Archive for the Judging Category

Make it or break it?

So I was flipping through the channels today and guess who I saw on TV?  It was my friend, Tasha (Schwikert)!

To my surprise, it looks as though ABC Family is starting a new girl’s gymnastics show called, Make it or Break it.  I’m not sure what the story is about but I’m assuming it’s going to be like the movie, Stick It.  I watched about 5 minutes of it and thought that the story was way too dramatized and didn’t accurately portray the sport of gymnastics.  That said, I probably won’t continue to watch it t but I wanted to mention it because I thought it was interesting that they’re starting a new show about women’s gym.

Make it or Break it

Make it or Break it

I wonder what the public will think if there was a men’s gymnastics show and who will actually star in it.  I would love to see my friend Sean Golden as a character in the show because he is an entertainer.  However, something tells me that a men’s gymnastics show  won’t be all that popular and will only get few viewership.  It might be interesting to watch though.

As for gymnastics movies, I’ve gotta say I like Gymkata.  It’s an old film and it stars Kurt Thomas (the inventor of the Thomas Flare).  The movie is totally random.  He is basically a warrior that uses his gymnastics skills to fight zombies (for example, he uses pommel horse shaped stones to do circles on and kick bad guys who run into him).  Regardless, the movie is very funny and interesting.  There  are other gymnastics movies out there but I’ve gotta say that in terms of entertainment factor, Gymakata is the best.  Check it out when you get a chance!

Gymkata aka "funniest gymnastics movie ever"

Gymkata aka "funniest gymnastics movie ever"

Fun Day Sunday

It was nice to finally get a day off from gym! I spent most of the day trying not to do anything phsycial, thinking that I needed all the recovery I can get.  However, I did get a haircut which was nice considering it’s getting a bit hotter here.  Plus I hate it when my hair gets in the way of my practice.

Aside from that, I went to my old teammates’ place and we just hung out.  It was good to be able to catch up and chill out in the sun.  It’s crazy thinking that most of my friends that I graduated with are done with gymnastics.  However, they’re working a lot and just doing the world good, which is a great thing.

After hanging out, I went out and watched a Japanese movie called “Departures” at a local theater.  I thought it was a really good film.  Unfortunately it’s only playing in select theaters because it’s a foreign film.  Either way, the movie is nominated for “Best Foreign Language Film” for this year’s Academy Awards and has won a bunch of other awards in Japan.

Well that was basically my Sunday.  It was a relaxing day and I’m all rested up so I should be ready to go strong again with my practices starting tomorrow.  Next week should be exciting because we leave for our national team camp on Wednesday.  It’ll also be good to see all the guys again.

15 Straight Directors' Cup!

Congrats to Stanford athletics for claiming the Directors’ Cup!  I don’t know the exact details but  points basically are awarded to different sports based on how they finish in the post-season.

Directors' Cup

I believe men’s gymnastics racked in a lot of points for Stanford for winning the team title at the NCAA Championships.  This is exciting stuff, not to mention that there were a lot of high finishes in other sports and we’ve won the last 15 Directors’ Cup.  It’s no wonder why so many people want to be a part of Stanford athletics.

Stanford finished with a total of 1,455 points after placing in 23 postseason championships and earning points in a maximum of 10 women’s sports and 10 men’s sports. Stanford boasted an impressive 10 top-five finishes this season, taking home the men’s gymnastics and women’s rowing championships, placing second in women’s volleyball and men’s water polo, and third in men’s cross country, men’s swimming, women’s soccer, women’s basketball, and women’s water polo. In addition, Stanford was fourth in women’s swimming, seventh in men’s track and field, eighth in women’s cross country and women’s gymnastics, ninth in fencing, women’s softball, women’s tennis and men’s tennis, 11th in men’s track and field, 12th in women’s track and field, 20th in men’s golf, 40th in women’s golf, 43rd in women’s track and field and 51st in men’s wrestling.

Stanford has won at least one national championship for 33 consecutive years, an ongoing NCAA record.

gostanford – Stanford Claims 15th Consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup

Congrats again to all the athletes, coaches, and staff for all the hard work this year.  Hopefully this win streak continues!

See you all in Japan!

Yesterday, I said goodbye to a person who I now consider to be a good friend of mine.  He studied at the Stanford Business School, and we met and started working together when he asked for my tutoring service (I tutor English to Japanese people who come through Stanford).  However, with the school year over and his company asking him to come back, he and his family must leave to go back to their home country.  It was awesome that we had the chance to get to know each other, but it’s definitely sad when you have to say goodbye.  Unfortunately, I have met many people through my tutoring service that have had to come and go.  This is the case with all Japanese people that come to Stanford because all of them need to get back to their lives/business in Japan after finishing up their studies.  However, the great thing is that most of us continue to stay in touch and I’m actually hoping to see some of them when I go to Japan for the competition next month.  It’ll be great to get to see them in person and catch up on all the things that have happened since they left.  I’m definitely looking forward to it!

First things first. I need to continue to train hard in the gym to get ready for the Japan meet.  There’s just about 4 weeks left until we compete but before that, the national team is set to meet next week in Colorado for another training camp.  It’s time to turn up the intensity again!

Evolution of Warm-ups

I was digging through my closet the other day and guess what I found?  I discovered my dad’s old Stanford warm-up from the mid 90s (he used to coach back in the day).  Just because I was curious, I decided to pull out the ones I wore while I was on the collegiate team and laid them side by side.  It was pretty cool to compare the two.

mid 90s warm-up (left), current warm-up (right)

mid 90s warm-up (left), current warm-up (right)

Unfortunately, I don’t think that I would want to wear the old uniform but it seems as though the candy cane design was “in” back in the day.  I can’t say too many bad things about it though because the Stanford Men’s Gymnastics team was pretty dominant back in the day (they won back to back national titles in ’92 and ’93, and they also won again in ’95).

It’s pretty interesting to see that just like popular fashion have changed over the years, so has the designs of warm-ups.  I guess you could say that in the early 90s they definitely liked brighter colors.  Anyway, hopefully I can find some of Stanford’s old uniforms so that I can also compare those to the ones we wear today.

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.

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.

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