Gymnastics Scandal

Miscellaneous pictures today, starting with one submitted to me by a UK correspondent over the weekend:


That illustrates the acrobatic ethic and the working-together ethic fairly well! Give it a try…

Meanwhile, annoying news from the UK, specifically British Gymnastics, the governing body of gymnastics over there and of which I am a member. Their chief executive Jane Allen, whom I have met, last week banned Olympic bronze medallist (and 2012 gold medallist) Louis Smith from competing for two months, for appearing in a YouTube video featuring his friend Luke Carson misusing a Muslim prayer mat – mocking it, essentially. OK, maybe a stupid thing to do but, as several commentators have said, whatever happened to free speech? Free speech so long as it doesn’t offend Muslims? And, although Louis happens to be an ace gymnast, it is difficult to see why British Gymnastics has got itself involved with what can only be regarded as ‘bad press’. Indeed, one could argue that it is nothing to do with them.

One commentator in the London ‘Times’ newspaper of which I am an avid reader on line, Matthew Syed, seems to have summed it up pretty neatly, in my view, as: “…mocking of people who shout scripted phrases to a make-believe creator in the sky…” – something which could be leveled at every religion, not least the creationists who inhabit our current part of the world over here in USA.

Well, I’ve probably burned my boats already – but possibly nothing compared with the exchanges which our two would-be so-called future leaders of the free world have been leveling at each other! And that’s a story I’m definitely not going to get involved in here.

But I am personally disgusted with BG getting involved, and with their treatment of Louis. As a writer, I need to defend free speech! And as a gymnast, I guess I’m biassed, but I’m on his team on this one.


I’ve been slightly ‘on the boil’ ever since I heard about it. But then I get on the boil too easily, I suppose. ‘Calm down, dear’ (attributed to Michael Winner and/or David Cameron)… OK, some more relaxing pictures:


I feel better already!


Now I definitely feel better! General fitness pictures follow!




Ah – I haven’t featured ropes for a while: here’s another:
















I think that we have to finish today with one of Louis Smith, don’t we:


Looking forward to seeing you back in competition very soon!




About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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1 Response to Gymnastics Scandal

  1. Platinumboy says:

    I understand how upset you are about gymnasts being punished for expressing their opinions. Recently here in the USA, a woman’s ob/gyn facebook posted her pro-abortion views. In response, the woman’s husband responded with a reasoned, non-threatening pro-life post. The local police chief, without citing a reason or a court order, confiscated the man’ guns the next day. What do guns have to do with a pro-life stance? Who knows in what way our free speech rights may soon be curtailed by either candidate? As one Supreme Court Justice once stated, “Your speech may offend me, but you have the right to say what you think.” Tomorrow, let’s be naked, fit and outdoors. Family photos (all adult) would be a nice theme.

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