Archive for the just for fun Category

10 craziest hairdos

Posted in just for fun, lists with tags , on February 7, 2009 by debster03

So, last night’s (somewhat bizarre) post got me thinking. What about? Well, hair, of course! Now, we’ve seen our fare share of odd dos in the past, but these ten take the prize. Going down the memory lane is always a hoot, so enjoy!

1. The Poodle Perm: you all know what I’m talking about. It was quite the popular hairdo two decades back. It may have been an era of gorgeous gymnastics, but the fashion? Eh, not so much. Particularly the hair. By 1988, the situation got so bad that the Olympic all around gold was decided by a hair, rather than gymnastics ability (joke). Honestly, though, can you truthfully say you are not distracted by the big mess of fluff? I thought so. Guilty as charged: numerous gymnasts, but Daniela Silivas in particular (God, I just want to chop that thing off her head!).


2. The Bang Attack: these were quite popular for quite some time, particularly during the 1990s. You know, those MASSIVE bangs over a gymnast’s forehead? Yup, that’s what I’m talking about. I thought they were pretty fun, actually. I loved watching the girls run in slow-mo – bangs bobbing up and down like crazy. Hilarious. Guilty as charged: the very lovely Viktoria Karpenko.

3. Crazy Beehive: ah, something a little old school for all of us. Remember the sixties (personally, I don’t, because I hadn’t even been born yet, but anyway, that’s totally beside the point)? Yes, I thought so. Guilty as charged: Vera Caslavska.


4. Scrunchie Meets Head: I mean, Shannon Miller. Or, more specifically, the Dynamos. Guilty as charged: me thinks this is self-explanatory.

5. The Angry Conrows: I never understood how the Parkettes managed to compete with those stupid conrows constantly pulling at their scalp. Seriously, ouch? Guilty as charged: le Parkettes.

6. The “I Am Really a Boy” Do: it comes in many shapes and colors (okay, it most frequently appears as a bowl cut), and it’s been around for ages. Now, personally, I have nothing against short hair, even on gymnasts. Sometimes, it actually looks kind of cute (cue Katya Lobaznyuk). But why in the world would you want to look like a boy? Even if you are a tomboy…Guilty as charged: Amanda Borden, Oksana Chusovitina.

7. If I Clip My Hair To My Scalp, It Won’t Fall Off: you totally know what I mean.  A couple of clips are fine (unless they are Hello Kitty themed; then it’s a big no-no), but a bajillion? Gawd. Not classy in the slightest. Plus, if you fall on your head, those things are vicious! Trust me, I would know. I’ve had (unpleasant) experiences in that area. Guilty as charged: the Chinese team!

8. The “I Don’t Take This Seriously Enough” Bun: I’m not a fan of overly gelled hair (ew, really), but sometimes you at least have to seem like you give a crap. Unfortunately, some gymnasts think they are way too cool for school and merely look like they’ve just rolled out of bed. Guilty as charged: Alicia Sacramone.

9. Frizzy Hair: frizzy hair is a terrible thing in all situations, gymnastics-related or not. Splurge on a straightener (or at least some anti-frizz)! Guilty as charged: Rebecca Bross (every now and then).

10. This is your choice. What do you think is a totally hideous hairdo and why?


an ode to Aurelia Dobre.

Posted in going down the memory lane, just for fun with tags on February 7, 2009 by debster03

Well, lovies, I’m back.

Anyway – we know 1988 was all about The Battle – you know, Yelena Shushunova v. Daniela Silivas (although I personally like to think of it as The Battle Of The Bad Perms. I’m on Team Shush, if only because I hate her hair slightly less than I hate Silivas’…gymnastic-ally, both ladies were brilliant, but that damn hair was simply much too distracting. Anyway, I’m rambling), but there is one gymnast who, I believe, had she been healthy, could’ve kicked some major booty in every possible way. Yes, I’m talking about none other than the lovely 1987 world champion Aurelia Dobre.

The girl was poetry in motion, for which I have decided to write a poem in her honor, but be warned: I cannot write poetry to save my life. I just need a few laughs tonight; it’s been a rough week. So bear with me, please.

In a decade famous for perms that resembled  poodles,

Aurelia Dobre had enough sense to keep her hair long, like a wig made of noodles.

Her gymnastics was quite brilliant too,

She could flip and twist and tumble out of the blue.

Her lines, in particular, were exquisite,

Her choreography always looked absolutely terrific.

She danced and pranced not at all like a Rombot,

Every moment of her performance deserved a snapshot.

It really was too bad when she injured her knee,

Which ended her shot at Olympic glory.

But in the fans’ hearts she will always live,

So her not-that-successful Seoul experience we can forgive.

Oh, that was dreadful. But hey! You gotta do what you gotta do to cheer yourself up at the end of a long week.

Anyway, here you go. Enjoy!

a little something to brighten your Wednesday night.

Posted in going down the memory lane, just for fun with tags , , on January 21, 2009 by debster03

Ah, the Soviet gymnastics machine. Many argue that making it in the USSR was even harder than winning a world championship or Olympic gold. I think I agree.

We’ve all, of course, heard of the Soviet greats: Svetlana Boginskaya, Olga Mostepanova, Oksana Omelianchik, Olga Korbut, Yelena Shushunova, Tatiana Lysenko, and Lyudmila Tourischeva, to name a few (too few). However, in addition to these marvelous athletes and artists (yes, artists!), there are hundreds upon hundreds of gymnasts that never even truly had the opportunity to wow the international audiences and win fame and recognition.

Among these gymnasts is Tatiana Ignatova.

Now, we don’t see a performance like that nowadays, do we? Not even from the very, very best or those we call “artistic.” I’ve mourned the day that truly innovative floor choreography ceased to exist. What a crying shame. Thanks a lot, FIG.

Here’s another of my “obscure” favorites, Yekatarina Vandisheva:

It kills me that these two never made it big. They could’ve been great.


well, doesn’t this look quite familiar…

Posted in just for fun with tags on January 21, 2009 by debster03

I was reading my way through the WWGym forum (where I’m not much of an active poster, but I do enjoy reading the latest), and I happened to stumble across a video of Natalia Joura on uneven bars. Now, gymnastics ability (or inability) aside, I feel that it is my obligation to adore Natalia, if only for the fact that she’s a Joura sister, and Dasha is beyond awesome.  Therefore, I cringed a little when I saw this:

The poor girl got an abysmal 9.1 – and no, no one was working the old Code there (ah, how I wish it was so…). I’m not going to really discuss the mechanics of the performance – I’m sure we all agree it was awful – but rather, I want to tell you about this odd feeling I got as I rewatched the routine over and over…

Deja vu.

No, I’m not kidding. Back in the day when I was a gymnast (and absolutely abhorred bars), I had an experience that is eerily similar to this disaster. It was my gym’s home meet. I kip-ed fine. Cast to handstand and went over. Okay, one fall. Kip-ed again and attempted a clear hip circle, in which I went over the bar once more. Got back up, squatted to transition to the high bar and unexpectedly fell backwards. How embarrassing! I hadn’t done this since I was a level 5. Finally reached the high bar, kip-ed, cast to handstand (no, I didn’t go over), tapped into my giant, and ended up short. Attempted a couple of more giants, and wouldn’t you know it, the same thing happened over and over and over. I finally just swung into my very lame layout dismount, landing, of course, on my butt.

I wish I had an excuse. But I didn’t have a stomach flu a la Shannon Miller. I was (surprisingly) not injured. I was not even nervous, and I’d been training fine.

Hey, it happens to the best of us.

Natalia – keep your head up. You’re not alone!

for the life of you, can you point your toes?

Posted in just for fun, lists with tags on January 6, 2009 by debster03

It’s pet-peeve time! I do seem to have plenty of those, do I not? Anyway, I have returned to discuss The Thing That Bugs Me To No End (face it, picking at people is fun. Oh, I’m just darling, I know) – unpointed toes! Not only are they icky and ugly, they have the potential to ruin an otherwise beautiful body line. What evil little things they are.

I guess they can’t all be Lilia Podkopayevas.

The following is a list of the top ten offenders.

Yelena Zamolodchikova: Zamo, for all her awesome-ness, has horrible form. Horrible. As for her toes, it’s not so much that she doesn’t want or even try to point them, it’s just that they look like they won’t bend any farther. Work on your flexibility, girl!

Yelena Produnova: what is it with those Yelenas, huh? I think they are born with their ankles flexed the wrong way. For what it’s worth, I always loved Produ – and I mean loved (she was definitely the coolest gymnast out there. Ever. Of all time) – but her lack of toe point just didn’t cut it for me. Remember her oh-so-fabulous handspring double front vault (especially the one she threw at the 1999 University Games. Man, that was fierce!)? Although I, like everyone else, often get lost in the amazing-ness that is that skill, I must admit that sometimes I feel like her flexed toes just kill it. Except they don’t, really, because that vault is gigantic. Lena, I almost forgive you.

Bridget Sloan: oh, the classic example of a gymnast with a beautiful body lines and icky icky toes. In her defense, she only really flexes them on Tkatchevs – but man, does she flex them! I wonder why her coach hasn’t bothered to fix it yet? It’s like eye rape!

Oksana Chusovitina: we all know that Chuso’s form is not one of the Seven Wonders, toe point (or lack thereof) included. Or maybe it’s just those hideous gym shoes. Whatever it is, I wish Chuso would clean up her lines. It’s not like she hasn’t had the time, if you know what I mean (wink, wink).

Jana Bieger: also known as The Girl Who Really Missed Out On Her Ballet Lessons (at least those in which dancing en pointe was discussed) and perhaps the biggest culprit. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not of a Jana fan. Her gymnastics is not aesthetically pleasing. At all. I hope the judges take notice. Maybe then Mama Bieger will actually fix it.

Carly Patterson: we all know Carly was a very, um, relaxed (as in calm and composed and light on her feet) gymnast, and it definitely showed in her feet (that was an odd sentence, wasn’t it?). It’s almost as if she was so chill about it all that she forgot to tighten up her toes. Dude, you’re not in Barbados. Don’t relax your feet. It doesn’t look nice.

Anyone with the travesty that are gym shoes: the list is endless (and predominantly Romanian). I don’t know whether their toes are actually unpointed or if the shoes are simply working their wonders (not), but I can’t stand the look on a gymnast. Ew.

Steliana Nistor: blame it on the gym shoes.

Nastia Liukin: as much as it pains me to include Nastia on this list, you gotta give credit where credit is due. Nastia seems to chuck her usually lovely toepoint away in her gym bag whenever she performs a double front-type skill. Why, Nastia, why?

Camelia Voinea: again, I think it’s the gym shoes. But dear lord.

I love this.

Posted in just for fun with tags , , , on December 29, 2008 by debster03

Since I’ve (unfortunately) been way too busy for gymnastics (yes, it happens occasionally), I happened to miss this oh-so-hilarious moment. You would think the FIG (or whoever organized the World Cup Final, for that matter) has the resources to get the girls some decent medals.

Yulia’s reaction is priceless.

Anyway, I love Lauren, and I’m glad the gold is now in her hands (pun intended). Here’s hoping for good things in 2009.

we all have a meltdown from time to time…

Posted in just for fun with tags , , , on December 6, 2008 by debster03

It goes without saying that some competitions – particularly major ones, like, say, the Olympics (Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 all arounds, anyone?) – are complete splatfests. You know what I mean: gymnasts fallin’ and stumblin’ and trippin’ (whattup, Viktoria Karpenko?) all over the darn apparatus – um, hello, did anyone happen to drop a banana peel on top of the balance beam?

Then there are those single routines (performed at meets that are not all that bad) that are a splatfest by themselves. No, I’m not talking about a big wobble or a short landing or even one major fall. I’m talking about a complete, holy-crap-why-can’t-she-stay-on? total meltdown. What can I say? It eventually comes to a point where, as a fan, you can’t take the frustration anymore, give in, and laugh, shaking your head sadly.  Because, let’s face it, meltdowns can be sort of funny (albeit in a heart wrenching way).

Here, I present to you, the top three gymnastics meltdowns:

3.Vanessa Atler

Vanessa, honey – we all forgive you a meltdown on the uneven bars, seeing as your coach was in denial and refused to admit that you could not do a Comaneci salto for the life of you (also, you were sort of a headcase on the event), but beam? What happened? It kind of seems like you got confused or forgot your routine or something along those lines, especially before the switch leap. It’s painful to watch.

2. Kelly Garrison

…and speaking of forgetting your routine…where’s the second salto on the full in (or, rather, the full twist)? And what the hell happened with that turn? She looks confused, like a lost little puppy. Ouch.

1. Kim Kelly

Surprising? I think not. This routine has been played over and over and over by internet fans for years. I don’t even know what the saddest part is – all the falls (those Parkette coaches, they teach great tumbling technique now, don’t they?), the baby “split” leaps and jumps (Shawn Johnson is practically a contortionist in comparison), the so-called “choreography,” or the ridiculous Japanese commentators who simply refuse to shut the hell up. Ick. Poor girl. However, I must ask – how the heck do you fall out of a turn? Take a big lunging step forward, but don’t put your hands down, woman!

In case anyone is wondering, I have not included Shannon Miller’s beam at the 1993 World Championship event finals because the poor girl was sick, and competing when ill is no fun – I (and Andreea Raducan) should know.

And also, just to clarify: I am not mocking these gymnasts. Gymnastics is a very tough sport, and mistakes happen.