Posts Tagged ‘Shantessa Pama’

Aleksas Trotter, 1986-2008

April 25, 2008

Aleksas TrotterThis morning came the news that montagemaker, blogger and photographer Aleksas Trotter died unexpectedly in Madison, Wis. on April 19.

He was 21.

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What happened to Shantessa Pama?

April 18, 2008

Shantessa PamaFans have been wondering since Pama basically dropped off the face of the gymnastics Earth after doing well at the prominent junior competitions in 2006. She had a poor performance at the 2006 U.S. Junior Championships, though, and didn’t make the national team.

Now, Amy van Deusen at About.com’s Gymnastics site has some answers. She posted an online interview with Pama, where the 17-year-old who made yarn the new scrunchie talks about the ankle injury that kept her out of competition all last year and her plans for the future.

What are your goals for this year?

My plan for this year is to have fun, do the level 10 scene, and get ready for college. Right now I am competing level 10, and after States, Regionals and Nationals I’ll see if I can go back to elite for my senior year [of high school].

What college would you like to go to?

I would really like to go to Utah, Georgia, UCLA and Stanford. They are all my top favorites. I’d really like to compete NCAA gymnastics.

Pama was a thoroughly impressive junior who threw, among other huge skills, a triple back dismount off the uneven bars. At 13.

Shantessa Pama, 2004 U.S. Junior Championships, Uneven Bars:

The montagemaker returns

October 3, 2007

Back in the dark ages of gymnastics montages (read: 2002 or so) few possessed the software or know-how to make them. Among those who did was a young man from Wisconsin who went by the name Lex Trotter, and to me, he was the best there was.

Lex had the ability to take a few clips and weave them into a story montage that showed the essence of the gymnasts he featured. His favorites — Yvonne Tousek, Tabitha Yim, Terin Humphrey, Michelle Conway — weren’t always on the medal stand, but each brought a presence and skills that were completely unique to the sport.

Some of Lex’s art:

Elena Produnova:

The Maverick:

The two sides of Vanessa Atler:

Terin Humphrey No. 3:

His websites, first lexness.com and then nubianpoptart.com, were a gold mine of downloadable videos from competitions like junior national championships that didn’t get NBC airtime.

But after the 2005 Worlds, Lex disappeared.

Suddenly, on August 20, he was back with a brand new page: www.aleksas.com. It has all the elements of Nubianpoptart and Lexness: a funky design, artistic personal pics and a small blog of his thoughts about life and competitions.  The site’s extensive video library has a lot of things that Youtube doesn’t. Want to see Beth Rybacki (nee Kline) at the 1980 U.S. Championships? The 1998 Sagit Cup? 1994 Goodwill Games coverage? It’s all there.

This boy is not afraid of putting it how it is either — check out his summary of the women’s team competition at the 2007 Worlds:

I heard Spain was a mess and the Aussies didn’t deserve their team finals placing. The Romanians didn’t look as absolutely flawless as they usually do on beam, but two girls do this awesome step into front somersault that lands on leg into a scale! Dang! I love the innovation of gymnastics nowadays. You wouldda thought it’d have disappeared with a more strict judging system.

He’s also got a Youtube channel, under the username Islandboyrabian.

And he hasn’t stopped making montages, nor has he lost his touch with them.

Alexsas’ new Catalina Ponor montage:

A wonderful slice of men’s gymnastics:

Shantessa Pama, who has just the personality and splash I imagine Lex loves:

Simply delightful. Let’s hope there’s more to come.