish the season,” Nichols said. “But it’s never a 'no.'"

Nichols also said she had to make several adjustments after she moved to Norman, Okla.

"The biggest one, probably, is not having my parents with me, like cooking me meals and doing my laundry," said Nichols, who is studying pre-nursing and "a little bit of journalism."

"And also managing school and the workouts at OU. It's a little bit different. It's been a good transition and I've really been enjoying it."

Read "New Life," a dual interview with Nichols and 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalist Madison Kocian, in the March 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, or purchase a back issue, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 06 March 2017 10:30    PDF Print
Antolin Finds Comfort as 'Voice For the Voiceless'
(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Former U.S. national team member Jeanette Antolin told IG that, through her recent 60 Minutes revelation of alleged sexual abuse by ex-U.S. team doctor Larry Nassar, she hopes to protect other potential victims.

Former U.S. national team member Jeanette Antolin told IG that, through her recent 60 Minutes revelation of alleged sexual abuse by ex-U.S. team doctor Larry Nassar, she hopes to protect other potential victims.

Antolin and her son, Mekhi, at a February 25 meet at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

"Honestly, when I think about the whole thing, it's really hard to think about myself," said the 35-year-old Antolin, speaking to International Gymnast magazine at a UCLA meet on Feb. 25. "I don't think I've ever felt about my own well-being. It's always been a greater goal. So when I decided to come forward, it wasn't really just about me. It was about all the thousands of little girls I could save this from happening to."

Antolin, 2000 Olympic team bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher and former U.S. rhythmic all-around champion Jessica Howard were the subjects of a February 19 segment on the CBS show, in which they described alleged abuse by Nassar when they were gymnasts.

Antolin, Dantzscher and Howard are among dozens of women and girls who, in highly publicized recent reports over the past several months, claim that Nassar sexually abused or assaulted them.

A U.S. national team member from 1995-2000, Antolin was a member of the silver medal-winning U.S. team at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg and its sixth-place team at the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, China. She also won medals at competitions in Brazil, Italy, Switzerland and China.

Following her international career, Antolin competed for UCLA and was a member of the university's NCAA title-winning teams in 2001, 2003 and 2004. She was named Sports Illustrated On Campus National Gymnast of the Year in 2004.

Antolin said advocating for others has given her a new sense of value and purpose.

"That has really helped me be proud of something, because looking back at my career I don't feel I was proud of much," she told IG. "So stepping forward and being a voice for the voiceless has really helped me."

Read more from Antolin in the April 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

Written by Amanda Turner    Saturday, 04 March 2017 04:58    PDF Print
Vernyayev Headlines World Cup All-Around Series
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Olympic gold medalists Oleg Vernyayev (Ukraine) and Ryohei Kato (Japan) headline the field at Saturday's American Cup in Newark, N.J., the first of three all-around World Cups on the International Gymnastics Federation's 2017 calendar. Pictured: Kato, a two-time Olympian, is the defending American Cup champion.

Olympic gold medalist Oleg Vernyayev (Ukraine) headlines the field at Saturday's American Cup in Newark, N.J., the first of three all-around World Cups on the International Gymnastics Federation's 2017 calendar.

Now in its 42nd edition, the American Cup is part of the FIG's World Cup season. The second all-around World Cup is the DTB Cup, to be held March 18-19 in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by the London World Cup, scheduled for April 8 at the O2 Arena, site of the gymnastics competition at the 2012 Olympic Games. Gymnasts earn points based on their finish at each event, ranging from 60 points to first to 25 points for eighth.

Gymnasts are also eligible to win prize money at each event; the all-around champion at each event wins 12,000 Swiss francs (approximately $11,900), the second 10,000 and third 8,000. The overall winner of the World Cup series will win 25,000 Swiss francs from the FIG, with the runner-up earning 15,000 and the third-place gymnast earning 10,000.

The all-around World Cup events are invitation only; according to FIG guidelines, the top eight nations at the 2016 Olympic Games for men and women earned invitations. If a federation declines the invitation, the next-best country in the rankings will be invited, going back to the results of the 2016 Test Event. The host nation is given an additional wild card entrant to increase local interest in the event. According to the FIG, the nation with the most points after the three events will be declared the winner of the series.

Vernyayev and Venezuelan star Jessica López won the 2014-15 FIG World Cup Series. The new rules, in which gymnasts are invited to the World Cup events based on team finish, will exclude López and other individuals without strong countries from competing in the 2017 series. (Venezuela finished 26th the 2014 World Championships and did not qualify to the 2015 World Championships and 2016 Test Event.)

Vernyayev, the 2015 American Cup champion, and defending champion Ryohei Kato (Japan) lead a deep men's field in Newark, which also includes Olympians Lukas Dauser (Germany), Sam Oldham (Great Britain), Bart Deurloo (Netherlands) and Eddy Yusof (Switzerland).

Two-time Olympian Kato, the all-around bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships, was a member of Japan's gold medal-winning teams at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In Rio, Vernyayev won the silver medal in the all-around, just .099 behind champion Kohei Uchimura, and won the gold medal on parallel bars.

Stanford University's Akash Modi, one of the alternates to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, and Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma) will attempt to reclaim the American Cup for the home team. Two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak, the 2014 American Cup champion, was forced to withdraw after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon a few weeks ago at the Winter Cup.

China's Sun Wei, third all-around at the 2016 American Cup, rounds out the men's field in Newark.

None of the members of the U.S. women's gold medal-winning Olympic team are competing in Newark. Olympic alternate Ragan Smith, eighth all-around at the 2016 U.S. national championships, is favored to win the competition. Her toughest competitor looks to be first-year senior Riley McCusker, who trains at MG Elite Gymnastics in nearby Monmouth. McCusker won the recent verification meet at the national team training center in Texas, earning her a ticket to the American Cup. The U.S. women have not lost the American Cup since 2001 (with the exception of 2005, which was an apparatus-only World Cup).

Three Olympians are in the women's lineup: Amy Tinkler (Great Britain), Kim Bui (Germany) and Asuka Teramoto (Japan). Tinkler, the bronze medalist on floor exercise in Rio de Janeiro, was a late replacement for teammate Rebecca Tunney, who withdrew with injury. Two-time Canadian Olympian Ellie Black, third all-around at the 2016 American Cup, also withdrew because of an ankle injury.

France's Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos, who turns 17 on Sunday, will make her major international debut in Newark. The Martinique native suffered a torn ACL in 2015 that derailed her chances of making the 2016 Olympic team. Australian Emily Whitehead, who suffered a torn calf muscle before the 2016 Pacific Rim championships, is also coming back from injury in Newark. China's Xie Yufen is competing in her third FIG event following World Challenge Cups in Anadia and Szombathely in 2016. Dutch gymnast Tisha Volleman, eighth at the 2016 American Cup, rounds out the women's field.

Dauser and Vernyayev are the only gymnasts on the roster for all three events. The DTB Cup field also includes Philipp Herder (Germany), James Hall (Great Britain), Kazuma Kaya (Japan), 2016 Olympian Oliver Hegi (Switzerland) and Allan Bower (United States).

Russia, whose teams finished second at the 2016 Olympic Games, declined to attend the American Cup due to a conflict with the Russian national championships that began Wednesday. The Russians are sending Olympian Angelina Melnikova and Olympic alternate Nikita Ignatyev to the DTB Cup, and Melnikova and Alexei Rostov to the London World Cup.

The Stuttgart women's lineup also includes 2016 Olympians Isabela Onyshko (Canada), Tabea Alt and Pauline Schäfer (Germany), and Eythora Thorsdottir (Netherslands), along with first-year seniors Alice Kinsella (Great Britain) and Morgan Hurd (United States). Romanian star Larisa Iordache was forced to withdraw from the Stuttgart event because of plantar fasciitis. A replacement has not yet been announced.

Tinkler will also compete in the London World Cup, along with fellow British Olympians Ellie Downie, Brinn Bevan and Sam Oldham. Superstar Max Whitlock, who won two golds and a bronze in Rio, will perform two exhibition routines at the O2.

2017 AT&T American Cup
March 4, Newark, New Jersey, United States

Women's Competitors
Emily Whitehead
Xie Yufen
Mélanie De Jesus Dos Santos
Amy Tinkler
Kim Bui
Asuka Teramoto
Tisha Volleman
Riley McCusker
Ragan Smith
Men's Competitors
Sun Wei
Sam Oldham
Lukas Dauser
Ryohei Kato
Bart Deurloo
Eddy Yusof
Oleg Vernyayev
Akash Modi
Yul Muldauer

2017 EnBW DTB Cup
March 18-19, Stuttgart, Germany

Women's Competitors
Isabela Onyshko
Zhang Jin
Tabea Alt
Pauline Schäfer
Alice Kinsella
Eythora Thorsdottir
Angelina Melnikova
Morgan Hurd
Men's Competitors
Sun Wei
Lukas Dauser
Philipp Herder
James Hall
Kazuma Kaya
Nikita Ignatyev
Oliver Hegi
Oleg Vernayev
Allan Bower

2017 iPro World Cup
April 8, London, England

Women's Competitors
Liu Jinru
Ellie Downie
Amy Tinkler
Tabea Alt
Tisha Volleman
Angelina Melnikova
Jordan Chiles
Men's Competitors
Luo Jianlin
Brinn Bevan
Sam Oldham
Lukas Dauser
Bart Deurloo
Alexei Rostov
Eddy Yusof
Oleg Vernyayev
Donnell Whittenburg
Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 03 March 2017 12:26    PDF Print
Brestyan New Head Coach of Australian Women
(4 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Romanian-born Mihai Brestyan has been selected as the new head coach of the Australian women's team, Gymnastics Australia announced Friday.

Romanian-born Mihai Brestyan has been selected as the new head coach of the Australian women's team, Gymnastics Australia announced Friday.

Brestyan has owned Brestyan's Gymnastics in Massachusetts since 2000, where he and his wife, Silvia, guided Olympians Alicia Sacramone and Aly Raisman to international stardom. He was the USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year in 2005, 2011 and 2013.

"This is a new chapter and an exciting challenge," said Brestyan, who coached in Israel for several years before immigrating to the United States. "I'm looking forward to sharing my learnings and experiences with the athletes and coaches in Australia and guiding women's gymnastics to a leading gymnastics nation."

Following the retirement of Peggy Liddick, Gymnastics Australia undertook a major international recruitment for a new head coach. The program is in a rebuilding phase following its 2016 disappointment, when Australia missed qualifying a full team to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1988.

"The recruitment process has been lengthy, but Gymnastics Australia was clear in its objective of securing a world best coach to drive performance standards of Australian athletes and coaches to be internationally competitive," said Gymnastics Australia CEO Mark Rendell.

Brestyan, who turns 64 in May, will begin his new role immediately. According to Gymnastics Australia, he will work specifically with Australia's national team via training camps at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

"Australian Gymnastics took a major step forward with the recent success of the World Cup event in Melbourne and we are looking to build on that momentum," said Sam McKay, president of Gymnastics Australia. "We are thrilled a coach with the experience and proven results of Mihai will be guiding our next generation of gymnasts and coaches as we look."

External Link: Gymnastics Australia


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