125: Growing Up In China – Jiani Wu Interview

jiani wu at the 1984 olympics and as a child in china

Jiani Wu

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This Week's Interview

What was it like growing up in China before they were a gymnastics super power? Jiani tells us all about it. A native of Shanghai back when China was a closed society, Jiani was one of the first allowed to compete outside of the country. Wu helped the Chinese women win their first World Championships team medal, a silver at the 1981 Worlds in Moscow and a bronze for the team at the 1984 Olympics. We discuss:

  • Adjusting to coaching in the United States and working with parents.
  • The Yurchenko loop and Teza skills that she was doing back in the 70’s.
  • Her coaching philosophy and how it ties into her experience as an accidental champion.
  • Secret romances and how she met her husband in the training halls of the national training center.
  • The training schedule and beam complex seriousness of the Chinese training regime.
  • Gymnastics urban legend busting about China’s conditioning, pizza and hamburgers.
  • What China was like in the 1970’s before their athletes were allowed to compete outside of the country.
  • Coaching both of her daughters, 2012 Olympic alternate Anna Li and level 9 Andrea Li.
  • That time she Yin Alvarez’d when Gabby Perea hit her bar routine.
  • The major award China gave her for winning an Olympic medal.

 

Guest Links

Legacy Elite Gymnastics

flyer with Nastia Liukin for Legacy Elite Winter Classic meet registration

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Jiani Wu performing the Yurchenko Loop

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Jiani Wu

Jiani Wu eponymous skill

Jiani Wu performing her eponymous skill on bars.

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124: Event Finals at the 2014 World Championships

yao jinnan huang huidan bars

Graphic Design by MegTwelve. Visit her store at http://twelvestore.bigcartel.com

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In the News

Our coverage of the 2014 Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China continues with a full recap of the women’s and men’s all-around final.  Uncle Tim, Lauren and Jessica chat about:

  • Every single event final, even rings and pommel horse!
  • The judging of the balance beam final Mustafina’s score vs. Terramoto’s score.
  • Which side of the gymnastics debate won Execution or Difficulty. We have the statistical proof in this week’s edition of Sexy Data.
  • Which gymnastics need to sit in over splits until next year’s worlds or stop complaining about their E scores.
  • Bruno Grandi’s latest call for change. Why doesn’t he understand that EXECUTION IS NOT ARTISTRY!
  • All the ways in which the Italian Gymnastics Federation is like the Perez Hilton of gymnastics federations.
  • Would reducing the number of skills with a simultaneous minimum time limit on floor (for men and women) and beam, help address the lack of artistry in the current system.

Contest Alert!

Why:  We want to create a playlist of songs that should be used for floor routines.

What:  Send us the song title and artist name for a song that’s never been used in a floor routine before.

How to Enter: Send your song to gymcastic@gmail.com, and we will choose the winners at random. Not Twitter or Facebook, please!

Deadline: November 1, 2014

Prizes:  Official P&G Championships chalk (a whole box!), black polo shirt (small),  water bottle,  towel with carrying case.

Related Links

Uncle Tim puts the artistic in men’s gymnastics over on Uncle Tim Talks Men’s GymLauren Hopkins is head honcho over at The Gymternet.  Find inspiration for your adult gymnastics career at Masters Gymnastics.

Watch the Universal Sports broadcast for free on http://www.usagymworlds.com/live/

Check out the video grid of all the available routines from Worlds http://thegymter.net/2014/10/05/worlds-qualification-videos-running-master-list/

 

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123: All Around Finals at the 2014 World Championships

Graphic Design by MegTwelve. Visit her store at http://twelvestore.bigcartel.com

Graphic Design by MegTwelve. Visit her store at http://twelvestore.bigcartel.com

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In the News

Our coverage of the 2014 Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China continues with a full recap of the women’s and men’s all-around final.  Uncle Tim, Lauren and Jessica chat about:

  • The podium and the BEE!
  • All of the new members of the Hot Pink Nation.
  • Gutsuism, fair or unfair.
  • Larissa Iordache — She finally did it and had higher start value than Simone.
  • Sexy Data –Who performed the highest difficulty and scored best in execution  for the men and women?
  • SamGate — What happened with Sam Mikulak’s parallel bar routine?
  • Yao Jinnan’s bonus wipeout moment at the end of her floor routine.
  • The Longines Prize for Elegance — Should the same gymnast be able to win more than once?
  • Vanessa Ferrari — Her gymnastics prowess and the leaps that drive us nuts.

Contest Alert!

Why:  We want to create a playlist of songs that should be used for floor routines.

What:  Send us the song title and artist name for a song that’s never been used in a floor routine before.

How to Enter: Send your song to gymcastic@gmail.com, and we will choose the winners at random. Not Twitter or Facebook, please!

Deadline: November 1, 2014

Prizes:  Official P&G Championships chalk (a whole box!), black polo shirt (small),  water bottle,  towel with carrying case.

Related Links

Lauren Hopkins is head honcho over at The Gymternet.  Uncle Tim puts data miners to shame on Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym. Find inspiration for your adult gymnastics career at Masters Gymnastics.

Watch the Universal Sports broadcast for free on http://www.usagymworlds.com/live/

Nanning TV is showing a live stream and has very entertaining behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. No Chinese language knowledge necessary! Check it out here http://www.nntv.cn/live/nntv_gg/

Check out the video grid of routines from Worlds http://thegymter.net/2014/10/05/worlds-qualification-videos-running-master-list/

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122: Team Finals at the 2014 World Championships

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Our full recap of the 2014 Gymnastics World Championship men’s and women’s team finals from Nanning, China. Graphic Design by MegTwelve. Visit her store at http://twelvestore.bigcartel.com

 

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In the News

Our coverage of the 2014 Gymnastics World Championships in Nanning, China continues. Jessica, Uncle Tim and Lauren Hopkins cover the men’s and women’s team finals:

  • Gabby Jupp redeems herself and Jessica apologizes for confusing Hannah Whelan and Ruby Harold!
  • Sexy Data about the men’s start values and execution.
  • The Japan vs. China team men’s team final controversy, is it worth discussing and is it any different from any other sport?
  • Olivia Vivian and her beer cozy wrist band to honor her father.
  • The best routines of team finals.
  • The fluidity and O’Beirne Code approved brilliance of Japan’s beam routine composition.
  • The reason the Chinese women lost the world championship – they didn’t use Bai Yawen in finals!
  • The leadership and patience with which Aliya Mustafina and Larissa lordache lead their teams.
  • Khorkina’s complaints about team Russia.
  • The adorableness of Bai Yawen hugging Mustafina on the podium.
  • The new trend in men’s gymnastics, the comb-over bump it.
  • The unstoppable awesomeness of the US women’s gymnastics team!

Come back Saturday to hear our recap of the women’s and men’s all around finals.

Related Links

Lauren Hopkins is head honcho over at The Gymternet.  Uncle Tim puts data miners to shame on Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym. Find inspiration for your adult gymnastics career at Masters Gymnastics.

Watch the Universal Sports broadcast for free on http://www.usagymworlds.com/live/

Nanning TV is showing a live stream and has very entertaining behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. No Chinese language knowledge necessary! Check it out here http://www.nntv.cn/live/nntv_gg/

Check out the video grid of routines from Worlds http://thegymter.net/2014/10/05/worlds-qualification-videos-running-master-list/

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121: Qualifications Recap from the 2014 World Championships

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Graphic Design by MegTwelve. Visit her store at http://twelvestore.bigcartel.com

 

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In the News

Coverage of the World Championships with a recap of the men’s and women’s qualifying rounds from Nanning, China. Jessica, Coach Rick, Lauren Hopkins and Spanny Tampson chat about:

  • Mr. Miguel Zapata of Spain, winning fans worldwide.
  • New Zealand’s Anna Tempero.
  • Whittenburg didn’t make vault finals, but Re Se Gwang did it with no legs.
  • Aimee Boorman calls out International Gymnast magazine.
  • Romania’s deep troubles.
  • Diego Hypolito, the veteran cannot be denied!
  • Skinner, so so so consistant
  • Simone has cast a happy spell on everyone at the World Championships.
  • Newcomers everyone is talking about: Nile Wilson and Bai Yawen’s bow.
  • The status of the Azerbaijan experiment.
  • Oleg Vernaiev! Finally! Or Uncle Tim may have had a stroke.
  • Score changes made overnight on the FIG website.
  • Celebrity couple nicknames we need for skills competed by two gymnasts at the same Worlds

Related Links

Watch the Universal Sports broadcast for free on http://www.usagymworlds.com/live/

Nanning TV is showing a live stream and has very entertaining behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. No Chinese language knowledge necessary! Check it out here http://www.nntv.cn/live/nntv_gg/

Check out the video grid of routines from Worlds http://thegymter.net/2014/10/05/worlds-qualification-videos-running-master-list/

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Nanning TV shenanigans.

Nanning TV shenanigans.

 

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120: The World Championships Preview Show

illustration of Larisa Iordache, Simone Biles, Kyla Ross and Aliya Mustafina

Larisa Iordache, Simone Biles, Kyla Ross and Aliya Mustafina battle it out in Nanning, China! Illustration courtesy of The Magnificent “USA, Russia & Romania”

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IN THE NEWS

It’s our annual World Championships preview show! Jessica, Uncle Tim and Evan chat about:

  • What these championships mean for the Olympic Games in Rio.
  • Our picks for top contenders and dark horses for every event final and medal (except rings and pommel horse because those events are only exciting in finals).
  • Who will the US put up in beam finals?!
  • How will Sosnitskay’s Cheng help the Russian team.
  • Will Tatiana Nabieva and Biles burn the floor down with their collective sass at the post-meet banquet?
  • Will Chusovitina win another vault medal at age 39?
  • If this US men don’t win a medal, will there be a shakeup at USAG?
  • Can Japan upset the Chinese men at home!?
  • The fan favorites you need to watch; the one’s who will win the crowd, even if they don’t win medals.
  • How to watch podium training and the qualifying rounds (select teams only) for free from anywhere in the world.

2014 streaming coverage of gymnastics worlds

 

GYMTERNET NEWS

And here are the latest news stories we cover this week from around the gymternet:

  • Precision Choreography adds another legend to their roster
  • Katelyn Ohashi is back on beam with a full.
  • Sarah Finnegan does a double side flip.
  • Marcel Nguyen is out with a torn ACL but his YouTube diaries are keeping us happy.
  • Dutch gymnasts star in a pole dancing television contest.
  • The latest episode of The Hard Way to Success is on the Downie sisters.

 

RELATED LINKS

If you aren’t in the United States, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like TunnelBear or Hola to watch podium training and the qualification rounds being broadcast by USA Gymnastics at USAGymWorlds.com

 

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119: How to Watch Nanning Podium Training & The Tumble Finale Recap

Bobby Lockwood and Kristin Allen embracing

Our recap of the Tumble Finale

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In the News

This week Scott Bregman, Director of Content and Communications for USA Gymnastics, joins us to talk about live coverage direct from the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China. Then in the official unofficial podcast of BBC One’s Tumble recap, Emma and Jessica chat about:

  • Which celebrities and gymnasts we’d like to see on the next season of Tumble.
  • The alleged sex tape of Louis Smith that doesn’t exist.

  • Nadia performing for the first time in 20 years!

  • Host Alex cutting off a judge AGAIN!

  • Our favorite moments from the show.

  • The Bobby and Kristin romance that we haven’t recovered from.

Here is the full schedule of the the live (if all goes well) broadcast from Nanning.

schedule of live streaming from worlds

 

Related Links

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like TunnelBear to watch podium training and the qualification rounds being broadcast by USA Gymnastics at USAGymWorlds.com 

Find an adult gymnastics program in the US on Jessica’s website masters-gymnastics.com. Or discover the gymnastics program that’s right for you with a video introduction to all of the different disciplines of the sport.

Find out more about BBC One’s Tumble on the official website. Watch routines on the BBC One YouTube Channel.

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Nadia tumbles on BBC One's Tumble

2014 tumble champions pose with their flowers and trophy

2014 Tumble Champions, Bobby and Kristin!


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The judges perform on the Tumble finale.

The judges perform on the Tumble finale.

 

Bobby holds Kristin on Tumble

 

bobby and kristin the almost kiss

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118: Pan American Championships and the American Men at US Championships

Marvin Kimble

This week on GymCastic, it’s raining men.

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In the News

In the news, Uncle Tim, Evan, Cordelia Price, and Jessica chat about:

  • The triumphant return of CUBA (WAG 4th place team) and how much we want Yesenia Ferrera and Manrique Larduet to defect too!
  • Marvin “The Hot Mess of Unlimited Potential” Kimble
  • Comparing the US men’s scores at the national championships to the rest of the world (see chart below)
  • How we felt about the US men’s team selection process
  • Pan American Championships: the good, the bad and the injuries (Maggie Nichols, noooo!!!)
  • Yamilet Peña and the tale of the sliding sting mat
  • Marta gives advice to parents and Arthur Zanetti loves to take pictures with Cordelia
  • Sexy Data: How did Pan Am Championship scores compare to P&G Championships for the US women
  • How the performance of the US women at Pan Am’s effected their positions for the world team
  • We lament the loss of thrown back artistry from our beloved, Tomás “Porn Stach” González
  • How Donell Whittenburg stole the show at P&G Championships

 

chart showing competitiveness of men's gymnastics competition at pan american games compared to euros worlds

How competitive was the men’s competition at the Pan American Championships? This chart shows the top men’s all-around scores for the qualification rounds at each competition. Pan Am’s for men were more competitive than Commonwealths, about equal to Europeans, but not as competitive as Worlds. Compiled by Cordelia Price.

 

Related Links

Apply for tickets to the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto here.

Jessica Lopez (L to R), Mykayla Skinner and Yesenia Ferrera of Cuba.

Jessica Lopez (L to R), Mykayla Skinner and Yesenia Ferrera of Cuba.

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117: Youth Olympic Games, Romanian Nationals, Russian & Novara Cup

seda, wang, flavia yog

The Youth Olympic Games artistic gymnastics champions.

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In the News

This week Bea, Blythe, Emma and Jessica chat about:

  • Romanian Nationals
    • Could Larisa Iordache have a higher difficulty value at Worlds than Simone Biles?
    • Jessica picks her new junior superstar: Andreea Iridon.
    • The state of the Romanian World Team and the dreaded (for the seniors) bars.
  • The Swiss, Romanian, Germany Friendly meet
    • An update on Swiss stalwart, Gulia Steinbruger.
    • Germany’s steller bar workers are getting it done!
  • Youth Olympic Games
    • The most overwhelming display of affection and sportsmanship we’ve ever seen in the history of gymnastics.
    • The educational component of the YOG that none of us knew about!
    • Becky Downie pushing her coach away from the camera to stop from dying of teenage embarrassment.
    • Vault final was won by a Chinese gymnast, Wang Yan with a big 14.783
    • Giarnni Regini-Moran, another sign of the next super power is British Gymnastics.
  • Novara Cup
    • The fan insanity/zero security for athletes at Italian gymnastics meets.
    • The return of veterans, Joana Adlerteg (SWE) and Julie Crocket (BEL).
  • Russian Cup
    • The return of Victoria Komova on bars from her growth spurt and injury.
    • Aliya Mustafina is back, with a vengence!
    • The glorious zero-craps-given attitude of Tatiana Nabiyeva.
  • Sandra Isbasa to do Romanian Dancing With The Stars.

Related Links

Get more from Bea over at The Couch Gymnast.

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116: Louis Smith, Amelle Berrabah of Team Sexy & Tumble Episode 5 Recap

Amelle with her partner, sports acro world champion, Doug Fordyce, Louis Smith and David-Roy Wood with, no biggie, Nadia.

This week’s interviews are with: Amelle Berrabah, shown here with her pro partner, sports acro world champion, Doug Fordyce; Louis Smith who gives us the deets on his Euros disappointment; and Amelle’s coach David-Roy Wood who talks about what he learned from, no biggie, Nadia.

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This Week's Interview

It’s interview-o-rama today on the show! Louis Smith is here to answer your Book Club questions. Amelle Berrabah, the British singer and finalist on BBC One’s gymnastics tv show, Tumble, is here with her coach David-Roy Wood (who also coaches Princess Catherine). And by the way, Amelle is going to continue with adult gymnastics when the show is over because she loves the fitness results she’s achieved during training! To conclude, Jessica and Emma recap Tumble episode 5 before the big finale on Saturday where NADIA WILL BE PERFORMING!

  • Louis Smith tells us:
    • If he was every suspicious of his dad’s motives when he came back into his life.
    • Exactly why he was so upset about not being named to the GB squad for Europeans and how he thinks it should have been handled.
    • If there is any truth to the Lucy Mecklenberg romance rumors
    • How he concentrated on training with Lisa Mason and Rochelle Douglas in the same gym and advice for asking out a teammate.
    • What he would change about Tumble for next season.
  • Amelle and Dave tell us:
    • What they learned from Nadia’s surprise visit to their balance beam training session.
    • About the training schedule and pressures of Tumble.
    • Overcoming fear and doubt when there are millions of people watching.

Find an adult gymnastics program in the US on Jessica’s website masters-gymnastics.com. Or discover the gymnastics program that’s right for you with a video introduction to all of the different disciplines of the sport.

Find out more about BBC One’s Tumble on the official website. Watch full episodes on the BBC One YouTube Channel.

If you are outside of the UK and want to watch Tumble on BBC One, you can use FreeTVCafe.net here.  Use at your own risk. There are a ton of play buttons that will automatically download crap onto your computer. Be extremely careful not to click on an advertisement. Less risky is using a VPN like TunnelBearZenmateGetUsVPN.

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