On The Rise: Switzerland

1:08 PM Arabian Punch Front 5 Comments

A new series looking at countries that are On The Rise and may be able to challenge the countries at the top, mainly the "Big 4" - USA, Russia, Romania, China - at the team or individual level.

Ilaria Käslin

Switzerland is a country that has recently made a name for herself with Ariella Kaeslin. After her retirement, the legacy of great vaulters continued with 2012 European Bronze Medalist Giulia Steingruber. Steingruber has proven to be an excellent all-arounder after placing 14th in the Olympic all-around final. The Swiss have great things to look forward to in continued representation from Steingruber and the rise of some junior stars. As a team, Switzerland placed 11th in the senior team competition and 13th in the junior team competition at the 2012 European Championships. In this profile, we'll look at Steingruber along with 2 juniors, Ilaria Käslin and Laura Schulte who should help to contribute to the rise of Switzerland in this quadrennium.

Giulia Steingruber
Starting off this series with a personal and surprise favorite, Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland. Steingruber is most known for her vaulting ability. Sadly, she fell in qualifications and was in the terrible 9th place just missing out on making the vault event finals. Otherwise, she had a shot of landing on the podium in the Olympic Vault Event Finals with a Rudi (handspring on, 1.5 twist off - 6.3 D). She upgraded her 2nd vault to a Tsuk double full for the 6.0 start value, an increase from the 5.2 D-score of a Tsuk full that she usually competed, but fell.
Accomplishments: 3rd place VT, 4th AA 2012 European Championships, 9th place VT Olympic qualifications, 14th Olympic AA, 5th place VT 2012 Test Event
Skills: VT - Rudi (front handspring on, 1.5 twist off - now a 6.2),  and Tsuk double (6.0), beam - switch split-side somi, floor - double layout, BB - The Steingruber - a gainer full off the beam


Ilaria Käslin (born in 1997, senior in 2013)
Ilaria (Kaeslin) Käslin competed at the 2012 Junior European Championships. She qualified to the all-around final in 15th place but dropped to 18th place after an error on uneven bars. On beam, she reminds me of a young Anastasia Grishina (or Grishina 2 years ago). (She is NOT related to Ariella Kaeslin and is now spelling her last name "Käslin" to avoid confusion.)
Accomplishments: 18th AA 2012 Junior European Championships, 2011 Swiss AA Champion, 2010 Swiss AA, BB, FX Champion
Skills: VT - tucked Yurchenko full (4.2), UB - high Tkatchev and double pike dismount, BB - lovely planche mount, L-turn, Y-turn, Onodi, double twist dismount, FX - double tuck, 2.5 twist, double turn
Upgrades: She may try to consistently connect her L and Y-turns on BB as they are consecutive elements. I can't translate this but it seems that she is also upgrading one of her passes either by adding a front layout or she is doing a new pass that starts with a front layout - she currently does a front layout, front full. ( here. Edit: Translation is below. Thank you, Anon!)
Fun Fact: Käslin is from the canton of Ticino where the official language is actually Italian. She is now training at the National Center of Macolin. She hopes to reach Steingruber's level and says her idol is Viktoria Komova.



Laura Schulte (born in 1997, senior in 2013)
Accomplishments: 32nd AA qualifications, 41st UB qualifications with a fall (maybe 10th place without the fall!) at 2012 Junior European Championships,
Skills: VT - FTY, UB - arabian double front dismount with a Gienger, Tkatchev, and Jaeger all in one routine (5.3)! BB - bhs stepout - layout to 2 feet, front aerial, side aerial, double tuck dismount, FX - double pike mount, double Y-turn
Upgrades: Potentially connect her front aerial-side aerial on beam and connect her UB release moves to get the new 0.2 bonus.

Hope to see more of these athletes in the future. Stay tuned for more athletes and countries On The Rise.


  1. Nice post about members of a little known national team. I only hear about Steingruber on occasion, like when she won the Arthur Gander Memorial in 2012 or the Swiss cup in 2011. She's doing well on home turf it seems. Too bad about the Olympic VT final she did not qualify to.

    Was pleasantly surprised to find out about Schulte and her (potentially) impressive bars. Who knows what we're looking at here. Definitely one to watch.

    1. Yep, she's very active on the World Cup scene so I hope her efforts are rewarded this quad. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Nice to hear that the Swiss Team is getting some recognition internationally! They indeed seem to try restructuring the team and renewing it by 'weeding out' some of the older or consistenly injured seniors and select talented girls earlier on. There are also improvements on bars and notably beam with the juniors, which is much needed with the current seniors' weekness on this event. (The commentators have come to call the balance beam what would best be translated as "tremble beam" or "nail-biter beam". ;-)) I really hope that they will be able to diversify their team and will be able to not only include their typical power gymnasts but also the lighter, more elegant types.
    Unfortunately there is no word on Käslin's upgrades. The article only says the following: "She is a very expressive dancer (on the floor). She used to have many front tumbling skills in her routine and since last year she has been doing a double back. Currently she also does a front layout to front full."

    1. Thank you for the translation! I was having trouble with the saltos.

      I watched a few of the junior Euros video and thought they looked very good. The basics are there but consistency is an issue. Like all juniors, we'll have to wait and see how they adjust their gymnastics as they grow. Things are certainly looking up though and I hope the Swiss team can get a major medal this quad!

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