Wednesday, March 31, 2010


(Chow with Shawn Johnson)

According to the Des Moines register, Shawn Johnson's former (?) coach Liang Chow is breaking ground for an expansion to his gymnastics facility.  He will be building an identical gym to the previous one where recreational gymnastics classes will be taught. His competitive gymnast remain in the older facility. Measures will be taken to ensure the flooding that happened a few years ago will not happen again.

(The flooding at Chow's gym)

Since his incredible success with SJ and his role coaching the US Beijing team, it seems Liang's gym has become Iowa's answer to WOGA.  He now has 30 gymnast on his competitive team and is citing 13-year-old Keely McNeer, his only junior international elite gymnast as someone to look out for.  McNeer recently relocated from Baton Rouge to study under Liang Chow and although she is "tough" and talented, she still has plenty, he says, to catch up on.  She, unlike SJ is being homeschooled while she catches up on aspects of flexibility, dance and strength.

(Keely McNeer)

This year McNeeley will be competing at the Covergirl Classic and, if she should make the cut, the US junior Nationals.  She already qualified to and competed at the Visas last year at cites it as her greatest moment in the sport yet. She is just the right age to make a bid for the London team.  Keely's favorite exercise is floor, where she says she can show off both her power and personality.

Watch her compete floor here.  She great height on her tumbling, a tidy but open tuck position a la Shawn Johnson and precise movements in her turns and leaps.

Chow's gymnasts apparently have won 350 state titles individually and he is now, on the promise of Shawn Johnson's great success, attracting gymnasts from all over the states. He seems like a good guy and a great coach.  I wish him luck.


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