Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Bad Girls Files #6

Gymnast: Verona Van De Leur
Gymnastics Highlight: Silver medallist on floor exercise at the 2002 Debrecen World Championships
Crime:  Pulling a no-show
Please Explain: In late 2008, The Dutch Gymnastics federation expressed worry in a magazine, Volkskrant (translated by the dearly departed Triple Full blog) that Verona van de Leur had all but cut off ties with anything to do gymnastics, including neglecting to turn up at the yearly Dutch Gymnastics Gala, a night that she would have been the star of. Verona had already refused to respond to texts from federation leader Frans Koffrie and fellow gymnast Suzanne Harmes or to see the federation doctor anymore either.  Rumours had already been rife that Verona been going on talk shows and talking to media, claiming her parents had taken her prize money to spend on things for themselves.  They, however, argue that any of her money spent was just for training, leotards and travel.  There has been a rather acrimonious court case being covered by gossip media since.  Most concern, however, has been over the influence of Verona's much older boyfriend (seventeen years older) and how much hand he has had in her recent behaviour.
Punishment:  There has been no punishment for van de Leur apart her own self-imposed embargo from the gymnastics world (in any way).  She does not, however seem to mind too much! 
Badness Rating: Low?
This whole thing seems worrisome rather than being outright bad behaviour.  If it weren't for that older, scary-looking boyfriend of hers, I'd be all gung-ho saying , 'Go ahead, Verona, take the bull by the horns.  Do whatever you want to do!"  I just hope she is doing what she wants to do.  Some girls leave the gymnastics world suddenly, like Hollie Dykes late last year, with minimal fuss.  But there seems to be a lot more rage and hurt behind Verona's behaviour.  
Call me old-fashioned, though, but it would probably be the respectful and professional thing to do to have some minimal contact with the Federation, no matter how she  was feeling, just to let them know she's okay and to actually inform them she is no longer taking part in Dutch gymnastics activities.


  1. ewwww. the boyfriend looks like that american indian guy from free willy

  2. I'm loving these. Triple Full did some good posts on her as well.

    Also, this is number six.:) Ngan Thuong was number 5! :)