The Cave

The Cave Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Women’s’

Parkour Offers an Outlet for Women in Iran

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

After its birth in France, parkour has slowly grown a following here in the States.  But, parkour is no longer a sport for just the west…nor is it popular with just men.

On Fridays, groups of young women across Iran can be seen jumping from rooftops, scaling the graffitied walls of apartment blocks, and catapulting themselves over stairways. They are performing the same  parkour moves we do here in The Cave, but they’re much trickier to execute while wearing a hijab.

As one student from a Tehran parkour group says:  “It gives us courage and helps us release our pent-up energy. It’s great to feel that nothing can stand in your way.”  We’re in full support of the budding community there in Iran and would like to give a massive shout-out to the courageous ladies who are pushing the limits there in more ways than one.

Parkour’s popularity among young women in Iran is soaring, regardless of the bulkier clothing and head coverings Islamic dress codes require them to wear. The outdoor sport, a fast-paced hybrid of gymnastics and martial arts, seems designed to get you out of a fix quickly, which explains its appeal to young Iranians, whose social lives in the strict Islamic republic often require considerable agility. Iran’s female practitioners are running their own threads on Persian-language forums and posting films on-line to showcase their skills.

You can see a great video and read more about these amazing women here:

Keep it up girls, we’re all proud of you!

“THERE ARE NO COMPETITIVE FEMALE GYMNASTS OVER 20 YEARS OLD”, Dad, You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About, and My New Pair of Climbing Shoes

Saturday, August 4th, 2012
It was another typical night at the Davis household in San Francisco. (Warning, if you read this blog post, you may get a glimpse inside my family life.) My parents are interesting folks. I really love them a lot, but sometimes they, and particularly my dad Russell, can be, ummm…. rather opinionated. ( I have two dads. My father in Venezuela, who I hope to see later this year in October, is completely different than my American dad. I guess my mom went from one extreme to the other. ) On Friday night I found myself at my parents’ sharing with them the experience of watching the Olympic Games and Michael Phelps win his 17th gold medal in the 100M Butterfly. We also watched Katie Ledecky crush the field in the 800M women’s freestyle. The girl is only 15 years old. “It sure is stupid that they have the minimum age for competing in the Olympics as 15!” he muttered. “No it’s not.” I retorted. “There’s a good reason for that.” “And what could that possibly be?” was his reply. “Well, to prevent child abuse!” Having experience coaching kids, I know that parents and coaches can be overbearing enough and put enough pressure on a child to cross the line into child abuse. My dad disagreed. He made a good case about the rule preventing a gymnast like Alexandra Raisman from having more than “one shot at it” because she wasn’t eligible to compete in the last Olympics at age 14 and that she’d be too old to be competitive at age 22. “There are plenty of gymnasts in their 20’s.”, I replied. “Not at a competitive level.”, he assured me. I disagreed. I knew, however, that none of the Fab Five were over 20 years old, and I didn’t know the gymnasts from the other countries, but I challenged him to a bet. I was initially thinking a pint of ice-cream. (Most of you know that I’m not paleo, but I am trying to eat more vegetables!) and later I tried to angle for climbing shoes, but since my dad couldn’t think of what he wanted as a counter-bet, since he already has everything. So in the end we settled for $100. I think the results are interesting since they address the question “How old is too old to compete at the highest level?”, or at least for female Olympic gymnasts with… errr… good teammates.
USA: 5 teenagers
   Jordyn Wieber: 17 y/o
   Gabrielle Douglass: 16 y/o
   Kyla Ross: 15 y/o
   Alexandra Raisman: 18 y/o
   Mc Kayla Maroney: 16 y/o
Russia: 4 teenagers & 1 20 y/o
  Ksenia Afanaseva: 20 y/o: ranked 8th on beam & 11th on floor out of 24 scores
  Anastasia Grishina: 16 y/o
  Victoria Komova: 17 y/o
  Aliya Mustafina: 17 y/o
  Maria Paseka: 17 y/o
Romania: 3 teenagers, a 22 y/o & a 24 y/o
  Diana Laura Bulimar: 16 y/o
  Diana Maria Chelaru: 18 y/o
  Larisa Andreea Iordache: 16 y/o
  Sandra Raluca Izbasa: 22 y/o ranked 8th on vault & 2nd on floor out of 24 scores
  Catalina Ponor: 24 y/o ranked 8th on vault, 1st on beam & 5th on floor out of 24 scores
China: 1 teenager & 4 20 y/o’s
  Lu Sui: 20 y/o ranked 2nd on beam & 8th on floor
  Jinnan Yao: 17 y/o
  Qiushuang Huang: 20 y/o ranked 10th on vault, 7th on bars, 16th on beam & 23rd on floor
  Kexin He: 20 y/o ranked 2nd on bars
  Linlin Deng: 20 y/o ranked 11th on vault, 17th on beam & 19th on floor
Canada: 4 teenagers & 1 20 y/o
  Victoria Moors: 15 y/o
  Dominique Pegg: 18 y/o
  Kristina Vaculik: 20 y/o ranked 16th on bars & 20th on beam
  Elsabeth Black: 16 y/o
  Brittany Rogers: 19 y/o
Great Britain:
  Imogen Cairns: 23 y/o ranked 22nd on vault & 18th on beam
  Jennifer Pinches: 18 y/o
  Rebeca Tunney: 15 y/o
  Elizabeth Tweddle: 27 y/o ranked 1st on bars and 15th on floor out of the field of 24. 
  Hannah Whelan: 20 y/o ranked 19th on bars, 15th on beam & 14th on floor
Italy & Japan also had athletes older than 20, which rounded out the last two countries that made it to the finals.  So as you can see, the field was dominated by teens, but there were plenty of athletes in their 20’s on the top 7 women’s team with 24 year old Catalina Ponor ranking 1st on beam and 27 year old Elizabeth Tweddle ranking 1st on bars!  Among the top 6 teams there were no athletes in their 30’s.  It would be interesting to do a similar analysis of the ages of competitive CrossFit Games athletes or American Ninja Warriors.  Admittedly elite gymnastics takes a strong toll on the body which wears on older athletes, but an even stronger consideration as a factor is that many athletes who have had that Olympic experience are often satisfied with having had it and moving on to other concerns and stages of life.  In any case, I have $100 that I’ll soon be using to buy a new pair of climbing shoes!  Thanks Dad!

2012 London Olympic Individual Gymnastics Event Finals Coming Up

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team dominated the field to win their first team gold at the Olympics since 1996.  Unfortunately, the US Men’s Gymnastics team wasn’t quite able to hold it together on day 2 of competition and ended up in 5th place behind China, Japan, an unlikely but heroic Great Britain, and Ukraine.  As many of you know, Gaby Douglass won the U.S. women’s all-around competition and Danell Leyva managed to come back from 17th place in the all-around competition to finish in 3rd and take bronze.  Nevertheless, the excitement for the gymnastics competition isn’t over.  The individual event finals are yet to take place for both artistic gymnastics as well as trampoline.  You can find the Olympic schedule here.

Sam Mikulak will compete in the Men's Gymnastics Horse Vault Finals in the 2012 London Olympic Games on Monday August 6th

Sam Mikulak will compete in the Men's Gymnastics Horse Vault Finals in the 2012 London Olympic Games on Monday August 6th

(This picture “borrowed” from 2012 Summer Games )

The remaining U.S. line-up for men’s artistic gymnasts individual event finals is as follows: ( These are the U.S. athletes who qualified.)

Men’s Floor Exercise:   Jacob Dalton (Aug. 5th)

Men’s Pommel Horse:   No U.S. athletes qualified.  (Aug. 5th)

Men’s Rings: No U.S. athletes qualified.        (Aug. 6th)

Men’s Vault: Samuel Mikulak (Aug. 6th)

Men’s Parallel Bars:  No U.S. athletes qualified.    (Aug. 7th)

Men’s High Bar: Danell LeyvaJonathan Horton (Aug 7th)

The Fab Five, rumored to be the greatest ever US Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team

The Fab Five, rumored to be the greatest ever US Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team

(This image “borrowed” from Slate.)

Here is the U.S. line-up for the women’s artistic gymnastics individual event finals:

Women’s Vault: Mc Kayla Maroney (Aug 5th)

Women’s Uneven Bars: Gabrielle Douglas (Aug 6th)

Women’s Balance Beam: Gabrielle DouglasAlexandra Raisman (Aug 7th)

Women’s Floor Exercise: Alexandra RaismanJordyn Wieber (Aug 7th)

Also, Men’s and Women’s trampoline finals will be held on Aug. 3rd & 4th respectively.

Ninja Warrior- Style Course Videos @ CF Marin + PK Connections on Dec 12th, 2010 - Part II

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Here are Mira’s winning runs.  She took the women’s categories and came away with about $500 worth of CF Marin + PK Connections prizes and shwag and is now officially a dedicated career track Ninja!


Mira’s athletic background includes Track & Field, some Olympic Lifting but currently she mainly climbs and is a member at Planet Granite SF.

Spider Man was also in the house and not about to miss out on the challenges and festivities.  Here is the tail end of his Stage 3 run:


So there you go.  The Ninja Warrior- Style challenge, Parkour Connections, and this gym are soooo cool that even super-heros flock over because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).   Don’t worry, if you weren’t able to attend, we’ll have another one next year!