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Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 11 April 2017 06:46    PDF Print
Ross On Collegiate Gymnastics: 'I Feed Off the Energy'
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

2012 Olympic team gold medalist and UCLA freshman Kyla Ross told IG that, although her routines may have less content than during her international career, collegiate gymnastics presents its own challenges.

Kyla Ross

“I think it’s more of a mental game,” said Ross, who placed second all-around at the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp and third all-around at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning. “Yes, my routines are shorter but you’re out there trying to be as perfect as you can be. It’s about going out and practicing all your mental cues before you go up and hit your routine.”

Ross said adapting to the demanding NCAA competition schedule of frequent meets — sometimes more than one per week — has been one of the biggest tests in her transition from international to collegiate competition.

“Coming into college, I really didn’t realize how important pre-season was,” said Ross, who during her international career trained under coaches Jenny Zhang and Howie Liang at Gym-Max in Costa Mesa, Calif. “That’s where you really have to perfect your routines, because, once season hits, you’re competing every weekend. We had three meets in one week. It’s definitely tolling, but it’s so much fun. To be able to come out in front of crowds like this (at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion) every weekend is my favorite thing.”

Ross said her training is tailored to the physical demands of frequent competitions during the NCAA meet season, which runs from January through April. The NCAA Championships will take place April 14-15 in St. Louis.

“Competing every weekend is tolling on the body, so we definitely have a lot of treatment during the week,” said Ross, who was named the Pac 12 conference Freshman of the Year in gymnastics. “During the season we taper off what we do in the gym and are very mindful of that, so we can come in fresh to the competition each weekend.”

Ross is also enjoying the emphasis on crowd-pleasing performances that collegiate gymnastics encourages.

“The first meet was a change,” Ross told IG. “I wasn’t so used to being so engaged with the crowd, but competing in Pauley has been so much fun. I feed off the energy and it’s so exciting to be able to come out and enjoy yourself, and especially having a close team bond is something special.”

Kyla Ross is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:

Ross cover photo (September 2010)

“Clutch Hitter” - Ross profile (November 2010)

2012 Olympic Games special issue (September 2012)

"Focus Forward" – Ross cover photo and interview (November 2012)

2013 World Championships coverage (November 2013)

2014 World Championships coverage (November 2914)

“The Little Gym with a Big Heart” - Gym-Max feature (October 2015)

Ross center poster (April 2016)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions or to purchase back issues, click here.

Written by dwight normile    Friday, 07 April 2017 08:57    PDF Print
No Better Match Than Gymnastics and Skating, Says Producer Disson
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Featured in the April 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, producer Steve Disson said the recently televised “Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular” presents an organically appealing match of artistic and athletic merits.

“I think the two sports together are terrific because they both have high entertainment value, they’re both very athletic and also artistic,” said Disson, who has produced the show for the last 28 years. “If you had to put two sports together, I can’t think of a better match.”

Disson, who earned a master's in marketing from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, commented on whether skating and gymnastics targets different people.

"Skating audiences are primarily older females," he said. "Gymnastics is a little bit different because you’re really going after younger moms and their daughters."

Simone Biles headlined the cast for the Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular in March.

He also shared a funny story from 1989, the first time he had worked with Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci and Paul Ziert.

"I always kind of take, even though I don’t deserve it, a little credit that they kind of got together socially at my show back in ’89," he begins. "Nadia always tells the story that ‘Steve Disson asked me to dance at the post-show party, and I told Steve after dancing with him, the next guy that comes along, I’ll marry him.’ And that was Bart."

Read the complete interview with Disson in the April 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions or to purchase back issues, click here.

Written by dwight normile    Thursday, 06 April 2017 07:45    PDF Print
Moldauer: 'I Don't Want To Be That Big Shot'
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Featured in an interview in the April 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, recently crowned American Cup all-around champion Yul Moldauer of the U.S. said he wants to remain modest as he gains stature.

“I try not to be cocky,” says Moldauer, who outscored 2016 Olympic all-around silver medalist Oleg Vernyayev of Ukraine for first place at last month’s American Cup in Newark. “I don’t want to be that big shot. I just want to be me. I want to be a normal person.”

Known for his triple-twisting double layout off high bar as a junior, Moldauer understands that hitting six routines is more important than flashy tricks.

"I do [the triple-double] here and there once in a while," says Moldauer, who was born in Seoul, Korea, and adopted as an infant. "But right now I think gymnastics is about hitting and being clean instead of going for bigger skills that you might fall on."

Read “Humble Beginnings” (an interview with Moldauer) and coverage of the American Cup in the April 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions or to purchase back issues, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Wednesday, 05 April 2017 09:13    PDF Print
Australia's Leydin: 'I'm Doing This For Them'
(5 votes, average 4.20 out of 5)

Featured in the April 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, former Australian national all-around champion Madelaine Leydin said she is thriving in the new phase of her career as a team-oriented freshman at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

“I’d been doing the same thing for a very long time,” said Leydin, who was Australia’s top all-arounder at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow. “That made a new motivation for me, doing it for the team rather than myself, and watching the others practice and thinking, ‘I’m doing this for them.’”

Read “New Directions,” a set of profiles on Leydin and rising Australian star Rianna Mizzen, in the April 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions or to purchase back issues, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 04 April 2017 08:30    PDF Print
Vandysheva: Challenges Create Character
(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Although 1990s Russian gymnast Yekaterina Vandysheva’s competitive career was as short as it was brilliant, she continues to devote her life to the sport that she told IG has molded her character.

Vandysheva’s beautiful and daring performances earned her berths on the Russian team at the 1993 European Cup and 1993 World Championships, as well as a lasting legacy. Younger fans of the sport are discovering her on social media, including her stunning routines on balance beam and floor exercise.

“My experience in gymnastics helps me to know that, whatever happens, it is necessary to go further and forward,” said Vandysheva (now Vandysheva-Munirova), who is president of the maritime regional gymnastics federation based in her native Vladivostok. “Overcome all obstacles and go to the intended goal. In gymnastics, there are many approaches to the same exercise. Falls, luck and failures happen. And so the shaping of character remains from childhood. Whatever happens, you need to do everything to the end.”

Vandysheva credits her coach for creating memories which she considers “very beautiful.” Vandysheva said her favorite moments include making the Russian junior team, making the Russian senior team and placing third on uneven bars at the 1993 European Cup in Brussels.

“The style and beauty were created by my coach, Alexandra Chermeneva, and choreographer Yelena Kapitonova,” she said of her exquisite presentation.

Yekaterina with husband Ratmir Munirov and their daughter, Margarita.

Vandysheva also praises Chermeneva for helping her heal quickly from a serious injury prior to the European Cup, where in addition to her bronze on uneven bars she finished sixth all-around, sixth on vault and sixth on floor exercise.

“Before the trial competitions and the European Cup, I had a fracture of the radial and ulnar bone, with a displacement, in my right arm,” she said. “I had an operation, and they put in two plates. But thanks to my coach, my recovery was very quick. She developed a rehabilitation program for me, with massages, special exercises, et cetera, so we managed to prepare for the European Cup.” Doctors finally removed the plates from Vandysheva’s arm in 1995.

Injury kept Vandysheva out of competition at the 1993 Worlds in Birmingham, where, training on uneven bars one day before the start of competition, she broke her right arm during a transition from the upper to the lower bar.

“In gymnastics, injuries happen often, so there was further work on restoring my physical form,” she said. “Unfortunately in my career, injuries happened, and that was very hard for me.”

Vandysheva, who decided to retire in 1995, began coaching in 2001. She studied physical education at Far Eastern State University in her hometown, and since graduating she has been teaching gymnastics and aerobics at the university. In 2009 Vandysheva became president of her regional gymnastics federation. She and her husband, Ratmir Munirov, are the parents of 2-year-old daughter Margarita.

Although Vandysheva’s region lies at the extreme eastern edge of the country, she hopes it can become a gymnastics hub.

“The big wish for our city is that they build a good sports hall for gymnastics training,” she said. “Although Vladivostok is far from the center of Russia, we go to competitions, and we communicate with coaches and athletes. We try to be in the middle of things. I do not know how soon we will be a famous center of gymnastics in Russia, but I hope that we will. We will strive for this.”

Gymnastics still fills Vandysheva’s life, and she encourages today’s gymnasts to stay focused and optimistic through the character-building challenges that the sport brings.

“There are problems in everyday life,” she told IG. “Therefore, I wish for all gymnasts to persevere, and go to the end toward their cherished dream, whatever happens.”


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