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Hana Ricna


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Hana Ricna Interview

Ricna is a Czechoslovakian two-time World medalist, 1988 Olympian and three-time Olomouc medalist (the Soviet organized Alternative Olympics in 1984). She took second all-around at Olomouc to Soviet great, Mostepanova. The stadler tkatchev is named after her; a skill used often by the current generation of elites. Her son competed for Stanford gymnastics and Czech Republic at the Rio Olympics. Her daughter just finished her senior year on the Stanford gymnastics team, where she performed her mom’s floor routine in tribute. She started gymnastics at age four and thinks she won her first pre-elite junior championship around age 8 (Czech papers reported she was 8. Ricna she said she thinks she was 9 but doesn’t remember).

  • How The Ricna came to be and what she thinks of the way her skill is performed now
  • All the trouble she got into and wild things she did as a young gymnast
  • Skills she trained, including a tucked full on beam and a full twisting Hindorf
  • Her shoulder dislocation on vault at the 1986 Ahoy Cup in Rotterdam and subsequent surgeries
  • Her experience post-injury at the 1988 Seoul Olympics
  • What the Czech athletes were told about the boycotted 1984 Olympic Games
  • Competing at the legendary, famed, holy grail of gymnastics, the alternative-Olympics in her home country, the Olomouc Friendship Games
  • The great Czech Olympic Champion, Vera Caslavska as a coach and friend
  • Reflects on how she was trained and fueled in the 80’s
  • What she would change about her elite training now that she has coached for 30 years
  • The divergent attitudes of her gymnast children – Stanford, World Championships and a Rio Olympian who was obsessed with Kohei.
  • Watching her daughter, Sandra Jessen (FIG licensed as Jessenova ), compete her 1980’s floor routine this year, for Stanford
  • Transiting to post-professional athlete life and flying into the U.S. Customs without a visa

Conference Championoships

  • Heading into Conference Championships this weekend – what does it mean for NQS, regionals and NCAA Championships.
  • Links to watch and scores for each conference Championship – The Balance Beam Situation


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Nicole Richards
Gym Nerd
26 days ago

I love her laugh!! Great interview!!

26 days ago

Thank you!

22 days ago

I did gymnastics with Ricna’s coaches, Radek and Draha Kriz, at the gym they opened in Aiken, South Carolina in the 90s, where I trained with Grace Taylor of University of Georgia fame. Thought you might enjoy knowing about the Hana Ricna/Grace Taylor connection if you didn’t already know!

Gym Nerd
19 days ago

I absolutely loved Hannah Ricna’s gymnastics growing up. Ironically I followed most athletes by reading their routines in International Gymnast. They had her picture in her beam handstand. (Straddle reverse planche I think) I had it on my wall.
When I started coaching I made all the girls on team a calendar for Christmas, I added pictures of famous gymnasts through the years and the girls were all trying to do her beam handstand and it was hysterical. Piling up mats against the wall and trying to lean into them. Awesome interview!

NCAA GymCastic Live Show in Fort Worth, TX April 19, 2024

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