Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This and That

Adam Rippon's fantastic Cinema Paradiso.

Ioana translated a recent interview with Catalina Ponor and another with Octavian Belu. Basically, it pays to know Romanians.

Mariana Bitang asked Cătălina Ponor to come back to the national team.
For now, the 3-time Olympic Champion turned her down. After coaching
in the US, Ponor (23) came back to Romania and is now relaxing at home
in Constanţa. Without a current job, the former Olympian refused to
return as a gymnast to the team coached by Bellu and Bitang and is
considering coaching in Romania.

PS: Cătălina, [you’re] back home again... How are you feeling?
CP: Yes, I came back home to Constanţa. I’m with my family and feeling
great. I’m at a point where I would like to relax

PS: How was your latest American experience?
CP: Different than the first one, when I had Teodora Ungureanu nearby.
This time around, I stayed in Los Angeles, next to Russians, Syrians,
Indians, without Romanians. It was fairly difficult among foreigners
and after almost 4 months of staying there, I chose to return home.
PS: Bellu and Bitang returned to lead the Romanian national team. How
do you see this change?
CP: They’ve highly respected/valued coaches, but they will have a lot
of work to do on the national team. I believe however that they have
the necessary experience to form a world-class Romanian team.

PS: A team with Cătălina Ponor among the gymnasts?
CP: No, no. It’s true that Mrs. Bitang asked me to return to the team.
She sent me an email when I was in the US. I replied I would no longer
return to gymnastics because I reached a certain age and it’s time for
other girls. She understood my message [What she said could also mean
She got the message.]
PS: What’s currently stopping your from returning to the team?
SP: To be honest, I accumulated enough health problems when I was a
competitive gymnast. I don’t want to break my back again in the gym.
That’s it; I had enough!
PS: And what will you do, focus on coaching?
CP: More than likely this will be my path. I’d like to see where I
would do it because that would depend on the offers I would receive.
Maybe I would go to the US or somewhere in Europe.
PS: You’re not tempted to coach in Romania?
CP: No, I would coach in Romania as well. If I were to receive a
convenient offer, I would not refuse to coach in my own country.
PS: Cătălina, we have a couple of artistic shots of yours…
CP: How so? Where from?
PS: They were taken at Izvorani, where you recently went along with
other former great gymnasts.
CP: Yes, I remember (laughs). I can’t wait to see them.

Libertatea: Mr. Bellu, could you evaluate the gymnasts?
Octavian Bellu: Hmm, some of them are rehabbing after longer or
shorter breaks because they were wearing a cast or other [injuries]. A
correct evaluation could only be done when they gymnasts will be at
90% of their potential. On August 14th, well start the first
competition in London, but it’s hard to predict who we will be
counting on because the girls are still dealing with health issues.
L: Are the injured gymnasts back to a normal training regime?
OB: I went with them to a medical check-up. They’re without their
casts now, but they will have a return to activity that’s well
incremented, in order not to risk re-injury. I would like them to
sorted with the physical component in two weeks so they could start
working on the technical [side] afterwards.
L: Will Sandra Izbaşa compete at Worlds in October?
OB: Sandra is one of our main players [yes, soccer references from him
too] and I wouldn’t consider her missing Worlds. She’s healthy and
working well. She’s a fighter and she would like to make a very good
impression in her first competition because a gymnast of her stature
could not compete only half-ready.
L: What event needs additional focus?
OB: We cannot bring in too many new additions until Worlds. The only
direction we could take is that dealing with consistency and clean
[routines]. We do not have enough time to work on new skills. They
need to do what they currently can, but it needs to be clean, not to
lose [points on the] execution [score].
And…Corina “We have few cases of gymnasts who competed at this age.
Corina is an example of determination, of dedication to the sport that
she did and brought her so many satisfactions. Now, she’s like to test
her limits, even the biological ones beyond what the statisticians

The Kerrs will indeed compete in 2011, because no matter how hard we try we will never be rid of brother-sister teams.

Pang and Tong have revealed their music choices. They'll be skating to Chopin's Serenade (choreographed by Lori Nichol) and Liebestraum (A Dream of Love) for their free skate which was choreographed by David Wilson.

Tonya Harding is pregnant and will be beating her child with a hair brush before we know it. She recently had a shotgun wedding.

Akiko Suzuki likes portraying random, improbable characters during her free skates. A year ago, she was Maria in West Story Story. This year, Akiko will be skating to Fiddler On The Roof. She will be channeling the eight fierce Jews of Hanukkah.

A photo essay 'Dreaming of Nadia' is in progress. It is all sorts of adorable.

Shawn Johnson's stalker was sentenced to five years in a mental facility.


  1. The chance to see John Kerr's thighs in a kilt outweighs any of the sibling ickiness, IMHO. ;)

  2. can we discuss how good Rippon's exhibition is. Cmon, he spins beautifully, performs a Rippon Lutz, and has to die for edges. I am enamored with this kid. :)

  3. What all of the above said with emphasis. Could not help but laugh out loud at the evil Tonya comment!

  4. Adam has improved a ton in the last year. A year ago, he went for a young, boyish vibe with his exhibition and really looked like someone just trying to make the Olympics. Now, Adam looks like he belongs in the top six in the World and his technique is so sound. His confidence looks improved, as does his maturity on the ice. I absolutely adore his skating. He reminds me of '70s male skaters when I look at the purity of his edges and movement. If he keeps improving at this rate, he will be fantastic. I'd like to see a little more speed and power, because that will send his PCS through the roof.

  5. More comments from you about Kerrs and ickiness and you will not know any more Romanians who translate articles for you.

  6. Is Sister Kerr wearing tan skates these days? You know how I feel about them!

  7. PML @ Sister Kerr...she's decidedly not nun-like =).

  8. Adam's program is superb. Hoping for many podium finishes for him this coming season.

  9. he is amazing, and this is beautiful! i SO hope he turns this into a competitive program!!! that would be such a treat...although i know it's unlikely at this point.

  10. Nice program for Adam. Other than his super cool lutzes, I am not yet drooling over this kid. He reminds me a lot of Tim Goebel without the quads. His skating skills are very far behind Kozuka, Oda, Dai and Florent A. IMHO. The way he "pumps" his back crosscuts seems very old fashioned in a bad way. Granted, his triple axel is actually existent now where it wasn't last year and his other triples are pretty much right on. Maybe the other elements will come in time. Great music choice though :-)

  11. @ 8:59 PM

    How can you compare Tim Goebel's hair to Adam's? Adam FTW...