Favorite gymnasts: past & present

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    May 18, 2010 5:25 PM GMT
    No good gymnastics section should be without a favorite gymnast discussion. Feel free to mention favorite gymnasts of today or of the past. Rhythmic gymnasts, trampolinists, power tumblers, and acrobats are also welcome to be mentioned.
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    May 18, 2010 9:38 PM GMT
    Tim Daggett considering he was my coach for 7 years.

    I really like Jonathan Horton and his style of gymnastics because mine was pretty similar. He's an amazing flipper and twister and does some crazy skills, especially on high bar. Paul Hamm is about as perfect as a gymnast can get. He was no weakness and almost never breaks form.... very inspiring. His comeback in the 04 Olympics I think is one of the best in the history of sports with two flawless routines to win Gold.

    I don't like Sasha at all, or Durante.
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    May 18, 2010 10:02 PM GMT
    Paul Hamm is pretty much the best male gymnast the US has ever had. I really idolized him towards the later part of my gymnastics career. I got his autograph in 2003 at the American Cup in Fairfax, Virginia before he won Worlds later that year icon_smile.gif

    However, I feel bad that he won't be remembered in the most positive light. The whole controversy over his win in 2004 didn't help matters. It also didn't help that the President of FIG sent him a letter saying he should return the gold medal because of a judging mistake. I feel like his Olympic title will always be somewhat tarnished because of the controversy.

    It's also a shame how he was starting to make a fabulous and dominant comeback in 2008 only to injure his finger at Nationals. He didn't recover in time for Trials and eventually withdrew himself from the Olympic team. And that's been the end of his career ever since.
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    May 18, 2010 10:05 PM GMT
    The gymnasts I admired growing up: Vitaly Scherbo, Aleksey Nemov, Blaine Wilson, Rustam Sharipov, Zhang Jinjing, Li Xiaopeng, Aleksey Bondarenko, Jordan Jovchev (still competing!), and the Hamm twins.
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    May 18, 2010 10:05 PM GMT
    Vitaly Scherbo
    Alexei Nemov
    Mitch Gaylord
    Dominique Dawes
    Shannon Miller
    Nastia Luikin
    Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons
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    May 18, 2010 10:07 PM GMT
    There have been a shitload of talented female gymnasts over the years (particularly from the former Soviet Union and Romania) so it's hard for me to select only a few of all time. It's a lot easier for me to choose my favorite gymnasts based on decade or quadrennium.
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    May 18, 2010 10:27 PM GMT
    pocketnico saidThere have been a shitload of talented female gymnasts over the years (particularly from the former Soviet Union and Romania) so it's hard for me to select only a few of all time. It's a lot easier for me to choose my favorite gymnasts based on decade or quadrennium.


    You're right; there are a shit load of female gymnast. I completely forgot about the Chinese gymnasts. I really like Zhang Jinjing and Li Xiaopeng.
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    May 18, 2010 10:42 PM GMT
    Zhang Jinjing and Li Xiaopeng were amazing talents. They were very stylish and had a different flare from other Chinese gymnasts at the time. I thought Zhang was a more complete than Li Xiaoshuang, but Zhang was always inconsistent having a hard time putting it altogether (which was Li Xiaoshuang's strength). Meanwhile it's a shame that Li Xiaopeng's injury prevented him from being a factor in the all-around.
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    May 18, 2010 10:46 PM GMT
    I liked that pocket rocket Dominique Moceanu. I thought Svetlana Khorkina and Boginskaya were cute too.
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    May 18, 2010 10:52 PM GMT
    I met Bogi in Philadelphia at the 2008 Olympic Trials! She was in the lobby of the hotel where I stayed. I swear I was the only young person to recognize who she was because all the little girls running around were crazy for Nastia, Shawn, and Chellsie. Bogi was still competing when I started gymnastics, so meeting her was quite an experience. Not to mention I got to speak Russian to her!

    Sorry for the crappy quality of the photo. The only camera I had at the time was my phone, and even then, not a great phone either.

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    May 18, 2010 10:53 PM GMT
    haha cute!
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    May 18, 2010 11:00 PM GMT
    The whole little meeting was kind of cute. I caught her completely off guard. For one thing, I think she was a little shocked that I knew who she was. She must've thought I was a lot younger than I looked (as I mentioned in another thread). Not to mention I'm sure she wasn't expecting some random American fan to speak Russian to her. Nevertheless, she and her mom were pleasant to talk to.
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    May 18, 2010 11:30 PM GMT
    Blaine Wilson!

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    Alexei Nemov is a close second.
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    May 19, 2010 3:59 AM GMT
    I met Blaine Wilson, too, at the Olympic Trials in Philly!

    It was kinda funny how it happened. Before the competition, there was some gathering, event-thing outside the Wachovia Center. They had a bunch of booths set up promoting various gymnastics camps. Blaine Wilson was over by one of them, and I noticed that nobody saw that he was there. I think everybody was focused on the main stage because Mary Lou Retton was about to come out to speak. Anywho, I just waltzed on over to him, said "hi", introduced myself, and took a photo with him. Then no sooner than I walked away, everyone realized who he was and lined up right after me, haha.
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    May 19, 2010 4:12 AM GMT
    Peter Vidmar was the cutest thing at the height of his career. I had many a daydream about a threesome with him and Bart Conner (who is just repulsive to me now).

    I had the biggest things for John Roethlisberger and John McReady.

    But THE #1 for me is Alexei Nemov.
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    May 19, 2010 4:14 AM GMT
    For a while now I've had a boy crush on Guillermo Alvarez...
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    May 19, 2010 4:30 AM GMT
    Raj Bhavsar

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    Kevin Tan

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  • worley

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    May 19, 2010 4:30 AM GMT
    For me it's, without a doubt, Gervasio Deferr.

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    May 19, 2010 2:58 PM GMT
    I'm happy to see that Kevin Tan is coming back. He competed at the Winter Cup earlier this year. Raj is done.
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    May 25, 2010 2:32 AM GMT
    Bart Connor and Mitch Gaylord ... great gymnasts and a perfect 3 way.
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    Jun 01, 2010 12:45 PM GMT
    80's(Late)-Silivas, Laschenova.
    90's(early)-Gutsu, Gogean, Miller, Mo!
    90's(late)-Pod, Khorkina, Atler!
    00's(all)-Nastia, Memmel, Fei, Kexin, Kupets (college).
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    Jun 01, 2010 1:13 PM GMT
    JW...the guy who had the room next to mine in a boarding house at UC Berkeley for two (school) years back in the late 50's. A body to die for, a nice personality, and an incredible work ethic.
  • bkjhebert

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    Jun 01, 2010 1:48 PM GMT
    I'm a Joe Hagerty fan. I don't know why. He's not the best. He struggled in Beijing. Maybe it's because he's atypical.
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    Jun 01, 2010 2:17 PM GMT
    I always enjoyed Nemov. Great all around performer, good showman, and his occasional propensity for choking in competition (European Cup 1994 with his class sub-8 score in high bar) added a bit of excitement to his routines.

    In general, I like tricksters because the amazing feats of raw athletic ability always catch my eye. Papa Liukin, Justin Spring, et al.
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    Jun 13, 2010 12:09 PM GMT
    Daiane dos Santos boggles my mind with her double layout arabian.

    Can't really think of any particular favourites at the moment. Gymnastics is only ever screened here during the olympics (and even then its just short portions usually only the womens.).