December 13, 2012

Epke Zonderland working on fourth aerial element

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:00 pm

At the London Summer Olympics on 7 August 2012, horizontal bar gymnast Epke Zonderland won gold with a breathtaking routine featuring three aerial elements, the now world famous ‘Cassina-Kovacs-Kolman’ combo.

He’s back in training and — you guessed it — he’s added a fourth element, the Gaylord II, to his super combo. Zonderland talked about it on television very modestly as he has a long way to go to get it down pat. From what the news reports, it’s the Cassina and the Kolman that are the most difficult.

Zonderland does Cassina-Kovacs-Kolman-Gaylord II. Kicks in at about 0:55.

(Links:,, Photo by McSmit, some rights reserved)

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August 10, 2012

Dutch gymnast Zonderland cranks the bar up even higher

Filed under: Dutch first,Sports by Orangemaster @ 11:31 am

On 7 August Dutch horizontal bar gymnast Epke Zonderland from Heerenveen, Friesland won gold at the London Olympics for his highly difficult routine with a unique 7.9 start value. Basically, by nailing this stunning routine down, he knew he could take home the gold. Instead of doing something very good and hoping to be the best, he obsessively practiced something never seen before and took the risk of either wowing the crowd or messing it up. He’s the first Dutch male gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics as well as the first Dutch gymnast (male or female) to win an individual Olympic medal, according to Wikipedia.

This is one of the last times he performed his famous high flying routine before London. On Dutch television, his coach mentioned several times that Zonderland mucked up this routine quite often, but really wanted to perform it in London regardless. Here’s him nailing his routine down, with the now famous ‘Cassina-Kovacs-Kolman’ elements before the Olympics. The announcer says that the week before Zonderland was not able to do it, while at the end he says, “He’s ready for London”.

Watch the actual Olympic performance here and listen to the crowd go wild.

And here’s the Lego recreation of his accomplishment that has gone viral.

And here’s artsy pictures of Epke Zonderland naked.


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August 15, 2010

Zoo lures reporters with monkey see, monkey do story

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 4:43 pm

Ouwehands Dierenpark, a zoo in Rhenen near Wageningen, has successfully managed to lure reporters to its new orangutan enclosure with a story about behavioural conditioning.

The reporters’ banana took the shape of gymnast Epke Zonderland (silver medalist at the 2009 World Championships), who performed a couple of exercises on the parallel bars. The zoo had told the press it hoped Zonderland’s example would spur the orangutans on to use the climbing ropes in their new compound.

Reporters of amongst other BBC (video), Reuters and RTL Nieuws showed up last Friday to record footage of a lacklustre ape taking its first tentative steps on a tightrope. Seven trees in the enclosure contain a food lift that will carry fruit and other snacks upstairs as an incentive for the orangutans to walk their tightropes. In doing so the apes will alleviate both themselves and their human visitors of boredom, the zoo hopes.

(Photo by McSmit, some rights reserved)

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