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Thread: Men's and Ladies' Gymnastics

  1. #151
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    Some news articles on the recent gymnastics going-ons, with a focus on the women, because I'm just not finding much in the English-speaking media about Kohei Uchimura and the other male gymnasts who made a mark:

    An interview with Komova and Mustafina after the individual all around:

    Komova may have shed many tears over not winning gold, but she puts it in perspective, "I am proud about what I've done today, but nevertheless I am a little disappointed because I wanted to gain the gold medal."

    Mustafina, who seemed ecstatic after winning bronze, confirmed those feelings, "I'm totally happy with my performance today, with the exception of beam."

    Both Russian gymnasts congratulated Douglas and said she deserved her win: Komova said, " I believe that she earned her gold medal. She was very, very good tonight." Echoed Mustafina: "I absolutely agree with Viktoria. She was fantastic. She didn't make a single mistake. She became the leading athlete from the very beginning."

    This article points out that instead of focusing whether Mustafina violently slapped her coach's consoling hand away (in reality she might have shrugged off his pat, if even that), NBC commentators could've instead told viewers that Mustafina is a Muslim (is she? Can't find confirmation for sure anywhere) and a member of the Tatar minority in Russia. Her bronze win here (and her World Championship win a few years back) in the all-around are both historic and groundbreaking for those reasons. She would be the first Muslim and Tatar to achieve any one of those things.

    In case you haven't heard, Gabby Douglas is a cornflake girl! She'll appear on the cover of Kellogg's Cornflakes to commemorate her Olympic all-around win. She may yet appear on other cereal boxes with her golden teammates.

    In other endorsement news, Gabby Douglas just got a very special and personal tribute from Beyoncé on Beyoncé's official website. The singing superstar says Douglas is "inspiring".

  2. #152
    Custom Title DianaSelene's Avatar
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    No, there were other Tatar olympic champions so Mustafina is not the first. Here is a list:

    Nellie Kim - 5 golds, 1 silver
    Oleg Saitov - 2 golds, 1 bronze
    Alina Kabaeva - 1 gold, 1 bronze
    Yanina Batyrchina - 1 silver
    Radion Gataullin - 1 bronze
    Gulnara Samitova - 1 gold

    They have all gotten olympic medals.

    I'm not sure if Mustafina is Muslim. However, I have seen pictures of her in a church so maybe she's Christian?

    http://www.aliyamustafina.ru/gallery..._display_media
    http://www.aliyamustafina.ru/gallery...&cat=0&pos=214
    http://www.aliyamustafina.ru/gallery...&cat=0&pos=212
    Last edited by DianaSelene; 08-03-2012 at 10:18 PM.

  3. #153
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    Her name certainly sounds as if she has Muslim ancestry. My goodness, if she's a Muslim, has she been fasting for Ramadan? Some of the athletes have fasted, while others have decided to fast only on non-event days, and still others will do the complete fast after the Olympics. I believe I've read that people who are traveling during Ramadan are excused from fasting. If she is the first of her ethnicity to get a gold, extra congratulations to her. That would add her to an illustrious group. I remember in 1972 and 1976, Elvira Saadi was part of the Soviet team, which won both those times; Wiki says that she's Uzbek, but I don't know that signifies in terms of ethnicity or religion.

    I just looked up Nelli Kim, and though she was part North Korean, she was Tatar on her mother's side. Russia is surprisingly multi-ethnic, or at least it was when it was the Soviet Union and had all those central Asian republics in its fold.

    Thanks for the news links! The Russian ladies sound very gracious and mature. I hope they garner similar praise from the Americans. They deserve it, and they were thrilling to watch.

    Does this mean I have to buy corn flakes? It's been years. Great that we're getting some new role models in popular culture. These youngsters beat the Kardashians by a country mile.
    Last edited by Olympia; 08-03-2012 at 10:13 PM.

  4. #154
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    DianaSelene, the article was only referring to Tatar competitors medaling in all-around gymnastics. Although the article was talking about rarity, not firsts. And I don't think those pics convey her religion one way or another, she's there with the rest of her teammates. With Orthodox Christianity being the de facto state religion in Russia now, even if she wasn't a believer she'd be hard pressed not to attend a photo op there.

    Olympia from what I've read of other Muslim athletes competing in the Olympics, they've gotten permission to do their fasting after the Olympics.

  5. #155
    Custom Title DianaSelene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    DianaSelene, the article was only referring to Tatar competitors medaling in all-around gymnastics. Although the article was talking about rarity, not firsts. And I don't think those pics convey her religion one way or another, she's there with the rest of her teammates. With Orthodox Christianity being the de facto state religion in Russia now, even if she wasn't a believer she'd be hard pressed not to attend a photo op there.

    Olympia from what I've read of other Muslim athletes competing in the Olympics, they've gotten permission to do their fasting after the Olympics.
    Ok, I understand. It is rare for a Tatar but Mustafina is not the first Tatar to get a medal in the gymnastics all-around. Nellie Kim got a silver in the all-around in 1976.

  6. #156
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Mustafina comes from a mixed religious family. Mom is Orthodox Christian.. Dad is Muslim; the kids will "choose" when they are older....She hasn't yet. There are actually quite a few Russian gymnasts from Muslim families.. Nabieva (at least Dad is)... A couple of guys, not all of them were in the Church.

  7. #157
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    i LOVE Aliya and Komova. 4 ind events/ I hope to see Ally, Komova, Weiber and Mustafina get inividual apparatus gold. They are alll in 1 or two events-anyone recall who on who? Just a dream for all 4 great women.

  8. #158
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Complete list of women gymnasts who qualified for event finals

    Regarding skateluvr's favorites:
    - Komova qualified for finals of: uneven bars + beam
    - Mustafina: uneven bars + floor ex
    - Raisman: beam + floor ex
    - Wieber: floor ex

    And I can't help adding:
    - Douglas: uneven bars + beam
    - Maroney: vault

    Complete list of women gymnasts who qualified for event finals:

    >> 5 August 14:50, Women's Vault Final

    MARONEY Mc Kayla
    IZBASA Sandra Raluca
    PASEKA Maria
    CHUSOVITINA Oksana
    PENA ABREU Yamilet
    BERGER Janine
    ROGERS Brittany
    BLACK Elsabeth

    [Source: http://www.london2012.com/gymnastics...doc=vault.html]

    >> 6 August 14:50, Women's Uneven Bars Final

    TWEDDLE Elizabeth
    HE Kexin
    KOMOVA Victoria
    YAO Jinnan
    MUSTAFINA Aliya
    DOUGLAS Gabrielle
    SEITZ Elisabeth
    TSURUMI Koko

    [Source: http://www.london2012.com/gymnastics...nevenbars.html]

    >> 7 August 14:47, Women's Beam Final

    SUI Lu
    KOMOVA Victoria
    DOUGLAS Gabrielle
    DENG Linlin
    RAISMAN Alexandra
    AFANASEVA Kseniia
    PONOR Catalina
    BULIMAR Diana Laura

    [Source: http://www.london2012.com/gymnastics.../doc=beam.html]

    >> 7 August 16:23, Women's Floor Exercise Final

    RAISMAN Alexandra
    IZBASA Sandra Raluca
    FERRARI Vanessa
    AFANASEVA Kseniia
    MITCHELL Lauren
    WIEBER Jordyn
    PONOR Catalina
    MUSTAFINA Aliya

    [Source: http://www.london2012.com/gymnastics...doc=floor.html]

  9. #159
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I loved Ponor's beam exercise with the double pirouette in it I have hopes that her exercise will be shown again on TV.

    I hope we will get to see Izbasa's floor and Vault. I feel cheated that we didn't see her on NBC during either the team qualifiers, the team comp or the all around.

  10. #160
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    Interesting that Chinese gymnasts qualified only for beam and uneven bars. I know they're supposed to be dominant, so I'm curious as to what the story is.

    I didn't realize that Ponor qualified for two events. She's wonderful! Her balance beam earlier this week was a standout: mature, steady, elegant. They'd better show her on NBC!

  11. #161
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    Mustafina comes from a mixed religious family. Mom is Orthodox Christian.. Dad is Muslim; the kids will "choose" when they are older....She hasn't yet. There are actually quite a few Russian gymnasts from Muslim families.. Nabieva (at least Dad is)... A couple of guys, not all of them were in the Church.
    That sounds right to me. BTW, not every Muslim is ultra religious. I had a good Turkish friend who was muslim and he used to love his gin and tonics.

    IN USA there are ultra-religious Christian and Jewish athletes who won't perform on their holy days but it is becoming more rare.

    I doubt if the majority of Russian muslims have all that much in common with Saudi's or muslims from nations like Iran where religion is the most important part of their cultural upbringing.

    Only a few years ago most muslims could not openly practice their faith in the Soviet controlled countries.

    Whatever, I really like Mustafina. What a character! Have to wonder if she had not blown out her knee how she might have done in London.
    Last edited by janetfan; 08-04-2012 at 08:07 AM.

  12. #162
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    I don't know enough about gymnastics to have a definitive opinion, but after one gymnast's performance I said aloud to a friend "that routine should get a full point in deductions"...and when the score came out it received exactly 1.00 in deductions. That made me happy.

  13. #163
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Well, I did not see The floor finals as it was so late. I wanted to see it on TV and just had to go to bed. So I did not see the Floor Ex that Gabby and Komova did. Who else did they show?

    I have to register with Charter to watch replays on NBC it seems. I just think Komova like all the Russian move more beautifully than any American other than Nastia. The form of Mary Lou, Carly and yes Nastia were all better than Gabby, and we saw so little gymnastics. Catalina Ponor was amazing. I watched past routines. It seems like we had Raisman who really surprised me as number two becuuse as Retton said before the events started Raisman was "sloppy" her feet mostly I think, and Retton said in one interview Komova was the one to beat (I can see that). In another inyerview, it was Weiber, a powerhouse woman. I wonder if someone could talk about how it is that little Chinese and Russians can do these vaults but US ladies (well, two) look like steroids are used.

    Gymnastics on FX from what I saw is no longer about dance, bounce, spring, beautiful lines. 2004 I did not watch. 2008 had Nastia and amazing litle Shaun, but again, the coverage was of the chinese and we all know the deal there. I am no big gymnastics fan only because it does not get much coverage and I watch what I find as opposed to knowing when the shows are on. I like very little TV nowadays to be honest.

    I am happy for Gabby and she didn't make big mistakes, but her beam was meh to me. She does fly on bars. And her confidence was high, vault was good. I saw her floor ex from qualifications and other events the last two years on Youtube. I watched Komova's last several events and honestly liked her so much better. Her floor is beautiful! I can't say if Gabby's is more difficult tumbling. I liked her (Komova's) routine 2 points more. But these girls felt it was fair Gabby won. Mustafina injured was too bad. This girl healthy should easily take the AA.

    I hope for the best to win the ind. events. Gabby has made history and no one has more than 2 gold medals in Gymnastics. So now I want to see some stellar girls step up to their individual reputations.I hope luck and skill spreads the medals around to other countries. A lot of girls are feeling dejected, I am sure. USA is already so blessed and golden. History made in a few ways. Since we have seen so few routines of other "special" girls, I'll rely on who they say is event gold champ, if they even tell us that. Raisman was lucky to be in the top two. I think Weiber has the power and is cleaner.I really want a gold for Jordyn. She is much better than raisman and I was sorry she could not do all around. I must say I was surprised to see at this level Ally getting as far as she did with bent knees, form breaks, legs not together, pidgeon not pointed toes.Gymnastics is changing a lot just like skating, and I don't think i like the direction. Gymnastics of the past was about elegance and I feel the Russians/ Romanians are treated badly by their coaches. They cry a lot. I swear they must beat them. I saw a training piece where Komova was being yelled at and crying. Komova is like a little waif. A nadia/korbut blend. I want a gold for this girl. I hope she can deliver. They look a bit starved while our girls look very healthy. Is there a "thing" with these teams where the coaches or Russia?Romania discourage training that bulks up the girls too much? Nastia looks like a weakling next to ally/Jordyn. It does seem the tumbling is already harder on FX 4 years later. I watched Nastia's Bejing all around last night and the beaty and connections were there but her FX looked easy. I always thought Shaun Johnson was the best anyway, so what do I know?

    If anyone has a link to the FX portion of the all around, or even the whole event replay in any broadcast, can you put them in? Thanks.

    They said NBC broke even. How can that be with all those commercials? They should be making some money.

    Anyway, I want to see The equestrian events but they are in the morning. You'd think Zara Philips and the royals would merit prime time. Americans adore this bunch!
    Last edited by skateluvr; 08-04-2012 at 07:23 PM.

  14. #164
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    What the? All around gold for Gabby =90 million dollars? Hey, brutal sport for sure, but no wonder everyone else is crying...gee, I feel really bad now for the Romanians...they would likely get the medal and a few thousand dollars in such a poor place. Again, big money destroys sports...all sports...this is not what the Olympic move,ment should be. Was nastia on the cereal boxes. It seems way excessive for one endorsement and damn good cereal is so expensive already! I jokes about Wheaties, but mary Lou was the first American to go AA. I winder what she got in 84. Anyone know about the money side of these "games?" What is Phelps worth and is he still getting contracts 3 Olympics after he hit big???

    If it is really about world peace, they should have inter country teams and all the little faces on a cereal---it's a global economy...I want all the girls on the box! Our team and throw in Komova and Mustafina (their gym looks kinda poor!)

  15. #165
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    I agree, skateluvr.

    In a way, it makes me feel better about skating being so much less profitable these days. You really have to be doing it for love most of the time.

    I imagine Michael Phelps has been making a lot of money with endorsements all along. Some of the more glamorous female swimmers, such as Dara Torres and Natalie Coughlin, have appeared in commercials. I can't resent that; after all, they have worked like dogs for years so as to qualify for repeated Olympics, and there's no pro swimming circuit.

    I suspect that the hunky Ryan Lochte will get a lot of magazine space. He could give Evan Lysacek and Fedor Andreev some pretty good competition as a model. Hey, I'd buy a magazine with him as the cover guy! But in the U.S., the winner of a women's gymnastics gold, especially the all-around, has a special status. And this girl, with her thousand-watt smile, will make out like gangbusters. Mary Lou Retton was in huge demand right from the get-go after her gold, and at the age of sixteen her future was assured. I believe she earned her living as a motivational speaker for years. Speaker fees can be very high and are based on popularity.

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