Stretching Out: Stoica, Singapore & the IG Tour
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The September IG is coming out soon, and it includes an interview with FIG Men's Technical Committee President Adrian Stoica. I asked him several questions about the Code of Points, such as whether the MTC considered lowering the counting skills from 10 to eight ("no"); does he think the men's routines are too long and should have a skill limit ("it is not necessary"); and how could Kohei Uchimura score an 8.775 (execution) on high bar at the 2009 worlds for one of the most beautiful routines in gymnastics history (he agreed, somewhat)?

There is a lot more to the interview, and Stoica was diplomatic, of course. But I also appreciated his candor. After all, he's got a tough job.

Men's Vault Proposal

Speaking of Stoica, I read with interest his proposal for men's vault in the July FIG Bulletin. Stoica is suggesting that men do two vaults in all phases of competition, and their final score will be (DVt1 + DVt2)/2 + [10-(Sum of average deductions for Vt1 and Vt2)].

It's not as confusing as it sounds. Here is a practical application: Gymnast does a 7.0 first vault and a 6.6 second vault. His final D-score is the average: 6.8. His execution scores for the two vaults are 9.6 and 9.4, so his final execution score is 9.0 (add the deductions from both vaults and subtract from 10). Final score: 15.80.

The gymnast can do the same vault twice without penalty, but he must do two different vaults to qualify for apparatus finals.

Stoica is soliciting feedback from "specialists around the world," so here goes. If the goal is to bring the average vault score down, and in line with the other five apparatus, then I believe a simpler solution would be to lower all of the vault values. Doubling the execution deductions from a single vault would also accomplish the goal. But I am fundamentally against any proposal that adds to the already taxing physical requirements of the male gymnast under this Code. If the MTC eventually decides to shorten men's routines across the board, then I'd consider the two-vault rule.

Youth Olympics: Kamoto and Komova

Yuya Kamoto and Viktoria Komova have been the gymnastics stars of the inaugural Olympics in Singapore so far, and I can't help but think the U.S. made a big mistake in not sending one of its top junior women, such as the extremely talented Jordyn Wieber. At the Visa Championships in Hartford last week, I asked U.S. national team coordinator Marta Karolyi if she regretted not sending a gymnast to Singapore. She said "yes and no," and then gave various reasons why they chose not to send someone. "Maybe we would have decided differently if we knew the personal coach could go," she said." Eventually, the IOC permitted the extra coach, but the U.S. had already turned down its women's spot. But I'm left to wonder how every other major gymnastics nation found a way to participate. Any time you can compete in—or even win—a meet that has the word Olympics in it, you should go for it.

IG Tour to Rotterdam

There is still time to sign up for the IG Tour to the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam, site of the first IG Tour in 1987. Kermit and Jean Davis organized that inaugural tour, and they are still running the show today. The tour dates are Oct. 14-25 and includes airfare, hotel and tickets to all gymnastics sessions. Email International Sports Exchange for information: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

National Gymnastics Day — September 18, 2010

Click here to find out how your gym club can participate and help support the Children's Miracle Network. National Gymnastics Day was established in 1999, and more than $1 million has been raised.

My Story

After printing "My First Front Flip(s)" in July on the IG website, I asked readers to send in their own personal stories about their experiences in gymnastics. Funny, sad, inspirational, whatever. We received some great ones, and they will appear in future issues of IG. The first will be published in the October issue, and it was written by a woman whose love for the sport inspired her to launch her own gymnastics magazine. (I won't say who she is.) Everyone has a story, so please tell us yours.

"My Story" Submission Guidelines: Email text (750-1,500 words) to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Subject Line: "My Story." Attach JPEG head shot and/or other photos relevant to your story. Images should be at least 300K.