Monday, August 22, 2011

Favorite Things: Give Me Artistry or Give Me Death

Let's start this week off correctly. This post is dedicated to the sad commenters who believe that one or two gymnasts in the '05-'08 quad made up for the entire sport becoming an exercise for West German P.E. teachers.

Natalia Ilienko performs a routine choreographed by Natalya Marakova of WOGA.

Olga makes a rather pedestrian music choice come to life with her stunning footwork, line and command.

I wouldn't mess with her.

Sasha, can you hear me?

Aside from Maya Usova and Alexander Zhulin, this is the only Blues For Klook worth watching.

Epic palate cleanser.

Natalie Frolova was too wonderful for a Reagan America where Kristie, Phoebe and Mary Lou reigned supreme.

The standard.

Eat shit, Maxi Gnauck.

How to do beam.

I mourn her injury.

The real 2004 Olympic AA Bronze Medalist.



  1. All of these make me want to weep uncontrollably.

    I can't stomach a Worlds with the likes of Jordyn Wieber "dominating," but I guess that's where we're headed. UGH.

    There was not a SINGLE gymnast at US Nationals--at least that NBC bothered to show us--in the senior ranks capable of coming CLOSE to the artistry of any of these girls on their worst day. Not a single one. Nastia, get off your ass, trim down those chipmunk cheeks, and get back on the team. I'd like to be able to root for at least ONE person from my home country next year...

  2. Heh, I believe that should be "EAST German PE teachers." Those freedom-loving Wessis weren't willing to give their girls that extra shot in the arm it took to win...

  3. Jordyn's new floor routine is very enjoyable. It isn't artistic nor does it qualify as real dance, but it is a lot better than most. Jordyn is a lot more expressive on floor than Patterson was.

  4. Gymnastics like other sports is fluid and therefore changing. People will always lament changes and long for yesteryear. 10-20 years from now this quad and the last 2 and maybe the next will be seen as a turning point, the catalyst back to artistry (fingers crossed). I too agree that the artistry in "artistic gymnastics" is lacking to the point of being none existent. However, I love the sport and look forward to glimmers here and there.

  5. I totally meant West German because there is no more vile an image than that of Andrea Bieger or her daughter doing gymnastics.

  6. Screw "artistry". You want fruity ballet, go to the fruity ballet. This is a sport. And then actually judging them on body appearance vice performance...that's almost racist (bodyist?)

    P.s. Olga looked great. Note her double back in 76? And Nastia can't even do one! HA!

  7. I think if they limited them to 3 tumbling passes on floor we'd probably see a bit more artistic dancy stuff. Though look back 30 years at what was considered dance outside of gymnastics people were still learning ballroom dancing - it took musicality to dance, but now dance is considered what can be seen in a rap video -- it's no wonder artistic gymnasts can't dance when they have so little exposure to real dance in pop culture!!

  8. My gosh, Pavlova was wonderful all around.

    Nobody is saying to judge on body appearance. Body appearance doesn't make someone artistic.

  9. Nastia trained a piked full in to compete in 2006. It was one of her better skills before she busted her achilles/ankle in 2005 and then fubar-d it in 2006.

  10. She hasn't had a double tuck for a long time. She is a crappy senior gymnast.

  11. A "crappy senior gymnast" who happens to be the Olympic AA champion. Chew on that, haters! U MAD?! U JELLY?????

  12. anti Nastia cracks me up! It must really burn to know she won not just the AA but won 5 Olympic medals out of 6 events. Deal! :b

    These videos of TRUE artistic gymnastics makes me swoon and grieve all at once. The past is gone. :( However on the bright said gymnasts like Mustafina (in spite of her twisting form), Komova, and Ohashi are like a balm to my soul.

  13. Oh man I had completely forgotten about Nadezhda Ivanova. She really started the trend of beautiful baby Russian juniors whose career totally flatlined. (a fate we must pray daily to the gym gods so it does not befall Kormova and Grishina)

    I live for how she screwed up on her front ariel and turned it into a beautiful arabesque.

  14. Pavlova's music is, and forever will be Yagudin's music. However, I love it. Boginskaya is the shit. No Khorkina love? I know you adore her AJ.

  15. So right on about Bogi's FX in '88, it really was the pinnacle of artistry in the sport.

  16. If I wanted to see beautiful dance and choreography with sloppy tumbling/acrobatics I'd watch 'So You Think You Can Dance.' No one is bitching about the men's code. It's sexist to think that the women have to be cute pixies yet maintain a significant amount of difficulty.