Thursday, July 26, 2012

Yekaterina Vandisheva - 1990's Gymnastics

Guys, I'm really excited about the Women's Gymnastics at the upcoming London Olympics, and have been brushing up on the main medal contenders. After watching the entirety of the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, I now have a wee grasp on who's who - but as I was watching, I really felt like something was missing. There was a lack of grace or elegance or whimsy that used to define the sport - now replaced by strong tumbling passes and powerful physical momentum that's fun to watch, but ultimately a little less satisfying to me.

So let's take it back to 1993, before the (crazy complicated!) new points system was implemented, to a time when long lines and balletic extensions mattered as much as sticking a back three and a half twist

This warm-up beam routine by Yekaterina Vandisheva is widely considered to be amoung the best of recent history, and honestly, it's so pretty I bit my knuckle in admiration! Vandisheva's career was cut short by a bad arm fracture, and she was only able to compete in one major international competition, making this video all the more bittersweet...

*update. we really need to talk about what in the what happens at 0:31. Gymnastics friends/experts, can you tell me? I suspect it's sort of simple, but with great fanfare and effect. Love it!


Anonymous said...

It's a swing-through Onodi, or rather a Gainer Onodi and is anything but simple. It's a back handspring with your legs apart (flick flack) with a half twist. She performs it with such height, stretch, and speed that even as an Onodi it would be one of the best ever done, but to top it off, she does it in gainer form (from one leg with the other suspended leg swinging into the element). Oh, and to my knowledge, no other person has performed it.

Sarah Gregg Millman said...

Incredible. And so eloquently described. Thank you.