Monday, July 23, 2012

The Evolution of The Front Handspring Rudi

Although not commonly used, the front handspring vaults are awesome to watch, when they are done properly that is.  The most used front handspring vault (not many are used, for that matter) is the front handspring-layed out Rudi.

This was requested by @Gymnasticsfan4 on Twitter.  If you guys have a skill you want me to do a profile on, Evolution or Devolution, comment below or contact me on twitter, @DloubleDoubleGym.

The front handspring Rudi, or the Chusovitina as it is called in the code is a difficult vault, valued at a 6.3 in today's code.  Although it bares the name the Chusovitina, Sydney Olympic hopeful Vanessa Atler competed it first in international competitions such as the American Cup and the Goodwill Games, although because it was not competed in a world championships (There was none in 1998, and I don't believe she competed vault in 1999 due to injuries), it was named after the second person to compete this vault, the legendary Oksana Chusovitina, who at the time represented Uzbekistan.  You can see a both of these vaults, as well as a list of other skills that were performed first by a different gymnast than is credited to here.

Vanessa Atler brought this vault to the United States, and although never got to compete at the world championships, she innovated vaulting, and showed the world that it was possible.  Four years later, Oksana put it in the code and stamped her name in there, again.  

Oksana began competing this vault in 2002, and 3 years after, another gymnast added this vault to her international arsenal, Alicia Sacramone.  Her world final debut included this vault, one of the best I've ever seen, her form is amazing.  In fact, she won her only world title on this event in 2010 using this vault, which was very difficult in a field that was not the strongest.

As of 2011 World Vault Final, two gymnasts competed this vault in the final, Oksana herself, and Phan Thi Ha Thanh, the bronze medalist, who didn't compete it in prelims, and rocked it in finals.  In addition, Alicia also competed this vault in 2011, but her injured Achilles did not allow her to compete at all in Tokyo.  

There has been signs that perhaps, we will see a front handspring double in the near future, in 2011, a video surfaced on Youtube of Alicia Sacramone training the double.  Now that she is (unfortunately) finished, who knows who will trademark the vault, or if we will even see it in international competition soon.  

1 comment:

  1. Great article! I love it when people give credit where credit is due. Vanessa Atler was the first person to do this vault.