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Written by John Crumlish    Wednesday, 19 September 2018 09:44    PDF Print
Hambuechen: 'I Didn't Hesitate One Second'
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Although four-time German Olympian Fabian Hambuechen has been out of competitive action since he won his first gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, he told IG he is ready to take on the challenge of performing in "The Superstars of Gymnastics" at The O2 arena in London in March.

"Honestly, I didn’t hesitate one second to accept this offer," said Hambuechen, who placed third on high bar at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, second on high bar at the 2012 London Games and first on high bar in Rio (pictured with his gold medal). “It's an honor to get back to the place where I won my Olympic silver medal, and I still love doing gymnastics."

Hambuechen, who will turn 31 next month, said performing in London alongside fellow Rio gold medalists Max Whitlock of Great Britain, Simone Biles of the U.S., Aliya Mustafina of Russia and others will not require him to start from scratch, however.

"Two months ago, I had an exhibition together with the German legend, Eberhard Gienger, where I did high bar and a few tumblings on floor," he said. "So actually I’m still in it."

To perform on par with Whitlock and the others in London, Hambuechen said he plans to train efficiently.

“I'm still very busy with many appointments but I try to work out as often as I can," he said. "On high bar I will do many releases, and on floor and vault I’ll try to get back to the skills I did in my last competition."

Hambuechen said keeping in top form is a priority, and he wants to pace his progress until London.

"I did a lot of fitness in the past few months so that my body is still in shape," he said. "But gymnastics is different, so it needs a good structure and hard preparation in the last weeks before the show.”

Hambuechen said he is optimistic for Germany's prospects at the World Championships next month in Doha, Qatar. He is particularly enthusiastic about Lukas Dauser, who last weekend led the all-around at the first of Germany's two trials for Doha. The second trials will take place at the end of the month.

"It‘s nice to see Lukas Dauser back in shape after his injury last year," Hambuechen told IG. "He made it back to the all-around and won the first trial. He also scored a 15.30 on p-bars, which means he will definitely be a contender for finals at Worlds."

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 14 September 2018 06:35    PDF Print
Canada's Allaire-Bourgie Keeps Eye On Tokyo, Pressure Off Shoulders
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Featured in the September 2018 issue of International Gymnast, reigning Canadian junior all-around champion Zoé Allaire-Bourgie plans to keep her stress level low as she trains for a spot at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“I am very aware that only a very small portion of the athletes in Canada will be picked on the team for Tokyo,” said Allaire-Bourgie, who trains under coaches Katerine Dussault, Pierre Privé and Francine Bouffard at Club Gymnix in Montreal. “Therefore, I try not to put extra pressure on my shoulders. I know that I have the potential but I also know that there are a few aspects that needs improvements to be able to compete for a medal at the Olympics.”

Next month’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar, will serve as the first step for teams attempting to qualify for Tokyo. Allaire-Bourgie will be eligible for senior competition in 2020.

Zoé has two favorite gymnasts. “Simone Biles, not only because she won the all-around title in Rio and many world titles, but also because I admire her incredible power. My favorite Canadian gymnast is, of course, Ellie Black!”

Read “A Canadian in Control,” a profile on Allaire-Bourgie, in the September 2018 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, or to order back issues, click here.

Written by Admin    Tuesday, 04 September 2018 06:56    PDF Print
Kerry Perry, CEO Of USA Gymnastics, Resigns
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Statement from USA Gymnastics Board of Directors

USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry last evening informed the Board of Directors that she will resign effectively immediately. The board has immediately begun to identify an interim CEO and is in the process of establishing a search committee to find a permanent replacement.

“On behalf of the Board of USA Gymnastics, I want to thank Kerry for her leadership under very difficult circumstances,” said Karen Golz, chair of the USA Gymnastics Board.

“In the wake of horrific events that have impacted our athletes and the entire gymnastics community, USA Gymnastics has made progress in stabilizing itself and setting a new path to ensure that the safety and interests of our athletes remains at the heart of our mission,” said Golz.

“Over the past nine months, USA Gymnastics has been in the midst of a major transition as it implements recommendations made by Deborah Daniels in her report, following her independent review of the organization’s safe sport policies and procedures, as well as directives of the USOC,” continued Golz. “These changes have included amending the organization’s by-laws and the appointment of an entirely new board of directors, made up of eight independent members and seven from within the gymnastics community. Most importantly, USA Gymnastics has been focused on athlete safety and well-being and ensuring that programs and protocols are in place to prevent all forms of abuse and to encourage athletes to speak up. This process has been challenging, and painful, but is a necessary step in moving the community forward.”

The Board of Directors also established a management committee to provide organizational oversight to maintain continuity in the day-to-day operations until an interim CEO is named. The management committee members include Karen Golz, chair; David Rudd, vice chair and secretary, and board member, Kathryn Carson.

The board is in the process of forming a search committee of board members, as well as athletes and others from the gymnastics and NGB community to search for a permanent president and CEO. Board member and Olympian Brent Lang, president and CEO of Vocera, will chair the committee. The committee has been charged with finding a leader who can help the organization build on the progress to date and achieve the fundamental cultural changes necessary to move the sport forward.

Written by dwight normile    Thursday, 16 August 2018 12:01    PDF Print
Yelena Shushunova Passes Away
(9 votes, average 4.67 out of 5)

Yelena Shushunova died on August 16, 2018, of complications from pneumonia, according to a Russian gymnastics federation official. She was 49.

Shushunova was born on April 23, 1969, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Representing the Soviet Union, she won the all-around title at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. During those Games, she and Romanian Daniela Silivas each scored seven 10.0s, tying Nadia Comaneci at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

During Shushunova's career she won 15 medals at World Championships and Olympic Games, and seven of them were gold.

In 2004 Shushunova was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. During her acceptance speech she said, “I believe that the all-around title is the most satisfying for a gymnast.”

Written by John Crumlish    Monday, 13 August 2018 06:48    PDF Print
Jones Aims To 'Be On My A-Game At U.S. Championships'
(5 votes, average 4.80 out of 5)

Shilese Jones told IG that that finishing fourth all-around at the recent U.S. Classic behind 2016 Olympic champion Simone Biles, 2017 U.S. bronze medalist Riley McCusker and 2017 World Champion Morgan Hurd put her in a comfortable spot as she readies for this week’s U.S. championships.

“I felt like I belonged there,” said Jones of her performance at the U.S. Classic, a qualifying meet for the U.S. championships, held July 27-28 in Columbus, Ohio. “It felt great knowing my hard work was finally starting to pay off. It was an honor being alongside champions. Those girls are all great gymnasts.”

Jones, a first-year senior who won the all-around title at the American Classic (another U.S. championships qualifying meet) held July 6-7 in Salt Lake City, Utah, said her U.S. Classic performance left her with an “exciting overall feeling,” especially since she missed last year’s U.S. junior championships because of injury. Training on floor exercise a week before those championships, she hyperextended her right knee and fractured her right kneecap on an Arabian double front.

“What pushed me through was I knew it wasn't the end,” she said of her recovery. “I also knew my coach and I had a great plan that I believe in.”

Jones said her coaches at Future Gymnastics Academy in Columbus, Ohio, are united in their approach to her training.

“All my coaches really work together,” said Jones, who turned 16 on July 26. “There is no one coach that trains me solely on one event. Our motto at Future Gymnastics is ‘Trust the process and work as a team.’ My head coach is Christian Gallardo, and the coaching team is Tiffany McLean, Mike Williams and Brooke Speas.”

Jones said she is fine-tuning her routines for the U.S. championships that will take place August 16-19 in Boston.

“The main focus is to work hard on my landings on floor, and also clean up anywhere my coach feels there needs cleaning up,” she said.

Based on her recent momentum, Jones has clear objectives for the U.S. championships.

“My goal is simple — go out and be consistent, listen to my coach and be on my A-game,” she told IG. “An eight-for-eight finish and to enjoy myself.”

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.


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