Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Gymnastics hurts.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise......
Today’s list is a selection of quotes about being in a sport where pain and injury are part and parcel with being great, where absolute toughness is necessary and when some gymnasts are smart enough know the consequences of their own risk-taking.

"Elite gymnastics is like, the navy seals, only harder. There are like 2000 navy seals, there are only like, 200 elite gymnasts. I guess that's because there's kids who's rather have a life than spend 6 hours a day training tricks that could kill you. Don't be fooled by the leotards people, the things gymnasts do make navy seals look like wusses. And we do them without a gun.”
Hailey Graham in Stick It

"There was a slight mishap in competition warm up on Vault when I dislocated the top joint in my middle finger. Stepping off the landing mats, I informed my coach of the rearrangement to my anatomy. 
Some time passed before the medical representative was to be found. It proved a futile exercise, because it seems she was just that, a representative. 
She was not authorised to fix my problem and at this moment I was grateful for all the times I intentionally sought to gross out my coach with bleeding rips and the like. For someone so easily led to queasiness, she did the best job in popping it back in. I was very proud!”
Dasha Joura, PerthNow Column.

“The first thing you learn when you’re learning release moves is how to fall properly. I don’t feel any pain in competition, but it’s just like, ‘How did I get here? Why am I on the ground?’

Shayla Worley. International Gymnast.

It made me stronger. ... Gymnastics prepared me for life. Things happen for a reason,"
Annia Hatch on her crucite ligament tear. Baltimore Sun.

When I broke my knee, no one cared how I was; they just wanted me to get better and come back to gymnastics to win more medals for their country.”
Lavinia Agache, International Gymast

"Your first stack (a really stupid looking fall) is generally the decider whether you continue with gymnastics or not. And in most cases, the stack will occur on beam. It's hard when you are young to stack it on bars or anything else as you aren't doing hard enough skills for the stack to occur. But on beam, you can stack it on any skill at any time. I've stacked it just walking on the beam! When you have you first stack, you either gather the courage to do the skill again, or you never do gymnastics again! Courage is a requirement in this sport."
Olivia Vivian (WAIS Blog)

“This was a completely different tear. A tear telling me that I have had enough. Luckily I didn’t hurt myself drastically. Enough to tell me I have a weak link in my body and not to push it.” 
Kim Zemeskal on retiring from gymnastics because of injury. International Gymnast.

 "I went to a seminar in Lausanne, and gymnastics was ranked 17th in a list of dangerous sports, not including extreme sports. Besides, the athlete’s health is closely tied to their ability to recover. Let’s not forget that in Romania, sleep was the only recovery program used for a long time. The more we take care of our athletes, the less problems will arise from gymnastics." 
Octavian Belu, Romanian Gymnastics News

“I got a really bad concussion, so I was on medical for a while. I was doing a front double full into the pit onto a mat. I don’t know what happened because I’m usually good at front twisting, but I missed the mat and smacked my head on the floor. I sat there for a long time, and then I stood up, and I said my ear hurt. I got back up and started walking back, and then they said you need to sit down, and ‘I said I’m fine. I’ll go again.’ But then they said I needed to get a test for a concussion.” 
Krystal Uzelac, International Gymnast

“In football, it’s another player who crushes, bruises, breaks the athlete. In gymnastics, it’s the floor. Or the beam. Or any piece of unmoving, unforgiving equipment that meets the body on its descent through the air from great heights.” 
Jennifer Sey, Chalked Up

"Gymnastics is a really painful thing, especially for pretty young kids; it’s torture.” 
Zhou Hanhua, Chinese Coach.

"I've had enough injuries to last me a lifetime. In a way it's made me a stronger person, it's made me more determined to go out and prove to people that an injury isn't going to stop me. I think every athlete competes through certain aspects of pain. I guess that's just part of the sport.”
Beth Tweddle, Eurosport

"I don't feel anything bad. I learned to face reality from the beginning. Sometimes, when I watch old videos of me flying in gymnastics, I'm proud that I used to be so good."
Sang Lan on never walking again. International Herald Tribune.

"Nine months after I get my injury, doctors said I have to quit, I said no, I sign for this-will do on my own risk, I want to have a chance to compete in Olympics! I was sure I can get a medal and was ready to do anything for it.”
Sylvia Stoescu. Romanian Gymnastics News.

“She cried crazily, like she was dying. Her father and I accompanied her and our hearts almost broke into pieces when she cried that heart-wrenchingly.” 
Cheng Fei’s mother (about watching her practice as a child.)

I was stupid. I really wanted to justify the trust put in me and be a heroine. While I was in the cast I gained weight. I had to get rid of it. Everything was rushed again. I would come to TsSKA [Central Army Sports Club] two hours early and rush around the gym like a crazy person. The workout would just be beginning and I didn't have a drop of strength left. I was so tired then, both physically and psychologically."
Elena Mukhina on the pressure that led to her debilitating spinal injury.

And on what seems to actually be the achilles heel of gymnastic injuries..... the achilles heel.

"I knew I wouldn't be walking out of there," 
Courtney Kupets on landing the pass the ruptured her achilles.
"It's the end of gym, the end of the Olympics, the end of everything I had counted on. Everything collapses," 
Isabelle Severino at the Europeans. International Gymnast

“You know, with the Achilles tendon, there’s a fine line between snapping it and keeping it healthy!” 
Tasha Schwikert.


  1. You find the most interesting things to blog about! :)
    Dasha Joura is such a good writer!