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Archive for category gymnastics

Outstanding Gymnastics Moves

This is truly a breathtaking video showing some of the most extraordinary moves in women’s gymnastics. It includes floor exercises, horizontal bar and balance beam with captions identifying the different moves. Never knew there were so many variations. Very helpful in understanding what I see next time.

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Sexy Modern Dance Duet

I’m feeling like I need to move to music. I used to take jazz dancing classes at Carnegie Hall and near Lincoln Center almost 40 years ago. So I am searching for dance studios that offer classes to adults. Not easy, when you live far from a big city…my small town has just 1400 people.

I also started looking at dance movies and youtube videos of dance. This one is very suggestive erotic and romantic. It also has gymnastic moves, but that’s to be expected when you learn that the woman competed in the Olympics!

The pair call themselves, Duo MainTenanT, and Nicolas Besnard and gymnast and dancer, Ludivine Furnon are breathtaking in this amazing video from the television show Benissimo.

unbelievable movement

unbelievable movement

Ludivine Furnon is a retired Olympic athlete from France. She was the first French female gymnast to ever win a medal at the World Gymnastics Championships. Although she attended dance classes from the age of eight, Furnon did not study gymnastics until she was eleven years old. Her rise in the sport was astonishingly rapid. Two years after beginning gymnastics, she was accepted to train with the French national team in Marseille; by 1995 she was competing at the elite level when she also made her international debut, competing with the sixth-place French team at the World Gymnastics Championships in Sabae. With her innovative and expressive floor exercise routine, choreographed by coach Adriana Pop, she won a bronze medal in event finals. In 1996, she became the French national champion and represented France at the Olympics. In 2008, Furnon was part of the cast of Cirque du Soleil in the production Mystere in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nicolas Besnard developed his art at National Circus School and at the University of Dance of Montreal.
In 2005, Nicolas was invited to be a guest act in the sexiest production of Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas – Zumanity where he performed over 2000 times in four years. He has performed all around the globe and has appeared in many different TV shows including Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde and Benissimo. He also won the Silver Medal in Paris at the most recognized Circus Festival in the world – 31st Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain and made it to the finals of French Got Talent.

Now maybe I could learn to dance like this. That would be fun!

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Van Damme Still Pretty Flexible

I have watched my share of martial arts movies and been impressed with the skill and choreography. Jean-Claude Van Damme (known as the muscles from Brussels) is no ordinary person, but his kicks and leg moves were always pretty sweet. He is 53 years old now, but check out his performance in this commercial, which was done in one take. Notice that the trucks are driving BACKWARDS!! Much harder. According to the Wall Street Journal, what you see is really what you get.

Below is a compendium of some of his splits in his feature films:

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Injured Olympic Heroes Ignore Pain For Their Team

Here are two awe-inspiring stories of past Olympian gymnasts who completed their routines in great pain to win for their team. A Japanese man with a broken kneecap continued performing, so that his team would not lose to the Russians wanting gold. An American girl with a torn ankle vaults a second time, so her team can finally win the gold and also keep the Russians in silver.

When I am injured, I rest, take it easy, recuperate. These athletes are like fire fighters going into the burning building to save someone without concern for their own safety. They destroy their careers for the sake of their team. To win the Gold Medal. Recently someone asked me “why these athletes can’t be happy with a Silver, because that’s a pretty good achievement?” Being the best in the world is all that matters and why they train so hard for years. It’s not a goal that we mere mortals can understand. And I wonder what happens to all those who failed at achieving their dream. How badly does that disappointment scar the rest of their lives?

1976: Shun Fujimoto Hits His Ring Set with a Broken Knee

The Japanese built a dynasty in men’s gymnastics in the 1960s and 70s. By 1976, Japan had won the team gold in the last four Olympics. In the team finals in Montreal, however, Japanese team member Shun Fujimoto injured himself on floor. Fearing that the team would not win if he withdrew from the meet, Fujimoto hid the extent of his injury and competed his final two events of the day, pommel horse and rings.

On rings, Fujimoto scored a 9.7, after landing his full-twisting double back dismount onto a broken kneecap. His score helped the Japanese earn their fifth consecutive team gold, and he is still revered in Japan for his selfless commitment to the team.

1996: Kerri Strug Does Her Vault With Torn Ligaments In Her Ankle

Article by Rick Weinberg for ESPN

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team had never won an Olympic team gold medal before, and they declared that this time they—in Atlanta— would be the ones wearing the gold medals around their necks, not the Romanians or the Russians.

There is just one apparatus left for the U.S.—the vault—as it leads second-place Russia by .897, a lead so commanding in the sport that several Russian gymnasts, apparently conceding defeat before the start of the floor exercise, are in tears.

But shockingly, the U.S. lead begins to evaporate after Dominique Moceanu—one of America’s golden girls—falls not once but twice, registering only a 9.20, wiping out a chunk of the U.S. lead and leaving the gold up for grabs.

The gold medal now comes down to Kerri Strug, the quiet gymnast, the understudy to stars Moceanu, Dominique Dawes and Shannon Miller.

Strug, a 4-foot-9 gymnast from Tucson, Ariz., does not possess the fearlessness, the toughness, the aggressiveness, the heart, and the threshold of pain, of her teammates. At least that’s what some people had believed. But as the spotlight in the Georgia Dome focuses on Strug, that perception completely changes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad News, Great Photo

Their teammate falls in the women's gymnastic team final—7/31/12

Ksenia Afanasyeva’s a Russian gymnast, was the reigning world champion for the floor exercise. She delivered a strong performance on Tuesday, until she crashed on her knees on her final pass. The mistake devastated her teammates, who were visibly shocked and upset.

You can see the crash in the video (scroll down) at this site . Jump right to 1:30 if you are short on time.

Amazing what these children can do. Some are not even 16. Ksenia is 20 now, and competed in the 2008 Olympics. They’ve been practicing for years, hundreds or thousands of hours. And it all comes down to one fall at the end of a masterful performance. Medals based on thousandths of a point or second. I know, I know…these are not ordinary athletes. Forgive me…but this is such a fabulous photo, even if the people are responding to a surprising set back.

Incidentally, Ksenia earned a 14.333 in spite of her fall. All three Americans earned 15 or over…one a 15.3. The Russian team lost to the Americans by over 5 points, so Ksenia’s fall did not cost her team the gold. Russia had to settle for the silver.

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