December 17, 2008

So Now That the Season Has Come to an End...

Now that the World Cup Final (the last great competition of the year) is over, what's next for the gymnasts, other than resting, recuperating, and learning new, Code-2009-savvy routines?

Well, today the final competition of the year, the Mikhail Voronin Cup, will be held in Moscow. It's usually a pretty good competition for Russian gymnasts, but we're not sure how many of them will show up this year, given the staggering number of injuries on the Russian team. We'll post more details as we get them.

Jonathan Horton (photo: Getty Images)

Furthermore, several top gymnasts will take part in the galas that are becoming an end-of-year institution in the Netherlands and Belgium. On Sunday, December 20th, Sandra Izbasa, Daria Zgoba, Aagje Vanwalleghem, Gaelle Mys, Benoit Caranobe, Olexander Vorobyov, and Sergei Kharkov, as well as many world-class rhythmic gymnasts, trampolinists, sports acrobats and tumbling specialists, will strut their stuff at a gala in Ghent, Belgium, site of the 2001 World Championships. Meanwhile, Chellsie Memmel and Jonathan Horton, along with a host of top competitors from "other" gym disciplines, are slated to perform in three Dutch towns (Eindhoven, Almere and Heerenveen) on December 19th, 20th, and 21st. Olympic silver medalist Horton will reportedly take on local hero Epke Zonderland, who just won the horizontal bar gold at the World Cup Final, for the title of "best bar worker." Aside from Zonderland, several other good Dutch gymnasts are slated to perform at the galas, including World Cup Final vault silver medalist Jeffrey Wammes and "Lord of the Rings" Yuri van Gelder. Suzanne Harmes and Sanne Wevers were also supposed to perform, but we doubt they'll be up to much after the injuries they sustained in Madrid. Too bad - galas like this tend to be a lot of fun.

Chellsie Memmel (photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Galas aside, we expect most gymnasts will spend the next few weeks and months resting, recuperating from the the long 2008 season, and practicing their routines for the upcoming season. Two weeks from now, the 2009 Code will come into effect, which will require some major (and, as far as we're concerned, extremely welcome) changes to the women's routines, if not necessarily to the men's routines.

We'll discuss the 2009 Code in a future post. We also owe you some recent and less recent interviews, as well as a few profiles on gymnasts who've made a name for themselves recently, so do check back every now and then. We won't post as regularly over the next few weeks as we've been doing lately, but we're not going on hiatus either; there will definitely be several posts a week between now and the first major competition of the 2009 season (the American Cup, to be held in Chicago on February 21st). So see you around!

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