Saturday, January 2, 2010



There is nothing worse than a gymnast injured in the peak of her career or right before or during a major competition.  And there is certainly nothing worse than a career-ending injury.  Not all of those mentioned here are, a testament to the strength and mental toughness of those who compete in gymnastics.


This one most certainly goes out to Sandra Izbasa after her injury while training for Romanian Nationals shortly before Worlds.  The damage to her achilles ended the year that had started so unfortunately at Euros.  While most of Beijing's stars were still resting, recovering and revtalising after the Olympics, Sandra was one of the few to push through the first part of the year.  Her resilience, paired with the dearth of of available, uninjured Romanina talent meant a trip to the Euros was out of the question.  It was not the competition she dreamed of, and left her looking to worlds to prove she still has 'it' on floor.  The devastating and lengthy injury means she will now have to wait til next year to see if her body (her mind seems certainly ready to) continue the fight. It was sad not to see her at  Worlds.  With her experience and Porgras's refreshing grace, they would have been great to watch together.


Peng-Peng Lee- frankly, I can't actually remember if Lee's back injury was sustained this year or last, but the fact that it left the incredibly talented junior with a wow factor the size of Texas out of the entire year of competition is depressing and timely enough to qualify for this year's awards.  There has been little news on the Canadian front about her return.  Here's hoping! Come back Peng-Peng!!

Mattie Larson and Samantha Shapiro- I am lumping these girls in the same mention for two reasons.  One, because they were similar in their tiny frames and pretty gymnastics, but also because I saw them in the same way.  Though in the mix for a Beijing berth, it was clear that neither of them would got on that team.  However, these two girls were the gymnasts I always looked at and thought of as consolation that even if we were to lose all of the Olympic team after Beijing (which we basically did, bar Sloan) we would have these two lovely girls rise up the ranks to look forward to.  Unfortunately, injury prevented this from happening.

Corey Hartung-  Injuring her calf right at the end of the season meant that Corey Hartung did not get to say goodbye to her gymnastics career in the way she would have liked.  A compromised performance against Georgia, when she was probably most needed, so late in the season showed how much it was affecting her game and contributed to Florida's sub-par performance in a meet when they should have been giving Georgia something to worry about in the lead-up to Championships.

Jessica Gil Ortiz- Though not terribly injured, it was a devastating crash that crowds witnessed at the London worlds as Jessica Gill Ortiz took to the floor during finals.  Though the talented tumbler made Columbia proud by qualifying into sixth spot in the first rounds, her  terifying landing onto her head was probably not the way she wanted to remember her first World event final.


  1. I think Sandra tore her Achilles, not her meniscus? Also, Sam Shapiro became a senior in 2009, she wasn't age-eligible for Beijing (like Bross).

  2. Sandra tore her Achilles tendon.

  3. I'd defnitely add Ksenia Afanasyeva to the mix, after her pulling out of Worlds just days before the competiion began. I think she had the difficulty and execution to win the AA and this would be a great opportunity for her to see if she also had the mental toughness to pull it off. Judging by Russia's outstanding juniors turning seniors in 2010, I think it was Ksenia's ONLY chance of competing in the AA at Worlds. Let's hope that this will be a better year for her.

  4. What about Shona Morgan? You can't get more ill-timed than in the apparatus warm ups at worlds!

  5. Gawd, I can't believe i forgot Shona Morgan's injury. And I saw the horribleness as it happened. Perhaps I blocked it?