I’m in the Couch Gymnast magazine this month!
Thanks to Brigid!
I’ve put ads up here. I’m sorry. It could be distracting and if it seems too horrible I will try to change it. I do, however, desperately need money.
In the meantime, if you read this blog semi regularly, please leave a comment so that I know you were here. I am trying to figure out Google Analytics, so if you have any experience with that…please to let me know?
In News Of The World Of Gymnastics:
The US dominated at PacRim! Great job, girls. I hear Jordyn Weiber has a new floor and it looks pretty good. She is apparently looking in just fantastic shape! Welcome back, Jordyn.
Raisman looks good, too. Her beam dismount was not as epic as it was at Scam (it wasn’t stuck this time!) but she is very calm on beam. It’s lovely.
Bross is steady as all hell.
Sloan has a new bar routine! This is terrific news. It looks good, except for the mistakes.
It looks to me like, barring injury, 2012 could easily feature Sloan, Bross, Raisman, Weiber and…we’ll see.
I do realize that barring injury is rather a big caveat.
I don’t really have anything else to say about that…she hit, which is FANTASTIC, and she looks terrific, and she was a mother hen type towards the younger gymnasts, and that is all very good. The other Ksenia was busy hitting at Euros.
Speaking of Euros, The Tweds got gold in both bars and floor. Well played, Beth. GB took silver in TF, which is a phenomenal finish for them.
Other news, etc. Make sure to read The Couch Gymnast for the best PacRim news and photos and stories!
Meanwhile…Kayla Williams has left training. She hasn’t trained for TWO MONTHS. This indicates very, very strongly that Kayla has fallen out of favor with Marta (if she was ever in favor: Marta may have just taken her because there were no other vaulters and the field was weak) and she has very little chance, now, of making another elite team. I just hope she can get into shape for NCAA and get a scholarship. I’d like to see her at UCLA. They are going to have a great next few years.
Speaking of UCLA…
WOOT! They KICKED ASS at NCAAs. VaZam was terrific. Anna Li was awesome. I love them. I love their floor. I love Miss Val.
I also love OU, although I confess I really only love them because of Hollie Vise.
Next year…with Florida taking Macko, Kytra and Alaina Johnson and UCLA with Sam P, Sydney Sawa and Olivia Courtney, is going to be amazing.
In other other gymn news, everything Aunt Joyce/other folks say about GGMB is true. Those folks are mean just for the hell of it, which is just rude. /done with that crap.
In other other OTHER gymn news…I did vaulting drills the other day. Obviously I was terrible, but my goodness was it fun! Alas, I still have a mental block re double mini, which is interesting because that is not actually how I got hurt!
Also, I am totally stalking Hill’s. I really want an interview there!
And they’re down.
Ten time National Champions, winners of five championships in a row, are DOWN.
That’s right, folks. The University of Georgia failed to qualify to Nationals.
Oregon State qualifies instead.
This program is just a disaster without Suzanne Yoculan at the helm. The reason I started watching the Gymdogs was Courtney Kupets, the best NCAA gymnast ever, and I stayed because of the Awesomeness of Suzanne. These girls would never have fallen apart like this if she was still there. Suzanne needs to be national team coordinator.
It seems that the Gymdogs assumed that qualifying would be no problem, and they were wrong. That’s some fairly typical Gymdog arrogance, right there. Kat Ding remains the best Gymdog.
Best part was Chelsea Davis tweeting “OMG”. Hehe. Davis will be a gymdog next year. Wonder if she wants to back out and join the epic recruiting classes at UF and UCLA instead…
So now we’ll see. It’s UCLA’s to lose, but I must confess, I’m rooting for OU. I wouldn’t be sad if UCLA took it, but goodness, OU would just be awesome.
ACs – Philadelphia PA, 12PM EDT
-William & Mary
NO clue here. I will guess…W&M?
EAGLs – Durham NH, 2PM EDT
-George Washington University
-North Carolina State
They seem like the strongest of these. I believe they’ve won against most of these teams.
Big Tens – Columbus OH, 2PM EDT
I actually think it will probably be Michigan but I’d love to see Penn State take it.
MACs – Bowling Green OH, 2PM EDT
no idea, randomly picked.
Big 12s – Lincoln NE, 2PM CDT
SECs – Jacksonville FL, 4PM EDT
Bama. UGA hasn’t had a good enough season to take SECs I dont think. UF is a possibility, but more likely for next year.
Pac-10s – Tucson AZ, 4PM MST
In the bag if they keep it together on beam.
MICs – Denton TX, 6PM CDT
-Texas Woman’s University
-University of Illinois at Chicago
No clue. Nada.
WACs – Fullerton CA, 6PM PDT
-San Jose State
I know they are on the verge of falling apart so they should win!
MPSFs – Seattle WA, 6PM PDT
-Air Force Academy
Again no idea 🙂
So recently I posted an interview with an NCAA gymnast who said that she found the religiosity of her teammates trying at times. Later she was asked to have me take the interview down. I don’t know the whole story, all I know is she was told that she didn’t go through policy. Or something. Anyway, what she had to say has erupted all over the gymnastics internet. There are multi-page threads devoted to this interview. I love Courtney Kupets and Corrie Lothrop but they apparently weren’t as interesting when interviewed!
It’s a fascinating thing. I was tempted to leave the interview up, but I didn’t want repercussions to slam down on this athlete. On the one hand, I feel like she is an adult and I did say I’d be blogging it; however, goodness knows I have said too much occasionally and had to suffer the consequences. I remain really tempted to leave it, as I think it was a very good and very illuminating interview, but I don’t want to hurt this gymnast. Argh. Any advice?
Anyway, the interview really made me think. If I were a gymnast on a team that included several very religious gymnasts, I would have a hard time. I know, I’m a churchgoer, but I’m also a Unitarian Universalist–a bit different than your average hardcore Christian. I don’t always believe in god/God. I almost never believe in an afterlife. I am super socially liberal (ya think?) what with my insistence that all Teh Gays should be allowed to get married and we should, you know, TRUST WOMEN. I know, crazy ideas. I’m obviously going to hell. I get extremely annoyed, to put it mildly, when folks start using the bible/religion to justify hate. Nope, that’s hate, pure and simple.
But I digress.
Suffice to say that if I were a gymnast on a very religious team I too would feel uncomfortable. And apparently, on this team, the toned down version of religion is blessing food and group prayer. Now. That is NOT toned down. Separation of church and state much? If the students who find prayer helpful want to pray before meets, that is most certainly their right, and I’m sure it helps them perform better. (If there is a God, I doubt s/he is super worried about a gymnastics meet, what with earthquakes and poverty and abuse and things like that). But group prayer? No way. Not okay.
So that was interesting.
I know, I know, there’s no requirement for non-religious gymnasts to pray. But it’s a bit like the Pledge of Allegiance (I never say the Under God, do you? See: separation of church and state. See also: FUNDAMENTAL TENETS OF AMERICA). If the entire class is saying the Under God, don’t you think you are going to feel damn awkward not saying it? Don’t you think it might make you a bit of an outcast?
For the record, I don’t have a problem with, say, BYU praying together before a meet. I have a problem with BYU, sometimes, but not their praying, because they are a religious school. Says so on the website.
Also for the record: I don’t have a problem with religious folks. I have a REALLY BIG problem with those religious folks who use their beliefs to oppress others.
Bottom line: there are two sad things about this story. One is that this gymnast apparently didn’t feel especially safe in her beliefs on her team. The other is that saying that and having it acknowledged apparently kicked up some trouble for her. Given that she is an adult and responsible for her own decisions, I find this a bit stunning. I’m sure there is a media policy at this university. She probably didn’t follow it. But as a writer, it makes me really angry that I have to silence myself as well. As you can see, I am referring to this gymnast without using a name or school. If you comment please do the same. It’s a shame. I really don’t want to. I really don’t like censorship.
Gymnasts I want for my SimGym game:
Annie DiLuzio, Utah
Susan Jackson, LSU
Courtney McCool, UGA
Ashley Priess, Bama
Vanessa Zamarippa, UCLA
Shayla Worley, UGA
Kat Ding, UGA
Melanie Sinclair, UF
Maranda Smith, UF
Daria Bijak, Utah
Samantha Engle, LSU
Brandi Personett, Penn State
Anna Li, UCLA
Morgan Dennis, Bama
Grace Taylor, UGA
Eylse Hopfer-Hibbs, UCLA
Christa Tanella, UGA
Hollie Vise, OSU
Caitlin Sullivan, Bama
Amanda Murphy, GW
Gael Mackie, Utah
I’m very excited to have Corrie Lothrop agree to an interview! Corrie has long been an admired gymnast of mine. She trained at Hill’s, with Kytra Hunter and Courtney Kupets, among others. Alas she tore her Achilles not long ago (see interview) but she is healing well and headed to Utah next year, where I predict she will ROCK the NCAA.
(side note: 2010 will show Sam Pezsek, Corrie Lothrop, and Olivia Courtney will all be going to college. That’s gonna be an epic NCAA year…)
Anyway, thanks so much for responding, Corrie! Good luck!
1. I’m so sorry you were so badly injured. Can you talk a bit about what happened? What kind of treatment have you had? When do you expect to be better?
*I tore my achilles almost 4 months ago. I can’t even believe it’s actually been that long! I’ve been doing physical therapy for about 3.5 months. The same doctor did Courtney [Kupets] and my surgery, and we also have the same PT. Hopefully I should be back tumbling around Jan/Feb…or maybe that’s just tumble trak…I’m not quite sure.
2. Are you finished with elite gymnastics or do you plan to come back? Why or why not?
*As of now, I am just focusing on my college career, but who knows! I could be back…I’m just taking it one step at a time.
3. What drew you to Utah’s gymnastics program? What about to the university itself?
* Utah was my #1, but I visited some other colleges to make sure I really knew Utah was the right place for me. The university is amazing. The campus is big, but the Huntsman Center (where we compete) is even bigger, so I’m so excited!
4. What is Kelli Hill like as a coach?
* Kelli Hill is probably the best coach I have ever had. She loves hard workers and looks for perfection, but if you are at least attempting to make corrections, you’re good. She has so much technical knowledge and I can talk to her if something is wrong (aching, sore, etc).
5. How was it to be an alternate on the 08 team? Did you go into Nationals and Trials thinking you had a good chance to be named to the team or were you really surprised to be named as a alternate?
* Making the Olympic Team was a true dream come true. I never thought going in to Nationals and Trials that I would even make it to the selection camp. I was just so happy that I made it to trials. It was such a shock to me, but I felt extremely honored.
6. I saw you perform at the Gymnastics Superstars Tour (whatever the official name for that was!) when it stopped in DC. What was your experience with the tour?
* The tour was so much fun! I have never done a tour before, so this was my first. It was fun that there was no stress, just having fun and showing it off to the audience!
7. What was/is your favorite skill to perform?
* My favorite skill to perform is my switch-leg side aerial on beam.
8. What did you find most frustrating to learn?
* My most frustrating skill to learn was probably my double turn on beam. It was very risky, but sometimes inconsistent, and I never knew why some days I could do it perfectly, and then other days I could barely make one.
9. What are your plans for the future?
* My plans for the future are to go through my college gymnastics career and giving as much, if not more, of what I am to the team that I did to the US National Team and my club. However, I usually live in the present, so I don’t spend too much time thinking about the future.
10. What gymnasts do you admire/look up to the most?
* I admire Courtney Kupets a lot. She tore her achilles, like me, and then made the Olympics less than a year later! Then when she went to Georgia, she did amazing and won every NCAA AA the 3 years she competed. I aspire to do that when I go to Utah…who knows, maybe I’ll win the AA too!
11. What is Marta like? What is camp like?
* What can I say about Marta…well, she is an awesome coach/coordinator. I am honored that between her and the committee they picked me to be a part of the Olympic Team. She is also very technically knowledgeable, and she adds her input whenever it is needed. Inside the gym/meets it is all business, but outside the gym/meets, she is a real person who loves shopping, like any other girl!