Archive for July, 2009

Learning Experience

Last night, my teammates and I finished competing in the team meet at the Japan Cup.  Even though there were several highlights throughout the meet (big props to Horton and Steve Legendre for landing their vaults after their funky blocks off the table), the US team had one too many miscues that really cost us in the end.  In a 3-up, 3-count event, where all three scores count per event, there is definitely zero room for error.  While we can continue to get down on ourselves for the mistakes we made, we are going to take this experience to make us stronger and perform better in future competitions.  Aside from Jon and myself, none of the other team members have been in a international senior team meet.  That said, we’re definitely a very young team and have a lot of potential to grow.  If you look at the difficulties that we put up on each event, we’re just as good as the strongest teams in the world.  We just need to go back to our own gyms and focus on refining our gymnastics, as well as putting the pressure on ourselves day in and day out to make sure that we hit our routines when it counts.

As for me, I competed three events yesterday (pommel horse, rings, and high bar).  Pommel horse didn’t go as well as I had hoped.  I ended up falling which was rather unusual for me considering I’ve been pretty consistent during my practices.  I guess it just goes to show how mentally tough you have to be in a 3-up, 3-count format.  This is another major thing that I will take from this competition and something I will  build on once I get back home.  The next event, Rings, went pretty well.  Despite having a sore shoulder, my strength was pretty good and I stuck the landing.  My last event, high bar, was definitely the most interesting event.  Everything was going really well until the dismount when I hyper-extended my knee (yea I know, big bummer).  Somehow I managed to stick the dismount, which was a good thing, but I had to be carried off the podium by my coaches.

getting carried off...

getting carried off...

Anyway, we’re all hoping that it’s nothing serious but we won’t know for sure until I get back to the states and get some images taken.  As for the pain, it’s not too bad but the knee is definitely a bit stiff being that I injured it just yesterday.  That said, I’m hoping that I can get back to training as soon as possible.  If not, I’ll definitely use this experience in the most positive way possible and treat this as an opportunity to train my upper-body.  The sport of gymnastics is full of injuries but no way is my knee gonna slow me down from getting stronger.  It’s crazy how injuries always make me more motivated!

Later on, the US delegation will go cheer on the guys (Danell and Steve) who’ll be competing in the all-around competition.  It’ll definitely be an exciting meet.  Even though I’ll be sitting in the stands this time, I’ll take this opportunity to soak in everything and use it as motivation for when I get back to training in my own gym!

Gettin' Settled

Today was a fairly busy day for us.  We started the day with a team breakfast at the hotel and headed to our first workout right after.  Since we were still feeling the effects of traveling across 8 time zones, we took the morning easy and basically just stretched out.  Nonetheless, it was nice to get our bodies moving after having traveled a long way to get here.

Japan Cup poster

Japan Cup poster

After morning workout we ate a quick lunch and took a short break before heading back to our second workout.  We did a little more in the afternoon  but definitely felt a like we needed a bit more time to get used to the new environment and work out some kinks in our body.  Speaking of the environment, the arena is completely light blue!  I felt like I was in smurf land, but aside from the crazy color, the gym is great with all the equipment situated on podiums.  I think that starting tomorrow we should start to feel more accustomed to the arena and come Saturday, we should be completely good to go.

competition arena

the competition arena

We ended the day with a “welcome banquet,” which all the participants (athletes, coaches, etc) were invited to attend.  I’ve gotta say, the Japanese really know how to prepare food.  Doesn’t matter if it’s Japanese food or western food, they make it taste good.  Anyway, the people here, especially the Japanese delegation has been very hospitable and Team USA is excited to be here to kick start the new quadrennium!

We're Here!

After a 10 hour flight, my teammates and I are finally here in Japan.  Upon landing, we took a shuttle (about 45 minutes) to our hotel in Makuhari City, Chiba Prefecture.

our hotel in Japan

our hotel in Japan

I’ve gotta say, the hotel is absolutely awesome.  We each get our individual room and there’s a convenience store in the lobby that’s open 24 hours/day.  And most importantly, we get free internet!  While we didn’t go to the gym today, we stretched in our own rooms and just hung out and relaxed.  Right now I’m trying hard to stay awake for a little longer so that I can adjust to Japan time (there’s a 16 hour difference from California).  Anyway, tomorrow we’re supposed to go train at the main competition hall so that we can get used to the equipment.  It’ll be good to get the kinks out from our long flight!

We might be a bit busy with all that’s going on but I’ll try my best to update my blog consistently while I’m in Japan.  That said, I apologize in advance if there’s a lag!

Going to the Land of the Rising Sun

One of the first things I do when I get ready to leave for an international competition is go out and buy some snacks.  You never know what kind of food you might encounter in another country, right?  Luckily, I don’t have to worry about this this time around since I’ll be competing in Japan.  In fact, this competition will be like competing in my own backyard since my mom’s side of the family live only 20 minutes away.  That said, I can put my full focus on competing which is a big relief.

Anyway, just for fun and out of curiosity, I did a quick google search on how long it might take me to travel from San Francisco to Japan on foot.  For some reason, the google search tells me to go from San Francisco all the way up to Washington (definitely not the most efficient route…).  After that I’m supposed to kayak across the Pacific Ocean, making a quick stop in Hawaii before rowing the rest of the way to Japan.

Picture 3

the not-so-efficient route to Japan

Picture 1

check out direction #244

Well, traveling on foot and kayaking is supposed to take me a total of 101 days and 23 hours.  Good thing for airplanes because the trip will “only” take me about 10 hours.  There’s also a benefit to living on the west coast too and traveling to Asia.  Most of the guys will be taking a plane to meet up in San Francisco before leaving for Japan.  Anyway we leave tomorrow morning.  Wish us luck!  Go USA!

Happy Bday Ambert!

I’ve gotta say that I had a great time this weekend.  Not only did I get to sleep a lot (which is something I love to do), but the highlight was definitely celebrating my old teammate,  Ambert’s 26th birthday.  For his birthday, I drove up to San Francisco to attend his dinner party.  I was glad I went, not only because Ambert is a great friend and a mentor of mine (he’s incredibly smart and all-around great guy), but because his brother, Bryan, who is a professional Japanese chef prepared all the food for the dinner.

Bryan's Sushi

Bryan's Sushi

The food was absolutely amazing.  Bryan is not only an amazing chef, but he specially order the fish (most from Japan) that he served for dinner.  Another great part about about the party was that I got to meet a lot of awesome people.  Like Ambert, they were all very interesting people and it was fun getting to know them.

Me, Ambert, and a couple friends (Ambert is on the far right)

Me (center), Ambert (far right)

Again, it was a great weekend.  I got a lot of rest and a lot of good food inside me so I’m ready to take on the week!  Also, Ambert who is a professional DJ and one of the founders of (click through to get more info) told me that he will make a special workout mix for me.  I’ll post it on this site once it’s finished so definitely keep an eye out for that!

And, if you are interested in Bryan’s work check out his blog.

Business Trips

09 Jul Sho 1 Comment »

A bunch of the guys on my team (including myself) are going to be pretty busy for the next week or so.  Many of us are traveling to various competitions, both domestic and international.  The younger guys on the team will be going to Colorado to compete at the US National Qualifying Competition.  The National Qualifier determines the final gymnasts that gets to compete at the Visa National Championships which will take place in August in Dallas.  Luckily, David Sender and I, do not have to compete at the meet as we are already pre-qualified from being on the US National Team.

Instead, both Dave and I’ll be competing internationally between now and the end of next week.  Dave is currently at the Maccabi Games in Israel and will be representing team USA.  This will be his first time competing at the Games so I’m excited for him.  As for me, I’ll also be representing the US team but at a different meet.  As I’ve written in my earlier posts, I’ll be leaving for Japan on Tuesday to compete at the Japan Cup.



While I’m excited to go to Japan because most of my family lives there, I’ve gotta keep in mind that at the end of the day, this is still a business trip and we have some work to take care of.  Nevertheless, it’ll be a fun time and I’m ready to enjoy every little thing about the trip!

Good luck to all my teammates competing.  Let’s get it done!

Gettin' Ready

Today I went through a practice meet to basically simulate what the competition will be like in Japan next weekend.  As with any practice meet, I was given some time to stretch and then I had about an hour to go to all the events and warm-up for my routines.  I was also given a one-touch warm-up prior to each event.

Generally, one of the biggest challenge at a meet is getting the p-bars ready in the given time (we only have 30 seconds after the judges puts up the score of the gymnast before, which usually comes out to anywhere between 1.5 minutes to 2 minutes before you have to jump up on the pbars).  Sometimes the whole prep process gets a little chaotic given the little time but the whole goal is to be quick and efficient like a pit crew in a car race.  Fortunately everything went pretty smoothly today and I was able to hit a good pbar set.

The other five events went pretty smoothly as well.  There are definitely some minor details that I need to work on but these are things that I can fix in the next couple of days before I leave for Japan.

Anyway, the preparation process is going well and I’m looking forward to a fun and exciting competition next week.  It’ll be awesome to go head-to-head against the best in the world.  Go USA!!!

Speech from Stanford Athletic Awards Luncheon

As I wrote a little while ago, I recently received an award at Stanford’s year-end athletic luncheon. As the recipient of the Al Master’s Award, I was asked to speak in front of 700 people that included donors, supporters, and staffs (that was the biggest audience I’ve ever spoke in front of, and boy was I nervous or what).  Well anyway I was surfing the internet and came across the speech last night.

Here it is:

YouTube Preview Image

All Charged Up

Hope everyone had a safe and fun July 4th weekend!

As for me, I definitely enjoyed the two days off I had from gym.  I’ll admit that I was a bum this weekend.  I slept a lot and just sat around the house.  However, I’ve gotta say that my body definitely needed that after a hard week of training last week.  It was also nice because I got to catch up on some much needed sleep (and for all the athletes out there, we all know that sleep is an athlete’s best friend).

Another big thing I did this weekend was I got a haircut (shows how exciting my life is, right?).  Now that my head feels lighter I feel like I can jump higher and flip faster.  But on the flip side, the bad part was that my I forgot to tell the hair stylist to keep my sideburns so she completely chopped them off.  I’d include a picture of it but since I’m embarrassed, I don’t think I will this time.  Luckily my hair grows out pretty quickly so I’m not too sad about it.

Anyway that just about sums up my weekend.  It was a nice two days off of gym but I’m now recharged and ready to hit a good week of training as Japan Cup is right around the corner!

Match the Twits

As some of you guys may have already noticed, I update my Twitter account every once in a while (it’s on the right column if you haven’t seen it before).  Anyway it looks like InsideGymnastics made a short quiz that asks to match the different “twits” with the people who said it.  The funny part of all this is that I’m one of the options to a few of the questions.  I took the quiz and did pretty poorly.  Don’t worry, I won’t get too down on myself but maybe you guys will have better luck with this.  Check it out: Match the Twits

twitterOh, and if you have a twitter account follow me @ snakamori!

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