Posts Tagged ‘Dominique Moceanu’

More on possible Chinese age falsification

July 27, 2008

From no less than The New York Times. This article questions not only uneven bars favorite He Kexin, but also 2007 World team member Jiang Yuyuan, a candidate for an all-around medal.

Jiang Yuyuan won the Good Luck Beijing International Invitational.

The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.

…The other gymnast, Jiang, is listed on her passport — issued March 2, 2006 — as having been born on Nov. 1, 1991, which would make her 16 and thus eligible to compete at the Beijing Games.

A different birth date, indicating Jiang is not yet 15, appears on a list of junior competitors from the Zhejiang Province sports administration. The list of athletes includes national identification card numbers into which birth dates are embedded. Jiang’s national card number as it appears on this list shows her birth date as Oct. 1, 1993, which indicates that she will turn 15 in the fall, and would thus be ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games.

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Those controversial Moceanu statements

July 24, 2008

A very young Dominique Moceanu.

Paul Hamm isn’t the only one saying controversial stuff as The Olympic Games approach.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, 1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu called for Bela and Martha Karolyi to be shown off the U.S. Team selection process.

Former U.S. Olympian Dominique Moceanu, who at 14 was part of the 1996 gold-medal team, said Tuesday night that USA Gymnastics team coordinator Martha Karolyi once grabbed her by the neck and slammed her face into a phone, and that former coach Bela Karolyi twice berated her about her weight in front of national teammates.

Moceanu, in a telephone interview with The Times, expanded on comments she made on an “HBO Real Sports” report that first aired Tuesday night in which she called for the Karolyis to be removed from their positions with the national team.

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The Katie Teft retrospective

June 11, 2008

Katie TeftShergymrag pointed out in a comment that 2008 U.S. Junior champ Jordyn Wieber’s coach John Geddert also coached Olympic hopeful Katie Teft during the runup to the 1996 Games.

Teft’s breakthrough year really happened in 1995, when she (and to a greater extent a 13-year-old named Dominique Moceanu) made a splash at the Visa Invitational.

Teft had exceptional difficulty and extraordinary presentation for a 14-year-old. Check out this balance beam routine at the 1995 Olympic Test Event in the Georgia Dome. With her tumbling mount, dismount and flight series, this routine may have been more difficult than any member of the Mag 7’s beamwork in Atlanta.

Katie Teft, 1995 Olympic Test Event, Balance Beam:

Teft missed making the Olympic team by a pretty small margin. So what happened next? According to Gymnastics Greats

Katie pressed on with elite gymnastics, but in 1997 injuries caught up with her. Injuries were nothing knew to Katie. Prior to turning elite, she broke her ankles three separate times, and was later diagnosed with a calcium deficiency. In 1995, Katie suffered a herniated disc, and she reinjured the disc in 1997 on a fall from bars (ironically, bars is her best and favorite event). Due to her back injury, Katie took some time off the sport, returned to high school at Forest Hills Central High School, and began diving (a sport which did not aggravate her back injury like gymnastics).

Later in 1997, with her back injuries healed, Katie competed as a high school gymnast and won the Michigan state AA title, as well as the UB and BB titles. She recently returned to club competition, competing as a level ten at the Twistars Invitational. Katie has no intentions of returning to international elite gymnastics. Instead, she is setting her sights on college gymnastics, a more realistic goal due to her past back injuries.

Teft for Central Michigan University, with a fellow senior.Katie enrolled at the University of Massachusetts on a gymnastics scholarships in the fall of 1999. She competed for the U of M for three years, until they dropped their women’s program. She then transferred to the University of Central Michigan for her senior year. Competing for CMU, she qualified to the NCAA Championships as an individual qualifier on bars.

Too bad things didn’t work out for Teft as an elite. She was someone the U.S. desperately needed during those painful 1996-2000 years.

And if Geddert can create an athlete like that, Wieber’s in very good hands.

The Olympic Effect

January 19, 2008

Vanessa AtlerThe wonderful new blog The Olympic Effect posts detailed analysis on who’s who in the runup to the USA’s selection of its athletes for the 2008 Olympic team.

It also goes way in depth about the potentially harmful media effects on young athletes, spotlighting the stories of Vanessa Atler and Kristie Phillips.

Atler went as far as to refer to uneven bars as ‘the devil’ in her online diary. Atler’s coach, Steve Ryabcki, remained determined to prove that she could complete the skill. His insistence lasted three years and resulted in a nationally-televised explosion at the 1999 Nationals. Even though NBC muted most of Rybaki’s comments, the damage was done.

“Steve cursed me out at the meet and then refused to talk to me for days,” says Atler. “To his credit, it was the only time he ever did anything like that. Unfortunately, I was devastated. I was the perfect student and worked so hard for them for so long, but still got screamed at.”

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Parenting advice for Moceanu

January 5, 2008

A very young Dominique Moceanu.

Northernriver at Difficulty Plus Execution takes a poke at 1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu’s parents when she writes,

Congratulations to 1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu and her husband on welcoming their new baby Carmen into the world. (Please do not hang her from a clothesline, or make her write an autobiography before she is out of her teens. Thanks so much.)

Having one’s baby grip a clothesline as a test of strength seems OK, provided someone’s right there to catch the child when he or she lets go, or, as happened in Domi’s case, the clothesline snaps. Maybe the Canaleses will set up a nice foam pit in their kitchen so little Carmen can practice her clothesline flyaways.

In all seriousness, gymnastics at home, especially for the inexperienced (or infant) is probably not a good idea.

Moceanu, Canales welcome a daughter

December 28, 2007

Dominique Moceanu is now a mom.Let the “special Christmas gift” allusions begin.

1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu and husband Michael Canales will remember Christmas Day 2007 as the day their first child — daughter Carmen Noel Canales — was born.

Moceanu seems to do most things in style, and giving birth seems to be no different — the “Noel” is a really nice touch. Carmen, who was born at MacDonald Women’s Hospital in Cleveland, weighed seven pounds, seven ounces, People magazine reported.

[Moceanu] added, “The miracle of baby Carmen being born on Christmas Day makes this wonderful time all the more special to us. This is the best Christmas present we could have ever received!”

Amanda BordenMoceanu is the second member of the Magnificent Seven to give birth — teammate Amanda Borden and husband Brad Cochran welcomed daughter Kennedy Faith on July 29.

In an interview with Celebrity Baby Blog in November, Moceanu said she and Canales planned to introduce their daughter to gymnastics at a young age.

Mike and I definitely want to encourage the sport when she’s young. We believe it’s good for coordination and flexibility. The fundamentals you learn in gymnastics help prepare you for any sport that you choose later in life and overall physical health.

If she likes it, that would be great to be both her mom and her coach some day, but I would never force the sport on her. If she chooses to do it, I will protect her and guide her the best way I know how. I’d be thrilled if she loves it the same way that Mike and I do.

The gymnast smiles

December 1, 2007

One of the likeable things about rising German star Marie-Sophie Hindermann is that she genuinely seems to enjoy what she’s doing.

Even after a fall on balance beam at the Good Luck Beijing Invitational, Hindermann was all smiles before and during her floor exercise.

Hindermann’s tall frame evokes the intense Svetlana Boginskaya, who didn’t really start smiling in competition until after the 1996 Olympic Games.

“Intense” Svetlana Boginskaya, 1989 World Championships, Floor Exercise:

“Beaming” Svetlana Boginskaya, 1997 Rock ‘n Roll Gymnastics Championships:

And like Boginskaya, Hindermann uses a cut of the dramatic “Carmen” music that made Bogi famous in 1988.

Marie-Sophie Hindermann, 2007 Good Luck Beijing Invitational All-Around, Floor Exercise:

Svetlana Boginskaya, 1988 Olympic Games, Floor Exercise:

Other smiley competitors include Dominique Moceanu and Dasha Joura. But I don’t think anyone looks quite as thrilled to be out there competing as Marie-Sophie.

The Mag 7 hit The Today Show

November 19, 2007

…and 30 minutes later, The Today Show hit Youtube.

Kerri Strug would like the world to know that her ankle is doing just fine, thank you.

(via Gymnastics Coaching)

Moceanu on Celebrity Baby Blog

November 15, 2007

Dominique Moceanu certainly seems to have embraced pregnancy.

Celebrity Baby Blog did an interview and photo shoot with the youngest member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team and posted the results earlier this week.

Moceanu, who married former Ohio State gymnast Mike Canales a year ago this month, said the couple plans to introduce their daughter to gymnastics at an early age.

Mike and I definitely want to encourage the sport when she’s young. We believe it’s good for coordination and flexibility. The fundamentals you learn in gymnastics help prepare you for any sport that you choose later in life and overall physical health.

If she likes it, that would be great to be both her mom and her coach some day, but I would never force the sport on her. If she chooses to do it, I will protect her and guide her the best way I know how. I’d be thrilled if she loves it the same way that Mike and I do.

New pictures, including one of a topless, full-bellied Moceanu and her gold medal are included.

Mag 7 to ‘reunite’ on The Today Show

November 14, 2007

The Magnificent Seven during their finest hour.

The Magnificent Seven — Shannon Miller, Kerri Strug, Amanda Borden, Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu and Jaycie Phelps — will be appearing on The Today Show Nov. 17, Moceanu’s website announced today.

Join Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu, Shannon Miller, Jaycie Phelps & Kerri Strug to see where they are now. This one of a kind segment will highlight portions of their trip to Atlanta, visiting the Georgia Dome, a team interview and a look back at the magical moment in their lives that made history.

It’s uncertain if this means the 1996 Olympic gold medalists will all be appearing in studio, or if it’s going to be some sort of news segment. I imagine getting all seven of them in one place at one time is a logistical nightmare. They have certainly come a long ways from the Wheaties Box days of Atlanta.

Dawes was President of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 2004 to 2006 and now sits on the Board of the Sesame Workshop’s Healthy Habits for Life program. (Sesame Workshop was formerly known as the Children’s Television Workshop — i.e. the people who brought you Sesame Street).

Miller graduated from Boston College Law School earlier this year and married Florida politician John Falconetti in August.

Strug, who graduated from Stanford, works in Washington D.C., while Moceanu coaches and is expecting her first child.

Borden runs her own gym in Tempe, Ariz., Chow is doing her medical residency in California with an eye to becoming a pediatrician and Phelps, who married 2004 U.S. Olympian Brett McClure, coaches in Colorado.

This terrific montage from Youtube user Doublelayout10 provides a wonderful summary of the 1996 Olympic team finals.