Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Lopez’

A mother-daughter tribute

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

I haven’t posted lately because I’ve been busy with my little daughter who was born last summer. I’ve still kept up with the world of gymnastics, though, and while there are some exciting things that have happened during the past months, artistic gymnastics seems to be going through a bit of a dry patch, particularly on the women’s side. Gone are the days when 10 or 15 gymnasts were legitimate contenders for all around medals. Simone Biles and Kohei Uchimura are dominating right now, as they deserve to, and they appear set to continue their trends of defending their crowns in upcoming competitions. The men’s side is a lot more exciting with all the apparatus specialists, but if the FIG reduces teams to 4 members then we can say goodbye to a lot of that excitement too.

Here are some bright patches I’ve come across lately:

The mother-daughter duo of Natalia Laschenova and Sasha Tsikhanovich performed floor routines with matching choreography 26 years apart. I love it! That 1989 Soviet team is one of my all-time faves, and it’s wonderful to see Tsikhanovich’s tribute to her mother.

Natalia Laschenova (URS), 1989 World Championships, Floor Exercise, All Around

Sasha Tsikhanovich, University of Bridgeport, 2015 Floor Exercise

Kenzo Shirai, Japan’s twisting machine, was criticized in the past for winning floor titles without showing any double saltos. Well, he has been working on several new tumbling passes, including a triple twisting double layout and a whip immediate triple-double. Wow! Oh, and he also throws a front full punch front 3.5 and a whip immediate quadruple twist….

Kenzo Shirai (JPN), training

Romania looks to be back in the running for Rio with the comeback announcements of Catalina Ponor and Sandra Izbasa, and with Larisa Iordache looking great on all events. This team is more and more stylish all the time. Never count Romania out!

Larisa Iordache (ROU), 2014 Glasgow World Cup, Uneven Bars

Catalina Ponor (ROU), 2012 European Championships, Balance Beam, Qualifications

Sandra Izbasa (ROU), 2012 Olympic Games, Floor Exercise, Team Final

Diana Bulimar (ROU), 2012 Olympic Games, Floor Exercise, Team Final

Andreas Bretschneider (GER) has mastered the double twisting Kovacs on high bar! Here he is performing it in his home country. The sky’s the limit!

Andreas Bretschneider (GER), 2014 DTB Cup, High Bar

And finally, a shout out to one of the most underrated gymnasts of this era: Jessica Lopez (VEN)!

Jessica Lopez (VEN), 2014 World Championships, Uneven Bars

Jessica Lopez (VEN), 2014 Glasgow World Cup, Floor Exercise

Did anyone else think the “Aging Beauty” headline on her International GYMNAST cover was a tad bizarre? I mean, she hardly looks like she’s “aging.” She may be 29, but you’d never guess it looking at her gymnastics, and she appears more physically fit than some gymnasts half her age! Oh well…at least the cover also said she “has never looked better.”

What other cool stuff has caught your eye lately?

Simone Biles Wins Worlds

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Simone Biles and Kyla Ross teamed up for an American 1-2 in much the same fashion as Kohei Uchimura and Ryohei Kato did for Japan. Ross lead after the third rotation by the slimmest of margins, but Biles proved unbeatable with her amazing floaty tumbling: tucked double-double, double layout half-out (the Biles!), 2.5-twist punch layout front, tucked full-in. Ross demonstrated her trademark consistency and good form on her way to silver.

Simone Biles (USA), AA, 2013 World Championships

Kyla Ross (USA), AA, 2013 World Championships

Aliya Mustafina (RUS) managed to pull herself together for the bronze medal after a dismal qualifying round. She has an uncanny ability to capture a crowd’s attention, and her gymnastics really looks fabulous with the exception of her form on the triple twist on floor. Iordache would have been in a tight race for bronze if not for the unfortunate fall from beam, arguably her best event. I’m sure she’ll be seeking revenge in beam finals on the weekend.

Aliya Mustafina (RUS), AA, 2013 World Championships

It’s a pity Jessica Lopez (VEN) withdrew from the All Around, allowing Vasiliki Millousi (GRE) in, because she qualified in 11th spot and would have been even higher if not for a fall from one of her best events, the uneven bars. Here’s her routine from preliminaries.

Jessica Lopez (VEN), Qualifying Round Uneven Bars, 2013 World Championships

Victoria Moors (CAN) will have her layout double-double named after her, having successfully completed it in the All Around. The 14.633 awarded for her stylish floor routine was the third highest of all gymnasts today, behind Biles and Larisa Iordache  (ROU). She did well to finish in 10th place, but could have placed much higher if it weren’t for the 12.300 beam score. Teammate Ellie Black (CAN) had a great beam routine for 14.133 (5th highest score) but just couldn’t put it together on her signature events, vault and floor, for 13th place all around.

Victoria Moors (CAN), AA Floor Exercise, 2013 World Championships

Larisa Iordache (ROU), AA Floor Exercise, 2013 World Championships

And the 2013 Longines Prizes for Elegance are awarded to…drum roll, please…Kohei Uchimura and Kyla Ross!

Longines Prizes for Elegance, 2013 World Championships


Monday, February 20th, 2012

It’s been too long since I last posted, and I’ve missed Gymbits! So many things have happened since I wrote my last article. Here are a few random tidbits that have crossed my radar recently:

1) Dominique Moceanu is coming out with a book in June, and I can’t wait! Sounds like it’ll be a good read with juicy details from her days training with the Karolyis. It sure is brave of her to get that stuff out there.

2) Less than half a year to go until the 2012 London Olympics and the excitement is in the air! Already there is some disappointment, though: rising Ukrainian star Maria Livchikova was injured prior to the 2011 World Championships and now has no hope of qualifying to the Olympics. The good news was the announcement back in 2011 that Kohei Uchimura (JPN) would be pre-qualified the Olympic team. Now he can just focus on training and peaking at the right time instead of bothering with the Japanese trials.

3) I am so glad the Canadian girls qualified to the Olympic Games in 10th place! This has got to be the best team we’ve had in years. With Peng Peng Lee, Kristina Vaculik, Victoria Moors, Madeline Gardiner, Charlotte Mackie, Brittany Rogers, Mikaela Gerber, Dominique Pegg, Jessica Savona, Talia Chiarelli and Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto all in the mix (am I forgetting anyone?), it’s going to be a fight for the 5 Olympic spots. Here’s Victoria’s floor routine from the London Test Event, complete with a double-double mount:

Victoria Moors (CAN), Floor Exercise Event Final, 2012 London Test Event

4) I was re-watching some of the 2011 World Championships recently and was appalled by the atrocious E-score (7.866) given to Jessica Lopez (VEN) in the qualifying round. Yes, she did flex her feet a few times and one handstand was a bit overarched, but she displayed great swing and amplitude.

Jessica Lopez (VEN), Uneven Bars Qualifying Round, 2011 World Championships

Alexandra Raisman (USA) managed to get a 7.100 E-score with flexed feet, leg separations, knee bends, two falls and a hop on the landing!

Alexandra Raisman (USA), Uneven Bars All-Around, 2011 World Championships

Let’s hope that the judges deduct fairly at the London Olympics!

5) And finally, what would I do without the GGMB (Gymnastics Gossip Message Board)?! It is the most entertaining forum out there. Heff and Betty crack me up, and I’m always amazed at the amount of knowledge the members have to offer. Now if only I’d post more often there, too….