Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Raining in San Francisco, and I Need Something to Cheer Me up.

In the 1990s, the FIG abolished its system of rewarding bonus points for originality, risk, and virtuosity. Now, there's very little incentive to include unique skills or unique combinations. A few gymnasts, however, continue to do so. Kazuhito Tanaka is one of them. While watching the Glasgow World Cup this past weekend, I fell in love with his swinging combination on rings. Take a look.

At the 1:08 mark, he does a piked double back between the rings (a D) into a tucked double back between the rings (called a Guczoghy--a C). In an era when everyone seems to be doing forward combinations, this sequence is unique in and of itself. But what makes it even cooler is the fact that he takes the first part and then reverses it, doing a tucked double front (called a Yamawaki--a C) into a piked double front (called a Jonasson--a D). It's like someone hit the rewind button, and you get to see the combination in reverse.

Nota bene: Gymnasts do not receive connection bonus on rings, so he has no reason to do these skills in a sequence. It just looks effin' cool.

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