Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Comeback Kid...

Not Sure if She's Coming Back This Time...

I don't think anyone can say Chellsie Memmel is not a humble girl.  When asked how she would like to be remembered, she told Inside Gymnastics;

"I'd like to remembered as someone who was a good all round gymnast and who always tried.  That's enough."

If you're a fan of Chellsie Memmel (which I am), or even if you have what I think is a requisite dose of healthy respect for her and her amazing, but unlucky career, you should definitely read Inside Gymnastics latest interview with her.
For one thing, it is a fascinating little insight on how the U.S.A coaches and coordinators dealt with Memmel's injury during the Olympic, an injury that turned out to be a broken ankle.  It also tells how the U.S.A team didn't actually tell the public Memmel was working on a broken bone until after the Olympics (wow, on those injury standards, Worley maybe could have gone!) , simply stating vaguely that she had suffered an 'ankle injury'.
Maybe it's because I have not ever been involved in gymnastics, but I can't help being slightly horrified by the level of pain and injury gymnasts in the States willingly work with and what their medical and training staff are willing to let them work on. But then, on the other hand, it's probably the same all over the world, we just hear more about the U.S team in the media than anywhere else.
In this article Chellsie also talks about the fear of having to break to her mother (who wasn't in Beijing) the news of her injury,  about having to be the girl to leave Sam Peszek in the practice gym to go tell Martha there was 'another man down' for the U.S team, and about her internal debate over wether to continue gymnastics after her longest break yet from the sport.
Like many young women leaving an elite career in gymnastics, Chellsie has reached a point where she has learned that despite how fulfilling gymnastics has been, she has missed out on a lot in the world and doesn't quite know where to start!  I hope whatever she chooses, she is very happy, because she has been a magnificent member of the U.S line up for years now and despite injuries, she has the medals to prove it.  Of course, being Chellsie, she says her desire to compete is still there, it is about what her body can take that will dictate wether she returns. I only wish she hadn't done sponsorship deals and whatnot because she would have made a terrific college gymnast when she takes up study in the next year.


  1. As much as I love Memmel (if not her gymnastics, just her grit), I have to wonder whether her multiple injuries has to do with bad training in the sense that she or her coaches push her too hard, or she goes through drills in incorrect form, or something in her training just pushes her to the point where she keeps sustaining all these bad injuries.

    Of course, it's probably not due to a problem with training, but I can't help wondering. I'd love to see Chellsie compete without the shadow of Shawn or Nastia hanging over her.

  2. I love that woman--her routines are fresh and interesting, no matter what people have to say about her artistry, she's tough as nails, and she has shown a wonderful sense of sportsmanship over the years. Like you, I wish she hadn't signed those endorsement deals, because having her go NCAA would be fantastic. I wish her the best and hope that she'll keep performing as long as her heart is in it, and please, no major injuries this quad, if she does decide to go for 2012...

  3. I loved this interview. Her answers seemed so genuine - it was seriously heartbreaking hearing her account of her and Sam's injuries in Beijing. I wish her luck in her explorations outside of the gymnastics world.

  4. i really wish there was a way for athletes that have had endorsemnt deals to compete for NCAA but maybe not on scholorship or something. As a D1 runner i was able to earn prizes in middle school and not have to say no bc i wanted to run in college.

  5. Both ugly leos and anonymous, there is. They can still go to NCAA just not Division one schools. Sorry to say but this is one of the things that annoys me about sports in college. College should not be about the sports but about higher learning. Look at the school and it's education THEN the sports