Wednesday, November 18, 2009


(pic from Comaneci-salto )

I was just looking at the Aarhus 2006 results, as you do, trying remember who won silver and bronze in the AA (I'm starting to think I have very early-onset alzheimers!) and I realised that 2006 was a funny year for China.  They won the team event very convincingly.

But if it hadn't been for the brilliance of Cheng Fei, they would have had a shocking time individually.

For starters, there was not a single Chinese gymnast in the uneven bars finals, which is just plain weird.

And to make things even weirder, there was no Chinese medallist on beam (Zhang Nan came fourth.  In fact, two years in a row she came fourth on beam.  That musta sucked!)

And in the AA, the highest ranked AAer was Pang Panpan in 6th place (actually, that wasn't too bad).

(pic from Comaneci-salto )

And then their new superstar goes and wins all the leg events- the events China used to suck on!

Clearly, they were focussed on a team medal, but still it was kind of strange.

I guess it was just preparation for what was to come- a solid, impossible-to-beat team line up, newfound medal potential on floor and bars and the emergence of another individual superstar!


  1. It's kind of amazing looking at that picture of Team China from 2006. None of them (aside from Pang, I guess) had the traditional Chinese body type...yet they one gold. Truly changed the face of Chinese gymnastics and I think gave the girls incredible confidence for Beijing. London will be a very interesting games for China though. Curse of 1996 Atlana for team USA will transfer to China?!?!

    **Oh and on a side note...THANK YOU for the awesome & interesting articles. Really, the entertainment you provide for we uber gymnfans is unmatched anywhere.

  2. The 2006 team was really weak on bars. Li Ya could have made EF but after consistently performing all year she just had some major meltdown and actually refused to compete in team finals. Pang Panpan stepped up and competed for her. Probably a smart move, since they might not have won if Li ya had a meltdown on bars. It's hardly a suprise that they were scrambling around to get Yang Yilin and He Kexin onto the team so they'd have some better bar workers.