June 23, 2004 |
Martha Karolyi does not bestow compliments lightly. That's why it was so telling when Karolyi, the U.S. women's gymnastics team's program coordinator, invoked the names of Mary Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci in discussing Carly Patterson's knack for thriving under duress. Comaneci, with her skill and daring at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, raised the standards of technical brilliance in the sport. And Retton, with sure, powerful performances, helped the U.S.
August 16, 2003 |
Individuals and teams to watch: * WOMEN * Elena Gomez, Spain: Gold medalist in floor exercise at last year's World Championships. Strong and precise performer on a team that has interesting routines and lots of potential. * Daniele Hypolito, Brazil: A dynamic athlete, she won her nation's first gymnastics medal, a silver in floor exercise, at the 2001 World Championships.
August 23, 2003 |
Just because they have sparkles in their hair and braces on their teeth doesn't mean those little gymnasts aren't tough. It's a demanding sport. Take the U.S. women's squad. Courtney Kupets tore an Achilles' tendon in practice Tuesday, and Annia Hatch blew out her knee while landing a vault last Saturday. Carly Patterson competed all week while bothered by an elbow bone she broke in the spring, the type of grit that would fill two shelves' worth of reels at NFL Films.
June 19, 2003 |
Tasha Schwikert missed her senior prom because she was at a gymnastics training camp, and she has missed most of this season while recovering from ankle surgery last December. But she won't miss the chance to pursue her third consecutive all-around title at the U.S. gymnastics championships, even though she can't perform her toughest moves.
June 22, 2003 |
Courtney Kupets apparently is as good at math as she is at tumbling and vaulting. Second before the final rotation of the all-around finals at the U.S. gymnastics championships Saturday, she knew a solid balance beam routine would win her the title and a berth on the U.S. team at the world championships in Anaheim in August. "I heard the announcements," she said of her placement, "but I tried not to let it get in my head. I tried to stay calm." While the young girls in the crowd at U.S.
March 6, 2003 |
American James Blake failed on five match points in the second set before pulling out a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (1), 6-2 victory over Sweden's Thomas Enqvist in the second round of the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic on Wednesday at Scottsdale, Ariz. Blake improved to 1-1 lifetime against Enqvist, who eliminated second-seeded Andre Agassi in the first round. "At the end of that set [the second], I was disappointed because I knew I had my chances to do it then," said Blake, who had eight aces.
August 16, 2002 |
It would have taken a lot more than a broken toe to keep Tabitha Yim out of the U.S. gymnastics championships. Or a broken toe and an injured hip. Or the broken toe, injured hip and fractured ankle the Irvine teenager suffered in miserable succession over six months within the last year. "It was pretty tough," she said of her enforced training break. "I did a lot of conditioning and strength exercises." That work served her well at last week's U.S.
April 18, 2004 |
Venus Williams defeated Jelena Kostanic, 6-4, 6-1, Saturday at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., capitalizing on a strong serve to reach her first final of the year. She will play Conchita Martinez, who defeated Patty Schnyder, 6-4, 6-3, in the other semifinal. Martinez, seeded 16th, won the tournament in 1994 and '95. Williams was playing in her first semifinal of the season and first clay-court event.
August 23, 2004 |
Second thoughts and random shots on the weekend in sports, starting with the Olympic Games in Athens (plenty of good seats still available).... * I would feel more comfortable saying the United States' men's basketball team still has an outside shot at a gold medal if anyone on the U.S. team actually had an outside shot. * Look for Carly Patterson's gold-medal victory in the gymnastics all-around to land her on a Wheaties box.
June 26, 2004 |
For gymnasts vying for the six spots on the U.S. Olympic women's team at the Athens Games, an approving nod from Martha Karolyi is the equivalent of having fate smile on them. And Karolyi, who wields immense power as coordinator of the women's program and a member of the Olympic selection committee, smiled at, and on, a number of competitors Friday during the preliminary all-around competition at the Olympic trials.