Archive for June, 2009

Congrats Grad!

Last weekend was the first time in a long time that I was able to just relax and not worry about school.  It was nice because I got to go home and was able to hang out with my mom.  The weather was also very nice and it finally sank in that summer has come.

However, the highlight of the weekend was going to one of my best friend’s graduation party.  It was held at an Italian restaurant in a place called Half Moon Bay (about 3o minutes from San Francisco).  A bunch of his family showed up which was cool because I have known the family ever since I was a little kid.  It was fun catching up with them and seeing how everyone was doing.  The food at the party was also good which wasn’t much of a surprise because whenever I go to my friend’s gatherings, there’s always a lot of delicious food.  Luckily my friend’s family were too busy with entertaining the other guests that they didn’t have the chance to stuff me like they usually do.

Me and my buddy, Mike

Me and my buddy, Mike

All in all, it was a great time.  Congratulations again to my buddy, Mike.

Anyway, the weekend is over now and it’s back to another week of good practice.  Better get prepared because national team camp is next week.

Stanford Gym '07-'08 Highlight Video

14 Jun Sho 1 Comment »

Here’s our highlight video from when we hosted NCAAs last year.  Unfortunately we still haven’t made one for this season.  Hopefully the guys on team can get the ball rolling on that because I’m not so good with all the video editing stuff.

Anyway, take a look:

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Oxygen Tents?

Having a lot of endurance is important for most athletes.  Even though gymnastics is considered an anaerobic sport, it’s becoming increasingly important for gymnast to have more gas in the tank because of the open-ended scoring system that requires longer routines.  One of the best ways to increase endurance is to go through hypoxic training, which is to work out at a high altitude where there is less oxygen (this is one of the main reasons why the US Olympic Training Center is located high up in the Rockies in Colorado).  However, not all of us live up in the mountains…

i wonder if it works...

I wonder if it works...

I remember talking to a cyclist a little while back about oxygen tents and how effective they are for athletes involved in endurance sports.  From my understanding, a tent goes over an athlete’s bed, and a machine that’s attached to it reduces the amount of oxygen in the air within that tent.  This tent is supposed to simulate living in a high-altitude environment, so the basic concept is that you get stronger while you sleep.  While the whole idea make sense, for some reason, it sounds too good to be true.  There’s no way that I can afford this (I think the whole thing runs about $8000!!!) but as a gymnast who is trying to up his endurance to cope with the new scoring system, I always wonder how effective these types of things are…

Leave a comment if you know anything about this or have found something similar to this that sounds interesting!

Athlete Awards Luncheon

Yesterday was an eventful day.  It all began when I went to serve on a student-athlete panel just like the day before, however this time, we got the chance to talk to all of the people that support the athletic programs at Stanford.  Again, there were only 6 or 7 of us, athletes, but I feel like I speak for everyone when I say that I am really grateful for all that these donors do for us.  It’s because of their continued support that Stanford has so much success with all the sport programs.

After the Q&A session with the donors, I went off to the Athlete Awards Luncheon.  This is an annual event where various awards are presented to the athletes who have made an impact on Stanford athletics that year.  One of the cool things about this event  was that our whole team got recognized for winning the NCAA Championships this year.  Another highlight of the luncheon was that I had the honor of being awarded the Al Master’s Award.

Presented to the Stanford athlete attaining the highest standards of athletic performance, leadership and academic achievement (highest award).

gostanford – Student-Athletes Honored At Stanford Athletic Board Awards Luncheon

It was very humbling because I know how many student-athletes there are at Stanford that put in just as much time and dedication to their own individual sports.  Also, for winning the award, I had to make a speech in front of all the attendees.  It was a bit nerve wracking because there were so many people there (I’m thinking about 600 people)  but I’m hoping I made a good enough speech.

All the award winners (I'm the second one from the right in the front)

All the award winners (I'm the second one from the right in the front...sorry the pic is so small)

me with the award

me with the award

As for the rest of the day, I went to the gym to go train as usual but I realized that I was really wiped out from all of the events that day.  I think all of the school work that was due this week also had a bit to do with how mentally beat up I was.  Either way, I just have to get through tomorrow’s workout because after that, I get to chill out and recover for the rest of the weekend.  I might go catch some flicks or maybe even go and visit my mom because I haven’t done that in a while (my home is only an hour away from school).  It’ll also be good to just get away, see some high school friends, and simply just relax.

Stanford Student-Athlete Panel

Today I served on a student-athlete panel that discussed and shared about the different experiences we’ve had at Stanford.  There were five of us and we basically talked to the coaches in the room about why we chose to come to Stanford, what our most memorable experiences was, and various things that we thought could be improved to make the experience of future student-athletes better.  Truthfully, I couldn’t find all the much that I would change about this place.  Stanford is absolutely awesome because it’s an institution that combines great athletics with excellent academics.  And really, how can you top the nice weather we have in California?


The whole thing lasted about an hour and we broke off to have lunch at the picnic tables.  It was fun talking with some of the other coaches as we don’t get that many opportunities to do so.  Right now I’m hoping that I didn’t eat too much because I’m going to need to work out in a little bit…

School = Done

I finally submitted my last paper late last night.  It’s an awesome feeling to know that I will never have to turn in another assignment as an undergrad.  With that said, there are many things I need to catch up on.  Here are the top 5:

  • Sleep (I’ll probably need to sleep at least 11 hours the next 3 days to pay off my sleep debt)
  • Movies (there’s a bunch of movies out that I haven’t been able to watch)
  • TV shows (same as above)
  • Reading (haven’t been able to read anything for fun lately…only textbooks)
  • Seeing friends (it’ll be good to catch up with some good friends)

The good news is it’s summer.  I’ll be training a bunch but I’m also hoping to be able to do the things I’ve listed above!

Prom at Children's Hospital

I forgot to mention that last Friday I volunteered at the Stanford children’s hospital for their annual “prom” party.  It’s an event that the hospital hosts every year for the kids in the hospital who cannot attend their own prom because of illness.  It was great as the event was not only open to high school kids but kids of all ages.  The prom was a little different in that they had a theme for it, which was pirates!   While the older kids wore tuxedos and dresses, it was fun to see the younger ones dressed as little pirates.

After talking to some of the kids, I learned that a few of them were battling some serious illnesses.  I thought it was amazing that despite all of the things they have to go through, these kids are so positive about everything in life.  Having contact with these kids was inspiring and definitely put my life in perspective.  I realized that although there may be some struggles in life, I should always keep pushing on because there are always others in the world that have to deal with more serious things.

Anyway, I was glad I was able to help out with this event.  The party was awesome and being able to see all the kids having fun was definitely the best!

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Delirious Gymnastics

So today was a day of delirious gymnastics.  It usually happens during finals week when I can only get a few hours of sleep.  I guess it’s normal though for a student-athlete.  Either way, I was rather surprised since I was able to get through the training assignment ok.  Of course this is not the most ideal way to get through practice but it’s crazy to see how much your body can handle even when you might be tired.  While it’s finals week, it’s important that I don’t slack off because we have a national training camp coming up very soon.

Good news is that I’m almost done with my work.  After this, there will be no more pulling all-nighters!  All I have to do is revise my papers really quickly and submit them.  After I click “send,” I will forever be done with my undergraduate studies at Stanford!  Almost there!

Stay Strong Huskers

It looks like Francis Allen, the long time head coach at the University of Nebraska is retiring.  I just wanted to mention this because Francis has been a big part of my life as a gymnast. I might even consider him one of my “grandfathers” since I’ve known him ever since I started the sport.  Yay to Francis for doing so much for men’s gymnastics.

While all of this must be exciting for Francis (he gets to kick back and relax now), it looks like the gymnastics team at the University of Nebraska is faced with some trouble.  From what I hear, it seems as though the school is thinking about dropping its men’s gymnastics program.  I can’t begin to say how terrible this would be for collegiate gymnastics.  After all, there’s only 18 universities left that supports men’s gymnastics.  This will also be  bad for the conference that Stanford competes in (the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) because Nebraska is one of the four teams that competes against us.

Unfortunately, this type of thing has been going on for a while.  After all, MIT dropped their gym program just this year.  It’s sad thinking that 30 years ago, almost every school had a gymnastics program.  It’s also scary to think that pretty soon, NCAA gymnasts might become endangered athletes.  I guess all I can do now is cross my fingers and just hope that the situation for men’s collegiate gymnastics will improve…

Raj's New Skill

Looks like my teammate on the US National Team, Raj Bhavsar, just added a new skill to the Code of Points.

From my understanding I thought that a new skill had to be done at either the World Championships or the Olympics to get it named but it looks like the rules may have changed.  From what I hear, it seems like a person can get a skill named after himself if the FIG (International Federation of Gymnastics) simply approves it.

Anyway, Raj successfully completed this never-before-seen skill at a World Cup competition held just recently in Moscow.  The skill was given an “E” rating.  From my point of view, a gymnast will need to be super quick twitched in order to be able to complete the skill.  Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see how many people will actually compete this in the future.

As for me, I think I’ll pass on trying this trick because I feel that I’ll completely miss the bar and wreck myself.  Major props to Raj though.  I’ve gotta say, it’s a really cool looking skill.

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