Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Handstand Skills

When i posted that cute as hell little vid of the young Lilipod doing an early floor routine the other day, someone commented on how much they miss handstand skills on floor.  I couldn't agree more.  They were such an excuse to show off wonderful extension and flexibility and they are often so pretty.  These days, like a lot of the beautiful skills, they have been chucked out because gymnasts simply do not have the time to do them AND everything else they need to do like eighty tumbling rows, a variety of leaps and a couple of speedy dance moves to take a moment to show off their handstand work. And it's a real pity.  I miss them on beam too.  I miss all the exciting cool stuff gymnasts got to throw in between the big tricks.  Some of the greatest, most unique things that made girls stand out from each other were in the basic moves.  I'd rather see a worthless but interesting, simple beam mount than another bloody side somi any day!
And on floor, well all i can say is that i hope the new code helps bring on some change, and doesn't just force girls to pack in boring, graceless (I think its hard to maintain grace when you are exhaustedly trying hit splits eight times over no matter how elegant a gymnast you are) leap sequences  into their routines to raise difficulty instead. And i hope it buys them time to bring back some of the more lovely, unique  handstand and extension moves to floor.  So, as an ode to the handstand and as another trip down memory lane for that person who commented, here is one of my favorite examples of the handstand skill (in middle of routine).  It's not spectacular, but its lovely, extended, and the in the first handstand with the leg crossover, just a tiny bit cheeky and different....

The USSR's Elena Sazononkova in 1985 (Age 11)


  1. That's what I'm talking about!! That's for taking my comments on board. Fingers crossed for the new code!