Posts Tagged ‘Yang Yun’

Yang and Yang’s wedding spectacular II

November 12, 2008
Yang Wei and Yang Yun wed in an ultra-lavish ceremony.

Yang Wei and Yang Yun wed in an ultra-lavish ceremony.

Olympic gymnasts Yang Wei and Yang Yun had, like, the most amazing wedding ever. (Details, including the hot air balloon and the speedboat, are on the hip new blog Triple Full, as is an incredibly deatiled post about the unhappiness of the Brazilian women’s team.)

Too bad it’s being criticized for the corporate sponsorship that helped pay for it.

From The Vancouver Sun:

The wedding drew fire from Chinese Internet users after local media reported companies ranging from fashion designers to travel agencies sponsored the entire affair.

Pictures of the couple, splashed in newspapers and glossy magazines, showed the bride wearing a golden wedding dress, which reports said was valued at 30 million yuan ($5.19 million) and had been loaned from a Japanese designer.

“Without Yang Yun’s encouragement, I may not have been able to cope during 2008, much less achieve my Olympic dream,” the 28-year-old [Yang Wei] said on his blog.

“Having borne this huge pressure with her, I pledged to hold a romantic wedding for her. As a man, I felt it my responsibility.”

Yang said he was grateful that “friends and companies” had helped him organize the wedding given time constraints.

He was reported to have been staying in a 30,000 yuan-per-night ($5,195) suite in Hainan.

“Actually this was their way of expressing their love for us,” Yang said.

The couple also gave a press conference the morning after the festivities, explaining that they did not mean to offend anyone.

I did raise my eyebrows when I read on Gymnastics Coaching that the golden wedding dress Yang Yun is pictured in for a photo shoot cost approximately four million U.S. dollars. Then again, Yang and Yang worked unimaginably hard to earn their success.

If only the Chinese government, oft-criticized for its brutal, Eastern-bloc training practices, would rewarded all of its athletes who put up with as much as Yang and Yang — not just the ones who earned gold medals and Olympic glory. They deserve it.

Yang and Yang’s wedding spectacular!

October 29, 2008
China's most famous gymnastics couple did a wedding spread with Chinese Cosmo magazine.

China's most famous gymnastics couple did a wedding spread with Chinese Cosmo magazine.

More pictures, courtesy of Chinese Cosmopolitan magazine, can be found here.

Yang, in a poudy white dress, and Yang, in a very shiny suit, frolic in a gymnastic sort of way for the Cosmo photo shoot. I especially loved the floaty dresses Yang Yun was photographed in.

Gymnastics writer Diane Pucin of the L.A. Times notes that apparently Yang Wei had to get his coach’s permission to marry.

Comments of the day

October 9, 2008

From San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist Scott Ostler:

“If I’m ever under investigation for a serious crime (for the record, I’m not at present), I want to be investigated by either the NBA or the International Gymnastics Federation.”

On Yang Yun’s slip of the tongue: “Sorry, but I believe most people remember exactly how old they were when they won their first Olympic medal.”

Well, that’s it

October 1, 2008

The FIG announced Wednesday that it had concluded its inquiry into the age of Chinese gymnasts at the 2008 Olympic Games, finding no evidence of age falsification.

The federation said it confirmed the gymnasts were of legal competition age in Beijing. At the FIG’s request, the Chinese Gymnastics Association provided official documents including passports, identity cards and household registers that supported their age.

…”Asians have different figures than people from the West, so that’s what caused their suspicion,” said Huang Yubin, head coach of the men’s team, when asked about the controversy. “They shouldn’t be suspicious.”

The federation said it is still looking into the ages of 2000 Olympians Yang Yun and Dong Fangxiao. China won the bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, which concluded eight years ago Tuesday.

Yang said in an interview that she was 14 in Sydney, but explained later it was a slip of the tongue.

I guess we’ll never really know.

Other gymnasts known to have competed with false documents, according to IG: Romanians Gina Gogean, Daniela Silivas, Alexandra Marinescu and Lavinia Agache as well as Soviets Olga Mostepanova and Olga Bicherova.

A youthful, Moceanu-like Lavinia Agache on beam at the 1981 American Cup:

(via International Gymnast Online)

OK, so how old was Dong Fangxiao?

September 25, 2008

First Yang Yun, now Dong Fangxiao.

From International Gymnast Magazine Online:

[FIG] Secretary General Andre Gueisbuhler said the FIG is looking into reports of falsified ages of 2000 Olympians Dong Fangxiao and Yang Yun, members of the bronze-medal winning team in Sydney.

…Dong, whose birth year is listed as 1983, reportedly has a blog which lists a birth year of 1985.

If the Chinese were actually falsifying people’s ages in Sydney (hey, maybe in Athens too, but since the women won no medals there it doesn’t really matter) one would think that the gymnasts would have been warned that for the rest of their lives they had to go by the birth years they said they were reported as at the Olympics.

Maybe Dong wants people to believe she’s younger than she is, though that comes to women around the age of 40, not 25 (23, whatever).

Dong Fangxiao, 2000 Olympic Games, Team Prelims, Floor Exercise:

Yang Yun to be investigated?

August 11, 2008

International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Bruno Grandi told USA Today that he may initiate an investigation into whether Yang Yun was really 14 at the Sydney Olympics.

Yang won the bronze medal on uneven bars after a brilliant routine in event finals and was a contender for the all-around title as well before falling on balance beam in Sydney. Her pretty layout Cuervo vault, one of the best ever done, clinched China’s team bronze medal in 2000.

Yang Yun, 2000 Olympic Games Team Finals, Vault:

Yang gave an interview on Chinese television saying she was only 14 in Sydney, The New York Times reported in late July.

Grandi apparently doesn’t watch Chinese TV.

Nevertheless, after the news conference, Grandi said he wants to look into the dispute over Yang’s age. “I want to evaluate,” he said. “I want to speak with my executive committee.”

Oh yeah: Grandi suggests solving the age of athletes snafu (brought about by documents available on the internet indicating that He Kexin, Yang Yilin and Jiang Yuyuan may be younger than the 16 the government says they are) by issuing licenses to gymnasts earlier in their careers.

Which may not be a bad idea. But what’s to prevent a country from fudging its athletes’ ages beginning at age 10 or so instead of age 15?

Was Yang Yun 14 in Sydney?

July 27, 2008

From The New York Times article that makes waves about the ages of Chinese gymnasts slated to compete in Beijing.

Yang Yun of China won individual and team bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and later said in an interview on state-run television that she had been 14 at the time of those Games. A Hunan Province sports administration report also said later that she had been 14 when she competed in Sydney.

If she really was 14 in Sydney, the charismatic Yang, reportedly the girlfriend/fiance of Olympic favorite Yang Wei, fooled a lot of people. He Kexin doesn’t look her reported age, but Yang did.

Yang Yun, 2000 Olympic Games Event Finals, Uneven Bars:

If Yang wasn’t old enough to compete in Sydney, who else wasn’t either?

Lozhechko, Khorokhordin rebound to win Russian Championships

February 29, 2008

Russian Yulia Lozhechko capped off her comeback by winning the Russian Championships.What a comeback for Russian veteran Yulia Lozhechko.

The timeline of Lozhechko’s last six months goes something like this: September: Competes at the World Championships in Stuttgart. Falls on her beam dismount (a Patterson, or an Arabian double front) in team preliminaries, which knocks the 2007 European balance beam champion out of event finals.

October: Is unceremoniously thrown removed from the Russian National team for not obeying her coaches and throwing a safer dismount on said beam routine.

February: Makes stunning comeback to win the all-around at her first competition back on the national team.

Lozhechko literally came from out of nowhere on the second day. She wasn’t even mentioned in International Gymnast Magazine’s rundown of the preliminary competition. Russian veteran Anna Pavlova, apparently on the strength of her new Amanar vault, bounded into the second place spot behind Lozhechko. A duo of Ksenias (Afanasyeva and Semyonova, the latter the defending world bars champion) took bronze.

“I trained this for a long time — in fact I learned it six years ago,” Pavlova said. “Awhile back Yelena Zamolodchikova was doing this vault, when I was just beginning, but for many years nobody was doing it. Certainly, I had some silly mistakes over the course of the competition, but of all the apparatus I am happiest with how I performed on the beam.”

Other than Simona Amanar, who threw the vault in competition once and only once, I believe Zamo was the first woman to do the 2.5-twisting Yurchenko. It was at the 2001 French International, if memory serves.

That competition also featured a fabulous vault by 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Yang Yun of China, who threw one of the more perfect handspring front layouts ever done in international competition. She literally looked like she was flying.

Yang Yun, 2001 French International, Vault:

Russian veteran Sergei Khorokhordin came from behind to steal the Russian Cup title from 2007 European Champion Maxim Devyatovsky, who was also pulled from the Russian team for bad behavior in Stuttgart in September. Deviatovsky’s crime was pulling out of the all-around in a show of poor sportsmanship after he took himself out of contention for the title with a fall on parallel bars.

He also left the arena before the meet was over, which may have gotten the Russian delegation in some hot water with the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) since it’s against the rules for a non-injured gymnast to do so.

Devyatovsky certainly limped around quite a bit after that rotation, but coaches seemed to think he was faking. Maybe the FIG did too.

Devyatovsky had been in position to make a Lozhechko-like comeback (he was first in the qualifying round) but finished fourth after a fall on high bar. Yuri Ryazanov was second, ahead of Dmitry Gogotov.