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Written by Amanda Turner    Sunday, 03 June 2012 12:59    PDF Print
Johnson Announces Official Retirement
(16 votes, average 4.31 out of 5)

World and Olympic champion Shawn Johnson (U.S.) officially announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics Sunday, saying a problematic knee will not let her continue her quest to make a second Olympic team.


Shawn Johnson (U.S.)

"I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete and help the USA at the London Olympics," Johnson said in a statement released by USA Gymnastics. "Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer. All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey."

Johnson, the 2007 world all-around champion, won the gold medal on balance beam at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where she also won silver medals with the team, in the all-around and on floor exercise. She took time off from gymnastics following her Olympic success, turning into a reality show champion with a victory on "Dancing with the Stars."

She suffered a torn ACL while skiing in 2010, but returned to competition in 2011, helping the U.S. win the team title at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

The Iowa native had been expected to compete at this week's U.S. championships in St. Louis. Gymnasts with strong performances in St. Louis will be invited to the U.S. Olympic Trials at the end of June in San Jose, Calif.

"I am announcing this now so the focus for the next three weeks will be on the incredibly talented gymnasts who are trying to make our 2012 Olympic Team," Johnson said. "I have had the honor to train and compete with them, and I am excited to join the gymnastics family and fans in cheering them on to victory. I will be there with every ounce of pride and energy to cheer on my girls and Team USA."

Johnson said she will travel to London to support the U.S. team this summer. She recently penned a memoir, "Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams," set to be released Tuesday.

"Looking to the future, I have many goals and plans I want to pursue," Johnson said. "I am going to college, want to work with philanthropic foundations, and hope to inspire new generations to follow their own dreams and pursue their passions. I also will continue to be involved in the growth of gymnastics because it has been an important part of my life for 15 years. I am very excited about starting the next part of my journey."

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 31 May 2012 23:44    PDF Print
Gymnasts Face Final FIG Challenge Before London
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)



Dozens of Olympic hopefuls will get a final pre-Olympic push in back-to-back FIG Challenger events taking place this weekend and next. Pictured: Diana Bulimar hopes to impress in Ghent and join Romania's Olympic squad this summer.

Dozens of Olympic hopefuls will get a final pre-London push in back-to-back FIG Challenger events taking place this weekend and next.

More than 300 gymnasts from 44 nations are on the combined rosters for the two events: the 45th Šalamunov Memorial, Friday through Sunday in Maribor, Slovenia; and the Ghent Challenger Cup, June 9-10 in the Belgian city.

The rosters includes several gymnasts who have already clinched spots for this summer's Olympic Games in London, including world champions Diego Hypolito (Brazil), Vlasios Maras (Greece) and Krisztian Berki (Hungary). Other notable Olympic qualifiers include Valeria Pereyra (Argentina), Arthur Zanetti (Brazil), Tomas Gonzalez (Chile), Yamilet Peña (Dominican Republic), Kieran Behan (Ireland), Valeria Maksyuta (Israel), Daniel Corral (Mexico), Marta Pihan-Kulesza and Roman Kulesza (Poland), Jonna Adlerteg (Sweden), Jessica Lopez (Venezuela) and Phan Thi Ha Thanh (Vietnam).

Other gymnasts on the rosters have Olympic aspirations but must still prove their worth to various coaches and selection committees. Diana Bulimar, Diana Chelaru, Raluca Haidu and Amelia Racea are all contenders for the yet-undecided Romanian women's team, a perennial medal favorite at the Olympic Games. Meanwhile, Daniel Keatings, Sam Oldham and Louis Smith are fiercely fighting for spots on Great Britain's men's squad to London, where the British will be a team medal contender for the first time in modern gymnastics history.

The competitions are the final stage in the drama that has embroiled Dutch gymnastics this year on the competition floor — and in the courtroom. According to the FIG qualification rules, Jeffrey Wammes and Epke Zonderland both scored enough at the pre-Olympic event to qualify to London as individuals. However, the Dutch team ranking means that only one of them will be allowed to compete at the Olympics. The women are in a similar situation, having earned one spot for any individual the federation wishes to send. The Royal Dutch Gymnastics Federation Zonderland announced in February that Zonderland and Wyomi Masela were to be its 2012 Olympians, a decision that spawned lawsuits from Wammes and women's national champion Céline van Gerner. The judges agreed with the gymnasts' position that the federation was too hasty in its selection and that the federation must take into account results from spring events, including the Challenger Cups in Maribor and Ghent, before making a final decision.

Part of the International Gymnastics Federation's World Cup series, the Challenger Cup features apparatus-only competition. Previous events were held in March in Cottbus and Doha, and in April in Osijek. The series concludes in Ostrava in November.

45th Šalamunov Memorial/FIG Challenger Cup
June 1-3, Maribor, Slovenia

Women's Competitors
Camila Ambrosio
Merlina Galera
Valeria Pereyra
Ailen Valente
Olga Mokhovtsova
Anastasia Marachovskaya
Daiane dos Santos
Adrian Gomes
Tina Erceg
Tijana Tkalcec
Dorina Boczogo
Tunde Csillag
Laura Gombas
Nofar Cohen
Hadas Koren
Valerija Grisane
Joy Goedkoop
Wyomi Masela
Céline van Gerner
Gabriela Janik
Katarzyna Jurkowska
Marta Pihan-Kulesza
Alexandra Choon
Zoi Mafalda Lima
Ana Filipa Martins
Rita Oliveira
Aljazy Al-Habshi
Shaden Wohdan
Daniela Andrei
Gabriela Dragoi
Raluca Haidu
Teja Belak
Saša Golob
Ivana Kamnikar
Adela Sajn
Aleksandra Rajcic
Jelena Stamenkovic
Ranin Abou Faraj
Yevgenia Cherniy
Alina Fomenko
Angelina Kysla
Daryna Liubytska
Jessica Lopez
Men's Competitors
Andres Arean
Nicolas Cordoba
Osvaldo Martinez
Juan Sebastian Melchiori
Federico Molinari
Matias Silva
Christopher Martin
Prashanth Sellathurai
Roland Auer
Matthias Decker
Xheni Dyrmishi
Julian Egermann
Alexander Leidlmair
Tomas Thys
Jimmy Verbaeys
Pavel Bulavsky
Artyom Bykov
Diego Hypolito
Sergio Sasaki
Arthur Zanetti
Nathan Gafuik
Kenneth Ikeda
Kevin Lytwyn
Brandon O'Neill
Christian Bruno
Juan Francisco Raffo
Filip Borosa
Marko Brez
Andrej Korosteljev
Marijo Moznik
Renato Prpic
Kristijan Vugrinski
Juho Kanerva
Petrus Laulumaa
Jarkko Pekkanen
Tomi Tuuha
Reiss Beckford
Daniel Keatings
Louis Smith
Krisztian Berki
Vid Hidvegi
Luke Carson
Anthony O'Donnell
Geoff Rellis
Andrew Smith
Adham Alsqour
Jad Mazahreh
Fahad Al Ghannam
Jawad Alherz
Mohammad Ali
Faisal Alothman
Ahmad Alqattan
Vitalijs Kardasovs
Dmitrijs Trefilovs
Dino Boshnjak
Ivan Krstevski
Arjen Butter
Jorian Ilbrink
Glenn Smink
Jeffrey Wammes
Epke Zonderland
Sebastian Cecot
Adam Kierzkowski
Roman Kulesza
Maciej Labutin
Marek Lyszczarz
Adam Rzepa
Ahmed Aldayani
Nasser Alhamad
Mahmood Alsadi
Malek Alyahri
Saso Bertoncelj
Alen Dimic
Rok Klavora
Aljaz Pegan
Mitja Petkovsek
Ziga Silc
Martin Argalas
Slavomir Michnak
Andrej Neczli
Samuel Piasecky
Suhail Alkurdi
Amer Attar
Fadi Bahlawan
Feras Bahlawan
Volodymyr Grybuk
Maxim Semyankiv
Andrei Sienichkin
Alexander Suprun
Alexander Vorobyov

2012 Ghent Challenger Cup
June 9-10, Ghent, Belgium

Women's Competitors
Camila Ambrosio
Merlina Galera
Valeria Pereyra
Ailen Valente
Julie Croket
Terri Grand'ry
Gaelle Mys
Lisa Verschueren
Anastasia Marachkovskaya
Olga Mokhovtsova
Daniele Hypolito
Bruna Leal
Lais Souza
Paraskevi Babalis
Stefanie Merkle
Sabrina Tomassini
Barbara Achondo
Melany Cabrera
Martina Castro
Andrea Olivares
Tijana Tkalcec
Kristyna Palesova
Jana Sikulova
Yamilet Peña
Sherine El Zeiny
Salma Mahmoud El Said Mohamed
Mari Anttila
Maija Leinonen
Vasiliki Millousi
Hadas Koren
Valeria Maksyuta
Olga Antipenko
Anna Geidt
Alexa Moreno
Wyomi Masela
Lisa Top
Céline van Gerner
Marta Pihan-Kulesza
Alexandra Choon
Zoi Lima
Ana Filipa Martins
Inês Romero
Diana Bulimar
Diana Chelaru
Amelia Racea
Teja Belak
Saša Golob
Fiona Novak
Adela Sajn
Jessica Diacci
Nadia Mülhauser
Maria Homolova
Jonna Adlerteg
Natalia Kononenko
Maria Livchikova
Krystyna Sankova
Luiza Galiulina
Daria Yelizarova
Jessica Lopez
Ivet Rojas
Do Thi Thu Huyen
Phan Thi Ha Thanh
Men's Competitors
Andres Arean
Nicolas Cordoba
Osvaldo Martinez
Juan Sebastian Melchiori
Federico Molinari
Matias Silva
Christopher Martin
Prashanth Sellathurai
Marco Baldauf
Fabian Leimlehner
Thomas Neuteleers
Kristof Schroe
Tomas Thys
Jonas Toeback
Donna-Donny Truyens
Jimmy Verbaeys
Pavel Bulavsky
Andrei Likhovitsky
Alexander Tsarevich
Francisco Barretto
Diego Hypolito
Sergio Sasaki
Arthur Zanetti
Mathieu Csukassy
Jayd Lukenchuk
Jackson Payne
Tomas Gonzalez
Cheng Ran
Du Wei
Liao Junlin
Liu Rongbing
Luo Xuan
Zhang Hongtao
Marko Brez
Tomislav Markovic
Marijo Moznik
Robert Seligman
Filip Ude
Martin Konecny
Amr Essam Mohamed Ahmed
Mohamed Sherif El Saharty
Ali Ramadan Abuoelkassem Zahran
Nestor Abad
Javier Gomez
Fabian Gonzalez
Rafael Martinez
Eetu Lahti
Jarkko Pekkanen
Heikki Saarenketo
Daniel Keatings
Sam Oldham
Eleftherios Kosmidis
Vlasios Maras
Eleftherios Petrounias
Krisztian Berki
Vid Hidvegi
Hadi Khenarinezhad
Mohammad Ramezanpour
Younes Zeyghami
Kieran Behan
Luke Carson
Anthony O'Donnell
Andrew Smith
Shun Kuwahara
Masayoshi Yamamoto
Masahiro Yoshida
Viktor Kocherin
Ilya Kornev
Nurtas Kozhakov
Azizbek Kudratullayev
Stanislav Valiyev
Rokas Guscinas
Daniel Corral
Asiel Lopez
Luis Sosa
Yuri van Gelder
Jeffrey Wammes
Epke Zonderland
Adam Kierzkowski
Roman Kulesza
Maciej Labutin
Adam Rzepa
Adrian Bucur
Andrei V. Muntean
Andrei Muntean
Andrei Ursache
Saso Bertoncelj
Ziga Britovsek
Alen Dimic
Rok Klavora
Mitja Petkovsek
Ziga Silc
Pascal Bucher
Claudio Capelli
Oliver Hegi
Kevin Rossi
Slavomir Michnak
Samuel Piasecky
Wajdi Bouallegue
Maxim Semiankiv
Andrei Sienichkin
Alexander Suprun
Alexander Vorobyov
Anton Fokin
Carlos Carbonell
Dang Nam
Ha Thanh Nguyen
Hoang Cuong
Nguyen Tuan Dat
Phuoc Hung Pham
 
Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 18 May 2012 10:52    PDF Print
Devastated Bouhail Accuses Doctors of Negligence
(11 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)


2010 world vault champion Thomas Bouhail (France) publicly accused doctors of medical negligence, nearly six months after the Christmas Eve accident that may have cut short his brilliant gymnastics career.


Thomas Bouhail (France)

On Dec. 24, Bouhail suffered a broken tibia and torn knee ligaments in a fall off high bar. He held a press conference Friday afternoon, speaking publicly for the first time about the incident that nearly cost him his left leg.

"I was taken to the hospital at noon but operated only on at 9 p.m.," he said. "After that I felt pain in my left foot. But they told me that it was post-operative pain. On Sunday and Monday, I felt completely abandoned by the doctors. As much as I cried I was hurting, nobody came to help me."

Instead of his leg healing, the tissue began to die — a process known as necrosis — due to a critical lack of blood supply to the cells, he said.

"I had a Doppler scan on Tuesday, and immediately I was operated on again, twice," Bouhail said. "By Wednesday I knew my injury was very, very serious. The doctors told us they were going to try to save my leg. It almost got amputated as a result of these two days of abandonment."

Bouhail said he spent a "horrible four weeks" in the hospital, undergoing multiple surgeries to save his leg. Assisted by crutches, the 25-year-old Bouhail still is unable to walk normally today.

"I almost lost my leg," he said. "It's a miracle it was saved. I've undergone 15 operations and they've taken a lot of my muscle. Today, I still cannot lift my foot."

Bouhail's lawyer, Jean-Christophe Coubris, said the staff at hospital Bégin in Saint-Mandé was lax due to the Christmas holiday.

"The leg was not vascularized during the first 48 hours [leading to the necrosis]," Coubris said. "Examinations that should have been made were not, except for the Doppler scan. It is extremely questionable. Even though it was a Sunday and Dec. 25, it should be treated like any other day. Thomas Bouhail now wants an explanation. He's filed a case to the regional commission for conciliation and compensation of medical malpractice."

Coubris said the hearing will take place in approximately two months, when Bouhail had expected to be preparing for his second Olympic Games. A board of experts will determine if there is sufficient evidence for a lawsuit, the lawyer said.

Bouhail is France's only world champion in modern gymnastics history. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he tied Poland's Leszek Blanik for the high score in the vault final, but was bumped to the silver medal because of tie-breaking rules. He won vault at the 2009 and 2011 European Championships.

Bouhail said he has been in "shock" over the developments, but he's now ready to share the extent of his physical and emotional suffering.

"It's been a terrible shock," he said. "When I came back from surgery and I saw that I still had my leg, it was a relief, yes. But I felt very depressed. I had to seek help from a psychologist. Today I felt ready to talk, but the words are very difficult to get out. Because of this negligence, this is the end point of my career. Even if, deep down, there is still some hope."

Said Bouhail, "Today, I'm not training to be an Olympic champion, but trying to teach myself how to walk normally."

External Link: Thomas Bouhail Official Website | Official Facebook Page

 
Written by Amanda Turner    Wednesday, 16 May 2012 21:49    PDF Print
Hambüchen to Skip Europeans to Focus on Olympic Games
(9 votes, average 4.56 out of 5)

With Olympic gold in reach, German superstar Fabian Hambüchen told IG he has decided to skip the upcoming men's European championships to train for the London Games this summer.

Hambüchen, who has struggled with injuries the past three years, will forgo the continental competition, taking place May 23-27 in Montpellier, France. He won the all-around title at the 2009 European Championships in Milan and helped Germany win the team title at the 2010 Europeans in Birmingham.

"I'm skipping Europeans to have a better and longer preparation for the Olympics," he told IG Wednesday.

Since his victory on parallel bars at the 2002 Junior Europeans, Hambüchen has led a revival of the German's men program. He has won 11 European championship medals (six gold) and seven world medals, including back-to-back all-around medals in 2006 (bronze) and 2007 (silver). He was the world champion on high bar in 2007, but came away from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing with only a bronze on high bar.

Hambüchen has suffered a series of frustrating injuries over the past few years. In early 2009, he underwent finger surgery for an injury suffered in Beijing. That fall he was forced to withdraw from the world championships after rupturing a ligament in his ankle in podium training. He contributed four events to Germany's team bronze at the 2010 Worlds, then suffered a torn Achilles' tendon in early 2011.

Now training a spectacular 7.7-Difficulty routine on high bar (click for video), the 24-year-old Hambüchen wants to stay healthy in order to peak this summer in London.

"I will miss competing at Europeans, but it's just for my own safety," he said. "The Olympics are so important to me."

Two-time world all-around runner-up Philipp Boy, the 2011 European all-around champion, headlines the German squad in Montpellier. This year's event will follow the 2010 format, with senior team and apparatus titles up for grabs and team, all-around and apparatus titles for juniors.

Russia — which missed the 2010 Europeans because of the Icelandic volcano that interrupted air travel — is favored to regain the title it last won in 2008. The Russians took fourth behind China, Japan and the U.S. at the 2011 Worlds. (Russia will be without the services of 2010 national all-around champion Dmitry Barkalov, who is making his international debut for Belarus in Montpellier.)

"I think the German team is really strong this year, but it will be very difficult to defend the title," Hambüchen said. "In 2010 we had been a little bit lucky that Russia couldn't compete there because of the volcano."

The unforgiving three-up, three-count format of team finals means several countries can challenge for the title. Great Britain (second in 2010) and France (third in 2010) are both missing key gymnasts, however; British star Daniel Keatings is suffering from an ankle injury while French world champion Thomas Bouhail suffered a broken leg and torn knee ligaments in December.

"It will be a big fight between Russia, Great Britain, France and Germany for the title this year, but Germany has a good chance if they hit all their routines!" Hambüchen said.

External Link: Official Website

2012 Men's European Gymnastics Championships Roster
May 23-27, Montpellier, France

Senior Competitors
Vahagn Davtyan
Artur Dvtyan
Harutyn Merdinyan
Vahagn Stepanyan
Vahan Vardanyan
Marco Baldauf
Xheni Dyrmishi
Lukas Kranzlmüller
Fabian Leimlehner
Matthias Schwab
Shakir Shikaliyev
Thomas Neuteleers
Kristof Schroe
Jonas Toeback
Donna-Donny Truyens
Jimmy Verbaeys
Dmitry Barkalov
Pavel Bulavsky
Dmitry Kasperovich
Andrei Likhovitsky
Alexander Tsarevich
Emil Hristov
Hristos Marinov
Emil Stoimenov
Velislav Valchev
Yaroslav Vovk
Marko Brez
Tomislav Markovic
Marijo Moznik
Robert Seligman
Filip Ude
Irodotos Georgallas
Georgios Georgiou
Jiri Bomer
Martin Konecny
Joao Marcus Fuglsig
Mathias Lee Hansen
Mikkel Sondergaard
Helge Vammen
Joachim Winther
Nestor Abad
Javier Gómez
Fabián González
Rubén López
Sergio Muñoz
Kasper Holopainen
Juho Kanerva
Jouko Koskinen
Heikki Niva
Tomi Tuuha
Samir Ait Said
Yann Cucherat
Gael Da Silva
Hamilton Sabot
Cyril Tommasone
Ruslan Panteleymonov
Daniel Purvis
Louis Smith
Kristian Thomas
Max Whitlock
Shalva Dalakishvili
Mikheil Kharabadze
Nodar Lionidze
Paata Nozadze
Philipp Boy
Sebastian Krimmer
Marcel Nguyen
Thomas Taranu
Andreas Toba
Eleftherios Kosmidis
Vlasios Maras
Dimitrios Markousis
Eleftherios Petrounias
Vasileios Tsolakidis
Adam Babos
Krisztian Berki
Vid Hidvegi
Attila Racz
Attila Vlacsil
Kieran Behan
Luke Carson
Christopher O'Connor
Rohan Sebastian
Andrew Smith
Felix Aronovich
Alexander Shatilov
Andrea Cingolani
Matteo Morandi
Paolo Ottavi
Paolo Principi
Lorenzo Ticchi
Vitalijs Kardasovs
Dmitrijs Trefilovs
Raimundas Burinskas
Vladislav Esaulov
Evgenij Izmodenov
Sascha Palgen
Oliver Waldbillig
Kevin Crovetto
Bart Deurloo
Anthony van Assche
Yuri van Gelder
Jeffrey Wammes
Epke Zonderland
Haakon Andreassen
Marcus Conradi
Lars Jorgen Fjeld
Joachim Hanche-Olsen
Stian Skjerahaug
Lukasz Borkowski
Adam Kierzkowski
Roman Kulesza
Marek Lyszczarz
Adam Rzepa
Luis Araujo
Manuel Campos
Bernardo Loy Da Graca
Ricardo Martins
Gustavo Simoes
Cristian Bataga
Marius Berbecar
Ovidiu Buidoso
Vlad Cotuna
Flavius Koczi
Denis Ablyazin
Alexander Balandin
David Belyavsky
Emin Garibov
Anton Golotsutskov
Sašo Bertoncelj
Žiga Britovšek
Alen Dimic
Rok Klavora
Mitja Petkovšek
Pablo Brägger
Pascal Bucher
Claudio Capelli
Nils Haller
Oliver Hegi
Samuel Piasecky
Semih Akdogan
Ferhat Arican
Coskun Boncuk
Umit Samiloglu
Ozgur Sanli
Nikolai Kuksenkov
Vitaly Nakonechny
Igor Radivilov
Oleg Stepko
Oleg Vernyayev
Junior Competitors
Vigen Khachatryan
Aram Movsisyan
Armen Petrosyan
Florian Braitsch
Dirk Kathan
Daniel Kopeinik
Severin Kranzlmüller
Johannes Mairoser
Maxime Gentges
Daan Kenis
Florian Landuyt
Bram Louwije
Jonathan Vrolix
Uladzislau Karpuk
Mikita Kavaliou
Aliaksei Kushneryk
Artsiom Tsiareshka
Dzmitry Zayats
Yordan Aleksandrov
Martin Angelov
Dragomir Peyev
Vladimir Tushev
Veliko Tushev
Andrei Korosteljev
Anton Kovacevic
Leonardo Kusan
Renato Prpic
Tin Srbic
Kallinikos Kallis
Michalis Krasias
Charalampos Melanarkitis
Christos Soleas
Ondrej Janeczko
David Kardos
Daniel Radovesnicky
Jakub Samsa
Radomir Sliz
Radek Smekal
Martin Taftl
Jacob Buus
Mathias Christiansen
Marcus Frandsen
Mathias Johansen
Stig Kjeldsen
Roberto Alvarez
Javier Hinojosa
Andres Martin
Julian Perez
Borja Torregrosa
Nico Jakovleva
Olli Kanerva
Aaro Lamberg
Heikki Saarenketo
Milo Siivonen
Edgar Boulet
Remi Clerc
Paul Degouy
Stephen Micholet
Oanthony Randrianasol
Frank Baines
Brinn Bevan
Gaius Thompson
Courtney Tulloch
Nile Wilson
Mike Hindermann
Tim Leibiger
Felix Pohl
Lukas Schlotterer
Daniel Weinert
Matzint Michail Al Zubeydi
Nikolaos Kranitis
Vasileios Tantalidis
Antonios Tantalidis
Georgios Votsis
Norbert Dudas
Botond Kardos
Laszlo Makra
Bank Selmeczi
Levente Vagner
Adam Dalton
Daniel Fox
Shane Lyndon
Jack Neil
Luke Pearce
Eythor Baldursson
Valgard Reinhardsson
Sigurdur Sigurdarson
Tom Arnon
Artem Dolgopyat
Eyal Glazer
Yair Hilel Shechter
Moran Yanuka
Nicola Bartolini
Simone Bresolin
Filippo Landini
Andrea Russo
Michele Sanvito
Germans Buculis
Aleksejs Pajada
Viaceslav Chanin
Tomas Kuzmickas
Ernestas Liaskinas
Robert Tvorogal
Karl Kosztka
Frank Rijken
Casimir Schmidt
Kaz Willer
Justen Zuidema
Arian Bedzeti-Olsen
Pietro Giachino
Odin Kalvo
Torry Andreasse Larsen
Oliver Frostad Udbye
Patryk Rabstajn
Bernardo Almeida
Vasco Barata
Tiago Barbosa
Pedro Dourado
Rafael Sá
Emanuel Badila
Andrei Groza
Adrian Popa
Daniel Radeanu
Andrei Savu
Vladislav Polyashov
Kirill Prokopev
Sergei Stepanov
Ivan Stretovich
Grigory Zyryanov
Luka Kisek
Peter Lampret
Matic Pecan
Miha Smigoc
Jure Weingerl
Bojan Dejanovic
Dusan Djordjevic
Gavrilo Ilic
Bozidar Marovic
Petar Velickovic
Christian Baumann
Henji Mboyo
Taha Serhani
Marco Walter
Eddy Yusof
Eduard Marcak
Ivan Vargovsky
Arsalan Chenarakipoor
Carl Green
Oskar Kirmes
Christopher Soos
Michael Trane
Abdulkadir Bas
Ibrahim Colak
Yunus Emre Gundogdu
Ahmet Onder
Hamza Samil Yilmaz
Volodymyr Grybuk
Vladyslav Kotsyuban
Ruslan Kulakhizov
Illya Yegorov
Eduard Yermakov
 
Written by dwight normile    Wednesday, 16 May 2012 11:47    PDF Print
Caslavska To Join 2012 Hall of Fame Class
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Four gymnastics legends will be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame on Saturday. The 16th annual induction dinner will be held at the exclusive Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City, and the 2012 class features Zoltan Magyar (Hungary), Natalia Shaposhnikova (Russia) and Kim Zmeskal (USA). Vera Caslavska (Czech Republic), who was officially inducted in 1998 but could not make the trip, is scheduled to attend this year to accept her honor.

Receiving the Frank Bare Award will be Doug Wilson, who produced and directed numerous World and Olympic gymnastics broadcasts for ABC Sports. Wilson won 17 Emmys during his 45 years with ABC.

Caslavska is by far the most decorated of the foursome. The Prague native is the only gymnast ever to win an Olympic title in the all-around and on every apparatus. In a career that lasted from 1958-68, Caslavska won 11 Olympic medals (seven gold) and 10 world championship medals (five gold). At Mexico 1968, her third consecutive Olympics, Caslavska won four golds (all-around, vault, uneven bars, floor exercise) and two silvers (team, balance beam).

Unlike Caslavska, Magyar created his legacy by mastering a single apparatus. From 1973-1980, he won two Olympic, three world, two World Cup and three European titles, all on pommel horse. Magyar was the first to travel the horse lengthwise, and he also introduced the Magyar Spindle. His innovative influence on the event has been profound not only in Hungary — Budapest native Krisztian Berki is the current world champion — but throughout the world.

Shaposhnikova's career coincided with some of the sport's greatest stars in history — Nadia Comaneci, Nellie Kim — yet she was able to make a name for herself nonetheless. Trained by Vladislav Rastorotsky, coach of Lyudmila Turischeva and later Natalia Yurchenko, Shaposhnikova put her name in the Code of Points for her free-hip-hecht from low bar to high on the uneven bars, and her one-arm handstand-reverse planche was one of her trademark skills on balance beam. Today Shaposhikova and husband Pavel Sut have their own gym, Gymnastika, in Patterson, N.J.

Zmeskal was the spark plug that ignited a sputtering U.S. women's program, which had peaked at the 1984 Olympics (all-around gold, team silver). In Indianapolis in 1991, Zmeskal became the first American to win a world all-around title. The following year, at the inaugural Individual Apparatus World Championships in Paris, Zmeskal added golds on balance beam and floor exercise. Now she and husband Chris Burdette run a successful elite program in Coppell, Texas, called Texas Dreams.

For more on the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, click here.

 


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