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Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 11 March 2016 00:03    PDF Print
Canada's Rogers Ramping Up For Rio
(9 votes, average 4.33 out of 5)

2012 Olympic vault finalist Brittany Rogers of Canada told IG that her busy competitive season for the University of Georgia is readying her for a shot at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Rogers at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow

"I'm super happy that this is a base set for me," said Rogers following Sunday's tri-meet in Los Angeles among Georgia, Stanford University and UCLA. "We worked really hard to make sure I'm able to maintain my Elite routines, but still stay healthy and able to compete weekend after weekend."

Rogers' collegiate routines continue to earn strong scores under NCAA rules, but she plans to fortify them for maximum value at the international level as the Rio Games approach.

"On bars I have to add two requirements – a full turn and a front element – so I'm going to be adding another turning element and another release move," said Rogers, who at last fall's World Championships in Glasgow helped the Canadian women place sixth and thereby earn a team berth to Rio. "That's going to be at the front of my routine, but the rest of my routine will be the same, at least for Canadian nationals. And then hopefully I'll upgrade from there."

Rogers also wants to increase her difficulty level on balance beam and floor exercise.

"On beam I'll have to do a bigger dismount, obviously (from her current 1-1/2 twist), and my leap series will be a bit different," said Rogers, a senior majoring in consumer journalism. Her collegiate floor routine includes an Arabian double front as a first pass, and a double pike as a final pass. "I will be upgrading my middle pass (currently a 1-1/2 twist to punch layout front) and upgrading my leaps," she said.

Rogers, who placed seventh on vault at the 2012 Olympics and was second reserve for the vault final at the 2015 Worlds, scored 10.0 for her 1-1/2 twisting Yurchenko (worth 10.0 in NCAA scoring) on Sunday. She competed a double-twisting Yurchenko in Glasgow and earlier in this NCAA season, and plans to restore it to her program.

Although Rogers has been competing all-around during the collegiate season, she skipped floor exercise on Sunday to conserve energy for meets later in the month.

"We competed Friday at home, so it was smart for me to rest and prepare for the meet against Utah next weekend," Rogers said. "Then we have SECs (Southeast Conference Championships, March 19). The season picks up from here, so we thought it was the best idea to rest me. We're trying to taper down a little bit, to save my body for post-season and obviously this summer."

Rogers will have little rest between the end of her academic year and her return to Canada for pre-Games training under coach David Kenwright at Calgary Gymnastics Centre.

Following the NCAA Championships in mid-April, she looks forward to preparing for the Canadian Championships, May 31-June 5 in Edmonton.

"I'll be done with finals (exams) the first week of May and then go right to Calgary," she said. "The Canadian Championships are about two hours from where I train, so it will be nice to be kind of local." With several competitive targets in succession, Rogers is pacing herself for the string of important competitions that she hopes lead her to Rio.

"I actually went to (Georgia head coach) Danna (Durant) and said, 'I need help focusing on today's (Sunday's) meet, and not getting ahead of myself and thinking about the future, because I can't control that,'" Rogers told IG. "And that's exactly what Danna said. She said, 'You can control what you're doing now. And not only is competing week after week helping your routines, and helping you be able to compete, but it's helping you be a team leader.' That's what I hope to bring to Gymnastics Canada - my team awareness and how to be a team player. I'm looking forward to bringing all of that, the whole package, to Gymnastics Canada."

Written by Admin    Thursday, 18 February 2016 09:59    PDF Print
Raisman Working Harder Than Ever for Rio
(14 votes, average 4.36 out of 5)

The March issue of International Gymnast is packed. For starters, it features an in-depth interview with Aly Raisman, who candidly discussed a variety of topics, including her Glasgow disappointment. "I think I learned from world championships that I put way too much pressure on myself."

The issue also includes an engaging chat with Great Britain's Louis Smith, whose celebrity status in the U.K. was never his goal. "I never became a gymnast to become famous! Sometimes I find it all a bit mad."

We caught up with 1992 Barcelona Olympic champion Tatiana Gutsu, who opened her own gym last month in Michigan. "All the emotions a human being could ever feel were going through my entire body and mind [in Barcelona]."

And we reached out to Alexander Alexandrov, who gave his personal memories of his former gymnast Valentin Mogilny, who passed away last November. "He became an extended part of my family … I still can't imagine that he is no longer with us."

There are profiles on Russia's Maria Paseka, Italy's Tea Ugrin and 5280's Vitaliy Guimaraes, and coverage of the Nadia Comaneci International Invitational, as well. And there's also a fun piece on how the gymnastics world changed after the Internet.

If you haven't already, now is the time to take advantage of our extremely low subscription rates, which commemorate the 60th anniversary of IG.

Click here to subscribe.

Written by Admin    Friday, 12 February 2016 11:53    PDF Print
Record Numbers at Nadia Comaneci International Invitational
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

The 2016 Nadia Comaneci International Invitational kicks off today with more than 1,600 gymnasts flipping and swinging at the Cox Arena in Oklahoma City. The competition is only one aspect of the Bart & Nadia Sports Experience, a health and wellness event that features a host of free family activities on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Cox Arena.

Tonight's main event is the Perfect 10 Challenge, an NCAA women's competition in which the top-ranked Oklahoma team will play host to Denver, George Washington and Utah State. The meet begins at 6:45 p.m. (Tickets are $15 at the Cox Convention Center Box Office; free 2-under; University Students free with I.D.)

The main event each year is the Saturday evening women's Elite competition (tickets available at the door: $10; $5-12-under; free-2-under), and this year five of the top seven gymnasts from the recent Elite Canada competition are on hand, including the top three: Jade Chrobok (Gemini), Ana Padurariu (Gemini) and Victoria Jurca (Gym-Fly). Also competing will be Sayge Urban (Dynamo) and Montana Fairbairn (Stampede City). Gemini is coached by 1980 Olympic champion Yelena Davydova of Russia, and the Dynamo coach is two-time Olympic gold medalist Elvira Saadi, a native of Uzbekistan.

Four Romanian juniors will also take part in the competition on Saturday evening: Carmen Glavan, Laura Iacob, Ariadna Stanciu and Carmen Ghiciuc.

WIMGYM of Montreal brought 24 gymnasts, including four Zlobec sisters: Sonita, Evandra, Sevika and Eliana.

The weekend also showcases more than 300 boys in the Bart Conner International Invitational.

Read coverage of the event in the March issue of International Gymnast.

Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 11 February 2016 18:57    PDF Print
Tweddle Takes First Steps After Spinal Surgery
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

British legend Beth Tweddle has taken her first steps following surgery after breaking her neck filming reality TV series ''The Jump'', her family reported Wednesday.

British gymnastics legend Beth Tweddle has taken her first steps following surgery after breaking her neck filming reality TV series The Jump, her family reported Wednesday.

"Since her surgery, Beth has managed to walk a few steps whilst being assisted by the nursing team," reported her parents, Ann and Jerry Tweddle, on her official website. "She is still very tired from the operation but the medical team are pleased with the progress she is making. At the moment we aren't certain of the timescale for her recovery. We are taking each day as it comes."

Tweddle, 30, underwent surgery to fuse two fractured vertebrae in her neck on Sunday, a day after she crashed into a barrier after executing a ski jump filming Channel 4 reality series ''The Jump'' in Austria. A piece of bone from her hip was used to fuse the vertebrae.

"The early medical indications were positive as Beth was able to move her hands and feet, despite being in a lot of discomfort," her parents said. "It was a scary time for all of us and we're just very grateful that the operation was a success."

The three-time Olympian is Britain's most successful gymnast in history, with one Olympic, five world, and 10 European medals. She is no stranger to injury, undergoing at least five surgeries on her ankles and feet during her lengthy career, which limited her to a bars and floor specialist in later years. Following her retirement after the 2012 Olympic Games, she won the reality series ''Dancing on Ice''.

The Jump is a reality television competition featuring athletes and celebrities attempting Winter Olympic events, including ski jumping, skeleton and bobsled. The third season began on January 31, but Tweddle was already the third athlete to withdraw with injury. Since Tweddle's injury, two more contestants have gone down with injury: Made in Chelsea star Mark-Francis Vandelli withdrew with a fractured ankle and Olympic champion sprinter Linford Christie has been forced out with a hamstring injury. Seven of the 12 original contestants have suffered some kind of injury.

External Link: Beth Tweddle's Official Website

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 09 February 2016 10:44    PDF Print
Rio Olympics Main Aim For Germany’s Alt
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

First-year senior Tabea Alt of Germany told IG she is eager to use next month’s American Cup in Newark as the start of her campaign to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Tabea Alt (Germany)

"I feel very excited about this competition," said Alt, who placed third on balance beam and 14th all-around at the 2014 European junior championships in Sofia. "I'm very happy and I think it's a great opportunity for me. My goals for the American Cup are to have a good competition and show all my elements well. It's a great start to the senior level, so I think I can get a lot of experience at the American Cup. Also, for my plan to qualify to Rio, it's great to have this competition at the beginning of the year."

Alt, who will turn 16 on March 18, said the German team can perform better than it did at last fall’s world championships in Glasgow, where it placed 12th. The top eight teams in Glasgow earned automatic berths to the Rio Games. Germany and seven other countries advanced to the Olympic test event in Rio in April, from which four additional teams will earn berths to the Games.

"In my opinion the team was very nervous in Glasgow and they couldn't show all their capabilities," Alt said. "Therefore the German team has many reserves and we are still motivated. To do better at the test event in Rio, we have to be more focused on the team and not so much on ourselves. We all have one goal and, as a good team, I am sure we will reach this."

Alt said she is ready for the opportunities that the Olympic year will present to her.

"I'm very motivated for the whole year 2016," Alt told IG. "It's a great chance and I will train very hard, always being focused on my goal. My coaches, physiotherapists and mental coach are preparing me as well as they can, doing their best for the coming challenges. Additionally, my school helps me with school stretching (extending her studies another year). That means I have more possibilities to organize my training. At the end we will see how far I reach towards my goal, but I'm looking forward to the coming times."

Read a profile on Tabea Alt in the May 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of IG Magazine, click here.


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