Sunday, January 3, 2010



This is for the gymnasts who left competition this year, wether permanently or not, and found new paths to travel.


(pic from gymbox)

Elena Zamolodchikova has has a hell of a gymnastics career.  Not only was it incredibly successful, particularly with her duel golds on apparatus in the Sydney event finals, but it was incredibly long.    Her mental toughness was made known when she helped Russia to a team gold, as well as winning three individual medals just days after her father died from exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster. Her mother has since died too.  Yet she has won European, world and Olympic medals, trained long and hard for eighteen years, and is still nowhere near ready to give up on gymnastics.

Though Elena hasn't actually stopped training, she has taken the next step in her life by studying to become a gymnastics judge.  In fact, according to a translation of an interview in the new Russian gymnastics magazine (thanks Senor Nico!), she has recently passed a test that enables her to judge international meets.  She has also said that she has her heart set on coaching at some point, and that judging will aid her in that ambition.
It is wonderful to see the girl who was brave enough, tough enough and resilient enough to say she would retire from gymnastics when Russia, in a time of crisis, stopped needing her, staying with the sport she loves and sounding so happy to boot.


Though many of us still feel the loss of Shawn Johnson in the gymnastics world, it was pretty sweet to see how well her infectious spirit carried over to the wider world as she danced and charmed her way to the winning spot in Dancing with the Stars alongside partner Mark Ballas this year.

After much general prancing around in front of cameras in Romanian since the demise of her own gymnastics career, it was very good news to hear that Catalina Ponor finished her studies and found a place to start the coaching career she has been looking forward to.  Rumour has it she is enjoying her job with Teodora Ungureanu at the Dynamic Gymnastics Club, the gym where Sabrina Vega trains.

I am always excited to see international gymnasts join collegiate team rosters in the USA, and the addition of Mexico's Ericka Garcia to the LSU line-up for this year is no exception.  Garcia is a strong vaulter and, according to D-D Breaux, will be a 'difference maker' in the LSU line-up.


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