The recent article that featured US gymnast Shawn Johnson claiming that it was the scrutiny and criticisms of the media and fans who branded her ‘fat’ prompted her weight loss has gotten some media play.
One article in USA Today said;
“At my heaviest all the tabloids said some pretty hurtful things,” said Johnson, who lost 25 pounds since launching an Olympic comeback. After three years away from international competition, Johnson, 20, is hoping to compete in London this summer.
Johnson said people were accustomed to seeing her with 6% total body fat. They weren’t used to seeing Johnson look like a normal chocolate cake, ice-cream eating teenager.”
Another article appeared this week, however, talking about body type and judging. And who wrote it, none other than Dominique Dawes;
“And it’s not as if having that type of build puts gymnasts at a competitive disadvantage. Johnson’s more compact physique makes her a stronger vaulter and tumbler. The current reigning world champion, Jordyn Wieber, possesses a similar body type to Johnson, although she’s in much better shape.
The big problem? International judges can be a lot like the American public.
In America, we’ll score stocky, athletic builds normally. Internationally, there still remains a stigma to that type of body type.”
The coaches of junior European star, Enus Mariani admitted that they had spent some time worrying about their young gymnast’s future in the sport as growth and injury started to impede her development;
”We were worried last year when Enus had grown very tall – reminds Gallina after the game – and for this had been a troubled year with physical problems that came one after another to the point where after the Trophy of Capo D’Orlando we decided that she would not participate in the Championships of Category. A difficult decision because Enus had won three consecutive titles from 2008 to 2010. A grievance to the tendon at the end of last year became too dangerous if not treated well and would have compromised the result today. After stopping for a few months, an Italian title junior jumped – it was definitely within his reach – but now, looking back, Federica and I believe we have done well to have traded an Italian title for a European gold ….. “.
We think they have done pretty well too!
Gymnastics legend Vera Caslavska is finally being inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, alongside Kim Zmeskal, Natalia Shaposhnikova and Zoltan Magyar. The Czech star 21 Wordl and Olympic medals, including four golds at the 1968 Olympic games.
Watch her on floor. While the skills may not be what we are used to, the artistry is something we miss;
While the publicity gears up toward the American pre-selection meets, Nastia Liukin takes a moment to give kudos to her potential team mate and friend, Jordyn Wieber;
“I think she’s so mentally tough and strong — she can take on anything under any circumstances,” Liukin said. “And I think she proved that in Tokyo at the 2011 worlds, where they (theU.S. team) had so many things that were really kind of against them and yet they were able to pull out that team gold. (Then) two days later, Jordyn goes out and wins all-around gold medal — and not everything was in her favor. She had a mistake on the bars, and she was able to show that even after a mistake she can go out there, put that aside, and go and finish two events and win the gold medal,”
A new little story has appeared on Aly Raisman, tracing her journey to potential Olympian;
Like many young American girls, the 1996 US Olympic team was part inspiration;
“Raisman was only 2 years old in 1996, when the U.S. women’s gymnastics team last took Olympic gold. When she set her sights on competing in the Olympics, her mother found an old VCR tape of that golden team and gave it to her.
“In my room, I would replay it day after day after day,” Raisman says. “And I was literally obsessed with it. I could memorize all the scores and tell you who was going next, and all that stuff. I was so inspired by it.”
I don’t know if anyone else realised- I didn’t- that the junior European British team was comprised of three girls from Wales! I was aware that Angel Romaeo hailed from Wales, but not Raer Theaker, who impressed Bea Gheorghisor with her pretty gymnastics and Georgina Hockenhull as well! Wales online had a good reason the celebrate these young stars;
“Welsh gymnasts Angel Romaeo, Raer Theaker and Georgina Hockenhull made up three of the junior British squad of five gymnasts.
The girls performed exceptionally during the junior qualifications to score 160.121 to put Team GB in a brilliant fourth place in the overall team standings behind Russia, Italy and Romania.
Hockenhull and Theaker each made significant contributions to the overall team score, competing in two pieces of apparatus each.
The Cowichan News Leader featured a story on a young gymnast Delaney Martin who, at fourteen is leaving home to join the Cirque Du Soleil National Training school. Delaney auditioned for the school some time ago and was accepted. According to the Leader;
“Longtime Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club member Martin is one of a select few in the world to be accepted into the National Circus School in the high school program. The school in Montreal is where Cirque du Soleil performers train.The sudden turn of events didn’t really sink in for Martin at first. She had to think about leaving home, her friends and going onto a whole new lifestyle, but finally figured it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Dealaney will have to learn to speak and write in French as her primary language, as it is the language of the school, and cope with being away from her family and friends. She is excited for the opportunity.
The Bleacher Report has named Viktoriya Komova as one of the top ten Russian athletes to watch at the London Olympic Games later this year;
“When Russia was known as the Soviet Union, it had a dynasty in Olympic gymnastics. It seemed as if the Soviet team captured the gold medal in nearly every Olympics. But since the communist government was dismantled, Russia has struggled to get back on its feet in gymnastics.
Enter Victoria Komova.”
Great Britain’s all around star Hannah Whelan is attracting lots of press after her impressive performances at the European Championships, taking bronze on beam and floor. According to BBC Sport’s interview with the gymnast, she has now fulfilled a dream of winning a medal at a major meet;
“It feels amazing,” said Whelan. “I’m over the moon, it’s really unexpected.
“I wanted to come out and enjoy the competition and I definitely did. I enjoy training beam and feel naturally comfortable on it and to get our first-ever medal on that piece is very special.
“I’ve always dreamed of getting major medals and to come away with two is unbelievable. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the year.”
According to a post-Euros interview with Alexandrov, Russian head coach, the Russian team are currently in Sochi, where the Winter Games will be held in 2014. There they are receiving rehab and treatment they could not otherwise get at Round Lake. When asked about the performances of his WAG team in Brussels, Alexandrov believes the result is to be expected, given the combination of gymnasts suffering from inexperience or recent injury;
“Alexander, are you satisfied with the results of the European Championship?
“This year’s team, we won second place. I can not say that this is a very good result.”
Aliya Mustafina Komova and Victoria – two of our main hopes for a medal in the all-around. Will the remaining two months before the Olympics to gain the desired shape?
- should be enough, though not that simple. For example, Mustafina the championship of Russia has shown a fairly simple combination, but now in Europe is already very complicated program. Her bars were one of the toughest in the world. On beam, too, we have seen a dramatic change, but we did not put this kind, so as not to overload her and check the other gymnasts – the same with Sidorova. Therefore, we expect that the Olympics should fully recover the girls, because if it does not, we will be very hard in all kinds of programs.
Valeria Maksiuta, who was given warning that the European Championships would play a part in determining if she would be one of the Israeli athletes to go to the London Games, appears to have jump0ed through sufficient hoops to attain her spot. According to an Israeli news source;
“Maksyuta, last Thursday, became the ninth athlete packing their bags and going to the Olympic in the summer. She opened the day in the vault finals, and her first try achieved a 14.700 points”
Article: Brigid McCarthy