Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Rub Some Salt in...

The Dasha Joura Wound.

Not only has Dasha Joura been one of Australia's most successful athletes, she has also been quite the international favorite, winning fans with her winning smile, excellent gymnastics, her oodles of personality and her impressive all- around talent.
I know that it wasn't just us Aussies who were sad to see her Beijing experience was nothing like she'd hoped. Many people wanted her to make it to the AA finals and floor finals if not to win any medals, then just for the pleasure of her company!

She is one of those gymnasts. People just can't help liking her.

For those of you who don't know much about her Beijing experience, Dasha injured herself during training for qualification, had a terrible time performing her beam at qualification because of it, forcing her to completely water down her dismount and limp off the podium crying inconsolably. She then decided to compete bars for the team finals to help the Aussies as much as she could, slipped her grip and smashed her face into one of the bars, giving herself a black eye. She managed to continue and complete the routine. What a freaking legend!

(With another sassy floor worker, Svetlana Boginskaya)
(Pic from www.dominique-moceanu.com)

Anyway, today I was flipping through an old sports magazine in the State Library and found this article about Dasha during the Olympic Team Selections. It was a nice little story, where the journalist told readers that "given her recent world-class performances, she could have tripped on her own bootlaces in the Vodafone Arena and still been selected!" In hindsight, of course, it is a little depressing after what actually did happen to poor Joura. But I thought I'd share some of the more interesting quotes of Dasha's. We get a bit of insight into her personality and what her training and career has been like.

"If it hadn't happened, I don't know if i would have got where I am today (missing selection for the 2006 Commonwealth Games). I made a lot of changes after that- mostly to do with the way I trained. I just rocked up every day and kind of thought it was a bit of a chore to come in. I didn't really think about the fact i was there doing it for myself. The fact I realised I was there to fulfill my dreams was the biggest turnaround."

"I believe if you find yourself doing something for someone else, it's not right for you. If that's the case you should find something else because doing it for others takes the passion and the determination away. The love and passion for the sport is what makes you successful."

"My parents and I have come to an understanding that when we're at home, that's my tme to unwind. We try to avoid talking about gymnastics as much as possible when I'm out of the gym. You need a good balance."

"When you compete and you're doing well, you don't focus on that (medals) because it isn't about the outcome, it's the process that gets you there. If you concentrate on the end, you don't think about the thing in the middle. Do that and you don't reach your goal."

Here too is her interview with The Australian morning Olympics show, Yum Cha. So if you haven't seen it already, you can revel in her lovely personality, sympathise with her terrible Olympic experience, and I'm sure for you non-Aussies, enjoy her cute accent!


  1. Couchy, you'll be glad to know GA and WAIS will release a statement on Dasha's injury status and 2009 competition outlook next week.

  2. No wuckas! I only hope it's good news for her!

    Yes, Nationals are in Perth (dammit) and PacRim next year is in Melbourne (hurraaaaaaaaay).

    GA have started spreading the news about PacRim: http://www.gymnastics.org.au/?ID=12471

    I assume the site will grow larger and more detailed as the competition grows nearer.

  3. God, I love Dasha. She's a great example of a gymnast we'd love to see more often. And you love her because she's such a great personality, something that seems to be missing in even really good athletes like Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. I guess it has to do with the fact that they all get asked about how they feel about being a success over and over. *shrug*

    Either way, Dasha's wonderful and I wish her the best for the future.