Monday, May 25, 2009

Let's Have Some Fun....


So, fantasy sports have been played for years now.  For the few of you who might not know what they are, it is a virtual sort of sports game where people construct their own "Dream Team" of players in a specific sport (often male- dominated team sports like football, soccer and basketball) and earn points in the fantasy game depending on how these player do in real life games, judged by using match scores and statistics.  Fantasy sports are very popular, with over 30 million people playing some form of it in the U.S.A and Canada alone.  

I have vaguely heard of the hobby over here in Australia, and over the weekend there was a newspaper article about it, prompting me, of course, to see if there is such a thing Fantasy Gymnastics.  Of course there was!  Gym fans are too ardent to let something like this pass by.  And gymnastics, with all its statistics and scoring, is perfect for this kind of game.

I immediately checked out some sites on the internet after reading the article, but many links to fantasy sites were broken or the sites were last updated a long time ago.  Also, I am not sure if Fantasy Gymnastics is about choosing existent gymnasts for a team as in other Fantasy Sports, or using real but lower level gymnasts statistics, or about making up pretend gymnasts.  Anyway, Fantasy Sports sounds like a complex endeavor suited to real fans/ fanatics of the sport with a lot of time on their hands.  It sounds kind of fun too.  But I spend enough time on this blog, without having another gymnastics-related obsession!

BUT, what I thought might be fun for us, is for people to construct their own Fantasy Olympic team and see what kinds of combinations you can come up with.  So anyone who wants to have a go, start dreaming up the perfect Olympic Team.  Make it deep, and make it competitive and tell us why you would take this group of girls to 2012!

Deng Linlin and Nelli Kim on the same Olympic team?  Why not? 

You can either email your team to me on the address at the side, or put it in the comments.  It would be better if you emailed it, so I can cut and paste it into the blog more easily, but whatever floats your boat!  Then I will put them up in a main post for others to take a look at.

How it will work

-Give me a name for your team.

-Pick any international gymnast who has competed at a Worlds or Olympic Games at any time (You can have Henrietta Onodi and Jana Bieger on the same team if you wish!) from any combination of nationalities.  Gymnastics goes global (and time warp-y)!

-Remember the competition is for both qualifications and team finals when you pick them (feel free to tell us a little bit about why you chose each gymnast).

The qualifications will be a 6-5-4 format, so tell us who your six will be, and which five will go up on each event for qualifications.

The Team finals will be the old 3-up, 3-count, so tell us who you are planning to put up for the finals.

- Just for fun, you can name two reserves.

-Imagine that the new scoring system will be used, so make sure both difficulty and execution are a factor in your selection 
(for the sake of consistency, and factoring the immense changes in the sport over the years, i think it should be fair to imagine that gymnasts from the past have trained in modern times and have similar skills- otherwise they would be eliminated from consideration simply because the sport was different then.  So if you want to put Oksana Omelianchik in the floor line up, completely confident that she would be able to do a tucked double arabian- be my guest!).

-Just for fun, you can take four coaches (one must be female) from any country and any period to supervise the team.  The same rule applies- the coaches must have already coached at an Olympics or World Championships.  It will be interesting to see who is chosen.

An Example

Team name: Randoms!

Team (Qualifications) (Finals)
Gabriela Dragoi: (beam, bars, vault) (bars, beam)
Shannon Miller: (AA) (AA)
Mo Huilan: Vault, bars, floor) (etc...)
Silvia Mitova: (AA) (etc)
Tina Erceg: (AA) (etc...)
Alexandra Eremia: (beam, floor) (etc...)

Reserves: Nadia Comaneci, Nastia Liukin

Coaches; Elvira Saadi, Al Fong, Steve Nunno and Kelli Hill.

Why I chose my team:  I didn't.  This is just a mock-up!  As if i would put Dragoi on vault and have Comaneci as a reserve!  And Saadi isn't going ANYWHERE NEAR my athletes!

So guys, have fun with it.  If we get enough dream teams, maybe we can even have a poll later, so readers can pick their ultimate favorite from the ones you make up.
Basically, do whatever you like.  That's why they call it Fantasy gymnastics!


(Edit: I just checked in at the IG forum and it seems the forum crew over there have been working on their Dream Teams already.  Sorry to cut your lunch guys!  Check out their thread)

(Constructing my own team is going to take a while.  It's kind of like being a kid in a candy store!)

(Also, a couple of people have said that the comments page isn't working at times.  I have a feeling it is when someone is already putting up a comment, because it seem to only happen whe  teire is a higher than usual amount of comment traffic.  I can only suggest waiting a bit and trying again. I will check with Blogger to find out if this is indeed the issue)


  1. This may take me awhile... Is there any set date for when we have to have emailed our Dream Teams to you by?

  2. where do i go to join this

  3. Hi, uhm, I don't know where to e-mail you so I'm just going to post a link to my blog here.