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Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 14 December 2010 16:04    PDF Print
Wong Warming Up for Hong Kong Holidays
(8 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Hiu Ying Angel Wong, Hong Kong's top gymnast, is looking forward to spending the holidays with family after a successful year, which included winning two World Cup medals.

IG Online continues its yearly holiday series, bringing you the scoop on what the world's best gymnasts will be up to at the end of 2010!

After a rewarding year during which she earned two World Cup medals, Hong Kong's Hiu Ying "Angel" Wong told IG she looks forward to sharing her good fortune as always with loved ones this holiday season.

"I think Christmas is a lot about 'giving,'" said Wong, who won bronze medals on vault at the World Cup of Doha (Qatar) in March and the World Cup of Ghent (Belgium) in September. "I enjoy the whole process of Christmas shopping and wrapping the presents, but most of all I love to see people's faces when they receive my gifts. To see them happy makes it all worthwhile."

Wong, who was born in Hong Kong but lived in Australia from age 1 to 10, said she plans to enjoy the holidays with close friends.

"We don't really have any family traditions for Christmas," said Wong, who finished 11th all-around and sixth on vault at last month's Asian Games in Guangzhou. "But I remember we always put up and decorated a Christmas tree back when we were still in Australia. However, there just isn't enough space in Hong Kong! This Christmas I'll probably celebrate with friends, since the rest of my family will be in Shanghai and Australia. "

Wong said the holidays in Hong Kong encourage an exciting combination of lights, people and energy.

"It really is spectacular during Christmas and New Year's Eve in Hong Kong," she told IG. "At night it's amazing, with all the Christmas light displays. It gets really crowded, but I guess the more, the merrier at Christmas!"

Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 13 December 2010 22:29    PDF Print
Malaussena Celebrates All-Around Success
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Aurelie Malaussena, the only French female to qualify for the all-around final at worlds, told IG she plans to continue celebrating over the upcoming holidays.

IG Online continues its yearly holiday series, bringing you the scoop on what the world's best gymnasts will be up to in the coming month!

After a successful year during which she became the only French woman to qualify for the world all-around final, Aurelie Malaussena told IG she plans to continue celebrating over the upcoming holidays.

"I'm really happy about my performance at the world championships," she said. "It's the result of consistent work that I did for 15 months in Paris with my coaches, Cécile and Eric Demay."

Malaussena said that, despite a major error, she was pleased with her 23rd-place finish in the all-around final in Rotterdam. She earned her place in the final through her performance in qualifications on Oct. 17 — her 17th birthday.

"I knew my qualification on my 17th birthday was a big gift," Malaussena said. "I fell on my first apparatus, floor, so I was a bit disappointed. Except that, I did a correct competition. I think that it was an extraordinary experience, and I wish to do it again soon."

Malaussena said she is now preparing for more gifts — on Christmas.

"Between Christmas and New Year we have 10 days off," she told IG. "I spend Christmas with my family where, with my brother, sister and cousin, we will wait for midnight on the 24th to open our gifts. For the New Year, I spend it with my friends, where we have a big party late into the night."

Malaussena said she is also readying to reach for important goals in 2011.

"My first objective in gymnastics is the European Championships in April," she said. "But my special goal is the world championships in Tokyo in October, where with the French team we have to try to be in the team final to have our qualification for the 2012 Olympics Games in London. For my personal goal, it concerns essentially my studies, because I have the first part of my Level (exams) in June."

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 10 December 2010 11:17    PDF Print
Krimmer Craving Christmas Celebration
(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Sebastian Krimmer, who clinched the team bronze for Germany at the 2010 Worlds, told IG he plans to celebrate outside the gym during the upcoming holidays.

IG Online continues its yearly holiday series, bringing you the scoop on what the world's best gymnasts will be up to in the coming month!

After a successful year in which he clinched the team bronze for Germany at the world championships, Sebastian Krimmer told IG he plans to celebrate outside the gym during the upcoming holidays.

"Every year I'm looking forward to the holidays," said Krimmer, whose clutch performance on pommel horse at the worlds in Rotterdam assured Germany of third place. "I spend these days with my family and friends because it‘s important for me to celebrate with my loved ones."

The 20-year-old Krimmer said he is eager to catch up with family and friends on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

"On Christmas Eve we cook together, and afterward, we enjoy a great dinner with a lot of presents and fun, " he said. "New Year‘s Eve is the holiday which I spend with my friends. During the year I am travelling a lot, and this is a day where we all get together and I have the chance to celebrate with everyone."

Krimmer said he is already anticipating major competitions in 2011, including the European championships in Berlin and the worlds in Tokyo.

"My New Year's resolutions are to live healthier, and of course to travel to Berlin and Japan," he told IG.

Read more on Krimmer in the January/February 2011 issue of International Gymnast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

Written by Amanda Turner    Wednesday, 08 December 2010 19:06    PDF Print
Rising Raisman Readies for New Year, New Skills
(15 votes, average 4.47 out of 5)

U.S. world team member Alexandra Raisman, fourth on floor exercise at October's worlds, is busy strengthening her routines as 2010 draws to a close.

IG Online continues its yearly holiday series, bringing you the scoop on what the world's best gymnasts will be up to in the coming month!

As 2010 draws to a close, world floor exercise finalist Alexandra Raisman (U.S.) is busy perfecting her skills for next year's competition.

"Training has been going really good," the 16 year old told IG. "I feel really confident."

Raisman, who trains with Romanian-born coaches Mihai and Silvia Brestyan in Massachusetts, is looking to impress at the January national team camp. Some notable skills she's working to improve include a piked Arabian double front on floor exercise and Yurchenko 2 1/2 on vault.

"I'm just trying to perfect all the things I'm working on and learn a few new skills," shre said. "The main area I'm focusing on is getting the 2 1/2 on vault, since it will bump my Start Value up [seven] tenths."

At the U.S. championships in August, Raisman finished third all-around behind Rebecca Bross and Mattie Larson. At the world championships in October, she was a member of the U.S. team that finished second to Russia, and placed a close fourth on floor exercise. She qualified to the individual all-around final in third place, but several big breaks on uneven bars left her in 13th.

Raisman said her training schedule means she is unable to share in a traditional family dinner each night to celebrate Hanukkah. Thursday is the eighth and final night of the Jewish holiday.

Raisman said she has been sticking to her own healthy meal after evening practice, forgoing any traditional holiday food like potato latkes.

"But we do presents every night," she said. "They light the candles and they have dinner together."

Raisman's large family includes brother Brett, 14, sister Chloe, 10, and sister Madison, 8. Alexandra, who goes by Aly, is the only gymnast in the family, though Madison does diving.

"My mom used to do high school gymnastics, and decided to put me in a Mommy & Me class," she said of her beginnings.

Raisman competed through Level 6 for Exxcel Gymnastics in Newton before moving to Brestyan's in Burlington, where she is training once again alongside veteran Alicia Sacramone. Sacramone took time off following the 2008 Olympics, but made a comeback in 2010 to win her first world title on vault.

Raisman said Sacramone, who turned 23 on Friday, has been an inspiration during training and competition.

"Alicia's a really good role model, and she's been working really hard," Raisman said. "She's been to the Olympics and world championships so she knows what it takes to get there, and knows how to handle certain situations. She just tells me to relax and tells me the little corrections that she knows have helped her."

Raisman said she plans to spend New Year's Eve with friends, and will get a break from training on New Year's Day.

Written by John Crumlish    Tuesday, 07 December 2010 10:46    PDF Print
History-Making Mitchell Ready for Holiday Rest
(9 votes, average 4.56 out of 5)

World floor exercise champion Lauren Mitchell (Australia) has had little time to celebrate her historic year, but she plans to take a holiday break soon. Pictured: Floor exercise gold medalist Mitchell is flanked by co-silver medalists Aliya Mustafina (Russia) and Diana Chelaru (Romania) at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam.

IG Online kicks off its yearly holiday series, bringing you the scoop on what the world's best gymnasts will be up to in the coming month!

2010 world floor exercise champion Lauren Mitchell of Australia has had little time to celebrate, but she told IG this week she plans to finally relax over the upcoming holidays.

Mitchell, who placed first on floor exercise at the world championships in Rotterdam in October, said her busy fall competition schedule has been too packed to reflect on her historic achievement as Australia's first female world champion. Her busy competitive year comes to a close following this weekend's Toyota Cup in Japan.

"I didn't have much time to celebrate after Rotterdam, as I had the DTB and Glasgow World Cups two weeks after, and I have the Toyota Cup," Mitchell said. "After the Toyota Cup I'm having some time off, so that will be when I will celebrate. I did get together with friends and family after my success in Rotterdam for a huge picnic which was absolutely fantastic."

Mitchell said she plans to enjoy a mellow holiday week, starting with a family gathering on Christmas.

"As Aussies we don't tend to have as many family traditions as in some other countries," Mitchell told IG. "This year my family are all getting together for Christmas lunch. I am also looking forward to some downtime over this break because it has been a really long six months. I aim to spend some time with friends for New Year's [Eve]."

Read about Mitchell's world championships performances in the December 2010 issue of International Gymnast magazine, and more on Mitchell in the January/February 2011 issue. To subscribe or order back issues, click here.


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