Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the Best Australian Gymnast Podium is.....


So duh, Dasha Joura won the Best Australian Gymnast poll.  As if we didn't see that coming a mile away!  It figures.  She is recent, she is wonderful, she is fiercely talented and such a charmer.  She wins in the popularity stakes too.  She has definitely been such a breath of fresh, fun air this last quad and I think we can say that she is the first australian  gymnast to be really recognized around the world.  People remember her wether they like her or not.  Judges do too.  
She is a fantastic all-arounder, with particularly impressive floor and bars sets.  It truly is a pity she couldn't have a go at the bronze at Beijing. Her floor routine was always talked about endlessly in Youtube commentary.  And her own commentary in this years Perth Now column gave us just another reason to appreciate her.  
I hope she gets to continue using her gymnastics talents for another couple of years.


Next, yet another flame haired Aussie in hot pink took out second place.  Allana Slater, one of Australia's most elegant gymnasts-turned-rifle-shooters, claimed the silver spot.  
Slater was such a beautiful gymnast.  She moved wonderfully and her floor and beam work were world class.  And when she emerged on the scene, that was something special from Australian gymnasts.  She also debuted at a time when Australian gymnastics team efforts were really gathering momentum, being part of the first gold-clinching team at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur (as well as bagging a few individuals herself) and in the highest ranking (at the time) World team who came fifth in 1999.  
She has had such a successful career into the 2000's too when others around her retired,leaving her to win our first World Cup gold and our second, as well as being in that bronze-winning Anaheim team in Anaheim and qualifying for an Olympic event final on beam in Athens.
This girl had so much talent, but what I think was so, so great about her gymnastics was her beautiful choreography and the regal, lovely way she executed it every time.  Stunning.


Garnering the third spot in this poll was recent retiree Hollie Dykes.  Her leaving of the sport was a blow for gymnastics and gymnastics fans alike, including myself.  She was a wonderful gymnast with so much talent and such gorgeous lines.  Remember at the Pacific Alliances when Elfi Schlegel and co were wetting themselves over Hollie?  They were, as usual, tending a little toward the hyperbolic, but they were right in some respects.  She had a indefinable presence that made you want to watch her perform.  She also, though, matched that quality with difficulty.  
But I alway thought, raw talent aside, that she wasn't pychologically tough enough to make it.  Remember the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne?  That AA should have been hers, but she just couldn't get it together? That was depressing.
Oh well, she was still stunning to watch and like many people, I miss her.

1 comment:

  1. I would have chosen Hollie, but to be the best gymnast it's mental as well as physical. And obviously she couldn't cut it mentally. Best toe point, overextended legs, dance and poise yes. able to take the pressure, no.