Friday, 10 April 2015

Epke Zonderland

The amount of times I've seen Epke compete over the years I've lost count of. The amount of times I've met Epke over the years ZERO! This had to change.

 

I've always loved watching Epke compete as he is an insane gymnast with the most jaw dropping, crazy, high bar skills. Watching the High Bar final in London still remains one of my favourite gym finals EVER! I've watched it dozens of times the best part for me other than Epke's routine and the admiration from the other gymnasts is Mitch Fenners commentary, it's gymnastics gold. Mitch the professional commentator and coach to Epke trying to remain calm is the best ever!

 

Move forward to Ljubljana 2015 and I pretty much jumped for joy when I realised that Epke would be competing.

 

On the first day of qualifications I managed to talk to him from the stands when he was down on the podium, I'd got my leocard signed at last. I turned around and all the kids about 50 of them, had me surrounded all trying to get his autograph, I was pinned into my seat.

During day one of event finals I saw him wandering around and asked him for a photo I asked him if he liked the card and he said he'd seen the picture of it already posted on Twitter.  1 photo later taken by the lovely Sanne Wevers and one happy gymnerd. 

Thank you so much Epke, best of luck for 2015 and beyond. 



Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Oleg

Sometimes meeting gymnasts is a tough business. At the Glasgow World Cup I wanted to meet Oleg & Ellie more than anyone else. The set up of the arena made this very tough. At the end of the competition I hung around waiting for my chance. It was really hard as the security guy was trying his hardest to kick me out but I was determined to get the leocards I'd taken for Oleg signed (including one for Uncle Tim), I knew I wouldn't get a photo as I was in the stands & the gymnasts were down on the floor. 
Luckily just as the security guy was at his wits end with me, a girl appeared who clearly knew Oleg and called him to come over so I could get the cards signed. 
Yay!!! Mission half accomplished I headed out the arena. In the greatest stroke of luck the athlete bus was parked right out the front so I managed to get a pic and the flag of dreams signed. 
Now when I heard that Oleg would be in Ljubljana I was over the moon, maybe I could meet him again? Sure enough he was in the stands I asked him if I could take a selfie. We had a little joke about me being rubbish at taking selfies and that we needed his selfie stick. I asked him why he was only competing 1 apparatus sadly this was down to him having leg pain. He even remembered me from Glasgow. 
Thank you Oleg, you're a true gentleman, good luck with the rest of your year. 





Sunday, 29 March 2015

Kim Zmeskal & Bailie Key

Most of today's younger gym fans, only know Kim Zmeskal as head coach extraordinaire of Texas Dreams Gymnastics. For the oldies amongst us, we remember her as the first US all around world champion from 1991 (yes, she competed with Chuso).
Now when I decided to come to Jesolo, I was hoping to meet Kim so much that I packed my book in anticipation.

When I walked into the arena to watch the Junior finals I went a little bit giddy when I saw her. I had to meet her.
After the medal ceremony I got onto the competition floor to take some photos of the medal ceremony and found myself next to Kim, this was it.

I asked her for a pic, to sign the flag of dreams and my classic Kim book.
I had a lovely chat with her and Chris mainly about Chuso and how on earth she is still so amazing  then along came Bailie,  a few photos later and meeting another hero was done.
Thank you so much to Kim, Chris and Bailie, may your wonderful success continue.



Simone Biles

When you're the greatest female gymnast the world has ever seen, everyone wants a piece of you.

This wasn't going to be an easy moominwhisky meets.

Picture the scene, Jesolo after the team competition, press everywhere wanting interviews, fellow gymnsts wanting photos and thousands of Italian gym fans shouting for Simone all around the arena for selfies, after a chat with Aimee I had to concede defeat saying that I would try again tomorrow.

Sure enough after the event finals, the medal ceremony was done, I was lucky enough to be on the podium and saw Aimee, she called Simone over and explained to her that I had tried to get a photo yesterday and that I was the sender of the leocards.

Bingo, one fantastic photo and one very very happy me,

Thank you Aimee Boorman and thank you Simone, may you both continue to rule the world for many years to come. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Jonna Adlerteg 💙💛

Once upon a time, well in 2010 I was lucky enough to go to the Junior European Championships. This competition was the gym world’s major introduction to Vika, Grishy, Lari & Didy, all legends however my favourite gymnast at these championships was Jonna Adlerteg from Sweden. Rocking the fiercest hair ever and treating us to some really promising gymnastics.

As a tribute to Jonna I even attempted the same hair do in Birmingham.

It would be in 2012 at the Olympics that I’d meet Jonna for the first time. I saw her wandering around the arena and asked her for a photo, bless her she looked behind herself in disbelief as if I was talking to someone else. No Jonna, I really want a photo with you.

Following this we’ve met on a few other occasions, in Sofia where I filmed her bar routine and she watched it back on my ipad. 

Also in Italy at the Novara cup last year where I also met the wonderful Veronica Wagner too.

Lots of love Jonna, good luck tomorrow in the bars final! 

 

 


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Roxii & Erika part 2 The Novara Cup

As most people know I'm a huge fan of Roxii & Erika so when they were both named to their respective teams for the Novara cup it was a no brainer, I had to go. 
Now for those of you who've never been to a competition in Italy it's like nothing else on earth. 
I thought this would be a sedate affair but my friend assured me that in Italy competitions are very well attended and very loud.
I was actually gobsmacked when I found this to be true. Considering the Novara Cup is a fairly small event there were billboards everywhere in the town. When you compare the zero amount of advertising in Sofia for Euros this is really impressive. 
As we walked in to take our seats, I watched open mouthed as the gymnasts were being asked for autographs by young fans whilst warming up. This would not happen over here. Also at the end of the event the crowd barriers were removed and the crowd all ran onto the competition floor and surrounded the gymnasts. Me and my friends were politely waiting at the back of the hoards of young fans when Erika came and spoke to us followed by an army of fans. She's so lovely, I can't say enough nice things about her. After some photos and signings we went to find Roxii, there she was as lovely as ever, also surrounded by a gazillion fans. Those girls must have signed 100s of autographs that day. Of course some of those were for me. 

What a great event and I'm definitely going to Jesolo next year, Italian competitions are so much fun. Thank you so much to Roxii and Erika it was great to see you both again. Sorry about the melted chocolate see you in 2015 
After I arrived home, Erika sent me this, somehow I'd made the press.




Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Anna Pavlova & Elena Zamolodchikova

Anna Pavlova

When I heard the delightful news that Anna Pavlova would be representing Azerbaijan at this years Euros in Sofia, I just had to meet her.

A long-time darling of gym fans, snubbed by Russia despite solid performances in home competitions, she has been given a lifeline by the AZE gym federation and I for one am overjoyed about it.

Now, I have no idea whether she understood a word I said but I saw her at the arena one day in Sofia and told her it was wonderful to see her back competing and that I was a huge fan and I wished her luck for the competition. She posed for a pic and signed my flag.

Elena Zamolodchikova 

If meeting Pavs wasn’t joyful enough her former 2004 Athens Olympic teammate Elena was also in Sofia.

Now prior to Sofia I had seen the 2 of them compete together at a few competitions but they were all in my non photo shy days. The first time I saw them was in 2004 at the World Cup final, in 2006 at Worlds & the Glasgow Grand Prix.  So them both being in Sofia at the same time was amazing!

Now as with Anna, I’m not sure if Elena understood a word I said but I said to her that I hoped that she was enjoying the competition and that it was lovely to meet her. She also posed for a pic and signed my flag. My flag is getting pretty full these days.

Thank you so much Anna & Elena it was a joy to meet you both.