Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dear Jordyn Wieber,

Okay, I like you. 

But let it be known that I didn't want to like you. 

And I certainly didn't want you and your insane, youthful gymnastics talent to give my darling Bridget Sloan the whacking she got on the weekend. So I am still not terribly happy about you winning the Scamerican Cup either.

In fact,there are so many reasons to be wary of you.

The fact that you are doing these ridiculously hard things at your age which means you might burn out before 2011 (or whenever it is they think you will be old enough to compete with the big girls) so I probably shouldn’t even bother getting used to having you around anyway cos it will only end in dissapointment.

That you dance like Shawn Johnson- as in, you don't (Does anyone else find it kind of ironic that Shawn is gonna be in that dancing show when she doesn't actually seem to know how to dance?) (Don't get me wrong, i love Shawn, I really do.  But you gotto admit, it ain't her strong point)

That I kind of can't stand your floor music (in the same way I couldn't stand Kim Zmeskal's back in the day).

That in an interview you described a typical day where all you did was training, schooling and facebooking or myspacing (or wherever the cool kids are making internet chitchat these days) and then going to bed. That does not sound like the making of a well-rounded individual (Okay, I have to blame Liang Chow for my exacerbated intolerance to gymnast's training hours. Now that I know an athlete of the calibre of Johnson can be molded in significantly less training hours, I believe it ought to be possible all the time)

That you look so, so serious when you compete that sometimes you border on being just a tad like Gina Gogean (as in you probably get pity points from the judges for looking so downright depressed)

That you beat Bridget Sloan (Oh, did I say that already? Oh well. It was her turn and you pushed in.  Frankly I will always be a little upset about that).

Okay, and I know this is downright petty, but your name? What is with the ‘y’ in Jordyn? Is it really necessary? (It reminds when my sister decided back in high school to change her name from ‘Kate’ to ‘Kayte’. It was embarrassing.  So really, this might be my baggage, not yours).

So...... I tried not to like you.

But then, I watched your beam routine again and well, it's impossible not to be incredibly impressed by your ridiculous difficulty and the fact that your planche is up there with one Miss Ferarri’s (in fact you remind me a little of her- in a good way). 

Then I watched you vault and who could not grudgingly appreciate that DTY?

Then I watched an interview with you where you were all intensely serious and nervous which was kind of cute and endearing.  Then, when you finally relaxed enough to crack a smile you were so sunny and sweet that I was sold. 

So, after a lot of wanting to not like you, I have decided you are a sweet, massively talented poppet who would be wasted completely if she didn’t make it through the next couple of years (hear that Mr whoever-is-her-coach? You take good care of her) before you can be loosed on an unsuspecting bunch of Chinese poppets at the Worlds or Olympics.

But Jordyn, If we’re gonna be friends, and I mean really friends, there is something I have to ask (other than that you sit down and have a little chat to your mother about the spelling of your name). It is about your floor routine. Look, I can get down with the fact that you aren’t much of a dancer, and that you look a little awkward between those fantastic tumbles.  But I gotta ask....that bit after the second tumbling row? After the high kick, when you look like you are going to do a handstand but you kind of only go a third of the way up, flop back down onto your side, pose and get back up again?


It is only a tiny part of your routine but frankly, it is the weirdest non-thing I have ever seen done on floor. 
I think I have seen a move like it on beam (perhaps Ms Johnson again?) being used as a (pathetic) way to get through the close-to-the-beam requirement. But on floor? 
Now I know its not strictly your fault, and someone probably choreographed it for you.  But surely you can see?  
It's daft, Jordy.  Daft.
(What would they even call it in the Code of Points? The Aborted Handstand to Side Flop? Do they have a section for non-moves?  What could it possibly be worth?  It's such a waste of four seconds it should get a negative bonus.)

Here's how I see it.  Either do a handstand, or have a lie down, but you can’t do both!

I know you probably think this is a little irrational.  But the way I feel about that move is kind of like how I feel about Keira Knightley.  There's nothing wrong with her persay, but she still really, really bugs me.
So can you please fix that?  Talk to your coach.  Fire your choreographer.  Whatever you have to do to clear up this little problem.

Anyway, I'm so glad we had this little chat. Now I hope we can look forward to a long and fruitful friendship throughout the next quad.
                                                                  All the best for your future,
                                                                                                         The Couch Gymnast.


  1. (Does anyone else find it kind of ironic that Shawn is gonna be in that dancing show when she doesn't actually seem to know how to dance?) (Don't get me wrong, i love Shawn, I really do. But you gotto admit, it ain't her strong point)

    It is absolutely find it ironic, and I'm sure I'm going to find it annoying when she starts getting majority votes just because she's "cute Shawn Johnson."

  2. haha I loved this! I think I like her. She has nice lines and good leaps which is nice to see in someone so young.

  3. Aborted handstand to sideflop? Hahahaha.

    I don't like her little pointy thing at the end either.

    But yeah, I agree with this letter. She is kind of endearing. :)

  4. By far the funniest post I've read in a while! Love it :D

    And yes, Jordyn's beam is incredible!

    Also just a heads up, I uploaded my videos of Sandra Izbasa and others competing at the Nadia Comaneci Invitational last weekend if you wanted to see our favorite Romanian! It's at http://www.youtube.com/amygym

  5. LOL I agree with with almost everything. The only thing is that I think that Shawn being on DWTS will help her in so many ways.

    I think who ever edited her music and choreographed needs to be blamed too. She could have an incredibly cute routine with that music but not with that choreography.

    Ug I do not like her.

  6. Spelling names as outrageously as possible is an American thing. Read the last chapter of the book Freakonomics and you will see a whole world of freaky names that Americans give their children.

  7. Jordyn does an Amanar, not a DTY.

  8. 13 is such a ridiculously awkward age. I would not envy the position of any 8th grader in the world. Especially not the position of one who is put on one of the world's biggest gymnastics stages for everyone to stare at. eeew, poor girl.
    btw, for those interested in the "American" way of naming, Jordan is typically a boy's name, so hench the Jordyn to feminize it a bit. Kind of like Shaun/Sean versus Shawn.

  9. MS, while I dislike the spelling, there are worse cases LOL I had a friend in college who knew a girl who's last name was Chandelier...(you can guess where this is going) her first name: Crystal *eye roll*

    So, just for kicks, Kim, and Jody are original guy names as well :)

  10. best. post. ever.
    I like her but like you didnt want to like her, because dammit, Bridget deserved to win Scam. And I love Bridget!

  11. That post rawked. I love it.

    But POM girls on holdiday are easier than Oz girls in country. At least based on my Navy visiting Oz experience