Archive for March 17th, 2009

Grandpa of gymnastics

March 17, 2009

“Solange mein Körper mitspielt und ich auf hohem Niveau turnen kann, solange gibt es keinen Grund aufzuhören.” Espen Jansen (40)

(my translation:) “As long as my body plays along and I´m able to do gymnastics on a high level, there´s no reason to quit.”

Epsen Jansen (NOR), 40 years young

Espen Jansen (NOR), 40 years young

Two years ago in Stuttgart, the Norwegian gymnast Espen Jansen was the oldest competitor ever, who competed at a World Championships. Additional, he attended as sole gymnast 13 (!) World Championships – other elite gymnasts participate in the sport for less than 13 years.

This weekend, he starts in Cottbus at the Tournament of Masters. (Oh yes, he´s a real Master!) He does pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and high bar.

Here´s a funny exhibition on high bar he did last year:

Read the full article about Jansen on www.turnier-der-meister.de (only in german 😦 ).

Do you know who´s the second oldest elite gymnast ever?

REAL artistry in gymnastics

March 17, 2009

A lot of people complain about the lost of artistry in womens artistic gymnastics. So let´s take a look at acrobatic gymnastics!

In the Code of Points of acrobatic gymnastics they have a A- (10 points), D- (10 points) and E-Score (10 points). D stands for Difficulty, E stands for Execution (as it is in artistic gymnastic) … and A stands for Artistry :-)! Judges are allowed to take deductions for the lack of artistry, choreography, musical interpretation, variety in the elements, presentation, originality, use of space…

And that´s how it works:

Julie van Gelder and Sam Pauwels (BEL) at the European Championships 2007 (combined exercise) – they won gold.

Another fantastic mixed pair from Belgium are Amber van Wijk and Nik de Roeck: They play angel and devil together on the floor. (At the International Age Group Competition / World Championships in Glasgow last year they placed 2nd with the combined exercise.)

In my opinion, the routines are so artistic and creative – it´s always a pleasure to watch the difficult but also powerful exercises (the pairs do balance exercises, dynamic exercises and combined exercises).

It would be great if artistic gymnastics opens up a little bit and also allows a few deductions for boring, uninspired floor routines.