Friday, December 12, 2008

12 Reasons why The Couch Gymnast is ecstatic that...

Elsa Garcia is BACK!!!!

1. I, for one, was truly heartbroken when I discovered Elsa Garcia wouldn't be making it to Beijing due to injury.  For a couple of years now this young gymnasts has never failed to bring a smile to my face.  There is just something wonderful about her.  Even though she is not among the creme de la creme of elite gymnasts, she is competitive, very, very talented and has wonderful personality.

2.  I always admired her very mature response to being unable to go to Beijing because of the leg injury that ruined her Stuttgart results and a failure to get a wildcard berth.   Her training mate Marisela Cantu got to go instead.  She clearly has not let it discourage her, although a berth to London might be a push for her in four years.  "It was devastating to know I was not going," she told International Gymnast Magazine, "I've overcome that sadness and frustration and am training hard for what lays before me....I am also really happy for Marisela Cantu.  I know she will do an excellent job."  That is sportsmanship.

3.  She  has a great physique for the sport.  She is neither teeny and baby-looking, nor too tall.  It is a strong body that can tumble and vault dynamically, yet with its long lines it lends itself to a modicum of elegance.  She does seem to tire a little in her floor work, possibly due to getting her height around in the air, but she is clearly very strong.

4.  I adore her tucked double Arabian.  She may slightly tend to over-rotate but did you guys get a load of how tight her somi position are?!  Wow.  Not a hint of cowboy there.

5.  Her work on the World Cup circuit in 2007 was just wonderful.  Her constant success proved how steady and talented she was, pulling medals in so many events- seven in one year to be precise.

6.  I love hearing about her her relationship with her coaches.  It cracked me up  when the commentators, during the American Cup told about how Elsa's coach, Antonio Barazza, told them that the best thing he could do for her in competition is to leave her alone and that he sat there and read a book during the prelims!  That is cute and funny,but also testament to both a very respectful and  healthy coach/gymnast relationship and to her mental toughness and sense of independence and maturity.

7.  She is clearly not an outrageously talented bars worker, but she can pull off a terrifically executed routine.  Her lines are perfect nearly all of the time and her dismount so tidy.

8.  Of course, there is too, so much to be said about the fact that she is from Mexico, a country that has never been particularly renowned for its gymnasts.  No wonder she is called "The Pride of Mexico".  Still, she has competed against and beaten Russian, Chinese and US gymnasts.  This is particularly amazing considering how it has been said that she first started coming to the US to compete so often it was so she could get used to using good equipment.  Her gym at home was, until a year or two ago, lacking much of the training gear that most countries take for granted.

9. I love her selection of floor music.  I don't know if she is still using it, but the piece she had on the 2007-2008 circuit completely suited her tumbling, her energetic leaps and her dance limitations.  They did not try and make her something she was not.  It was bouncy and fun which seems to match her performance personality.

10. I love her choice in heroes.  She cites some of my favorites- Khorkina, Produnova and Ponor as gymnastics influences. 

11. And of course, in the deeply deeply shallow realm where the Couch Gymnast exists best, I really love the white leo she nearly always wears for Mexico.  For the Worlds Prettiest Leo Heat this week, there were a lot of white leo wearers I could have chosen, but when i think of the white leo, I think of Elsa and Mexico.  It is elegant, simple and lets her stand out, rather than the leo standing out for her.

12.  And finally, because she has the sweetest smile in the business!


  1. I really hope to see Elsa In 2012 olympics, she deserve it a lot, she has been the most succesful mexican gymnast, the most complete I'm just hope she can go back to top shape like in 2007 and maybe beyond

  2. Elsa has changed her music

    I actually like it, others may not though

    She's a beauty, but she definitely cowboys her double arabian, always had, but I don't care, it's incredibly high

  3. Miss your posts : )

  4. Where are you?! Come back soon!


  5. wow im so impressed!! im from mexico and yes in fact gymnastics it`s not a popular sport in the elite way, we only have 4 or 5 girls who had important results!!

    and yes she is back in competition actually she`s a guest at the comaneci invitational!!! love her :)