18 cool things that happened in Gymnastics this week16/02/2016
Happy Tuesday, Gymnastics fans! The Olympic Gymnastics season is underway in numerous disciplines, and there's plenty of news to share. Here's the weekly wrap of what everyone's been buzzing about:
Top: Arne van Gelder and Vincent Casse (BEL), and Carmen Whelan (CAN).
Puurs Acro World Cup: Belarus, Belgium and Russia all won one or more titles as the Acro World Cup season kicked off this past weekend in Puurs (BEL), a suburb of Antwerp. Names to watch running up to April's World Championships include Mixed Pair Ekaterina Vdovina and Maksim Sopronov (RUS), as well as Puurs Men's Pair champions Arne van Gelder and Vincent Casse (BEL), both winners of their respective categories in Puurs.
Video highlights: http://goo.gl/OAOmrj (Sporza)
Video interview with FIG Acro Technical Committee President Rosy Taeymans: http://goo.gl/5SFKzU (RTV)
Miss Valentine 2016: Ukrainian star Ganna Rizatdinova swept the competition at the annual Valentine's Day Rhythmic international in Tartu (EST), easily winning the All-around and all four apparatus finals. The Ukrainians also won Group competition with the 5 Ribbons. (Miss Valentine)
Rhythmic Elite Canada: 2015 World team member Carmen Whelan won Elite Canada All-around title and added another three victories with the Hoop, Clubs and Ribbon in event finals. All-around silver medallist Katherine Uchida won Ball. Patricia Bezzoubenko, the top Canadian finisher at the 2015 Worlds, skipped the meet to prepare for the World Cup season that will soon be underway. (Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique)
Competition recap: http://goo.gl/wC3mQx
Nadia Comaneci International Invitational: Following a strong sixth-place finish at last week's Elite Canada, Meixi Semple was the top gymnast at the annual Nadia Comaneci International Invitational in Oklahoma City (USA). Junior Elite Canada champion Jade Chrobok won the Junior title among a field that included Brooklyn Moors, younger sister of 2012 Canadian Olympian Victoria Moors. (International Gymnast Magazine)
Competition recap: http://goo.gl/WpwUAJ
Canadian Men vs. University Men: Canadian National team member Justin Karstadt, who competes for the University of Minnesota, and Stanford University's Ryan Sheppard tied for the All-around title at a competition that pits the Canadian Men against some of the top University Gymnastics teams in the United States. Samuel Zakutney, a rising star on the Canadian team, won Floor Exercise. The Canadian men finished fourth, behind three university squads. (Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique)
Competition recap: http://goo.gl/5hWwC8
Full results: http://goo.gl/iWj3oj
AROUND THE WORLD:
Eight new elements added to the Men's Code of Points: World Floor champion Kenzo Shirai (JPN), 2004 Olympic team gold medallist Naoya Tsukahara (AUS) and five other gymnasts had the honor of having their original skills named after them. Read all about the new elements here: http://goo.gl/gW9f96 (FIG)
Good news from Beth Tweddle: Recuperating after spinal surgery, FIG Athletes Representative Beth Tweddle reported that she has begun walking on her own before being discharged from an Austrian hospital Tuesday. Tweddle, Britain's best-ever female gymnast, was injured after a ski crash in Austria two weeks ago while training for the reality TV show The Jump. http://goo.gl/leRhzZ (BBC)
The best American gymnast since 'well, probably ever': Heading into the Olympic year that just may turn her into one of the best-known names in sports, Simone Biles's biggest worry is staying calm. http://goo.gl/Ss3p3e (The New York Times)
Sophina DeJesus: UCLA's viral Floor Exercise sensation has quite the backstory. http://goo.gl/LBXB3P (LA Times)
Oleg Stepko on the upcoming Azerbaijan World Cup: The AGF Trophy, the first Artistic Gymnastics World Cup of 2016, is happening this weekend in Baku. 2015 World Parallel Bars bronze medallist Oleg Stepko gives his take on the meet and his expectations for it: http://goo.gl/mj7oIU. (Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation)
Bonus interview with Farid Gayibov, Secretary General of the Federation, on Stepko and 2016: http://goo.gl/qR3ytt (Azernews)
Dipa Karmakar (IND)
Dipa Karmakar in Elle India: The 2014 Commonwealth medallist and 2015 World Vault finalist was named as one of "Eight women in sports who are changing the game." http://goo.gl/LZbpSf (Elle India)
Andrej Korosteljev aims higher: After qualifying first to the Floor final at last year's European Championships, Croatia's Andrej Korosteljev is hoping for more excellent results this year. http://goo.gl/V43siw (Glas Slavonije)
Louis Smith in his own words: "To get back into Gymnastics has been like a circus act," the 27-year-old admits in a new article. Still, he's survived it: the 2012 Olympic Pommel Horse silver medallist calls 2015 one of his best years. http://goo.gl/2i1ZhX (Sky Sports)
Wedding bells for Shawn Johnson: The 2008 Olympic Beam champion has found love and a new life in Nashville, Tennessee. http://goo.gl/iTlCeB (Des Moines Register)
Q and A with Carolina Rodriguez: Spain's top Rhythmic gymnast on her beginnings in the sport, her hopes for the year and her plans after Gymnastics. http://goo.gl/tTt4ve (El Blog de Divina Pastora Seguros)
Claudia Fragapane is trying to rewrite British history: And will be doing so to the tune of "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag," also her floor music for this year. http://goo.gl/WJ9t39 (The Sun)
This week in must-watch Gymnastics videos: The excellent gala show from the 2015 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart is absolutely not be missed. Happy Tuesday!
Wishing everyone an excellent week!