I should also talk about Va-zam a little I feel, as she is doing something pretty special by making a push at elite. She did a great job at Classics, tying for seventh, and would have done even better had it not been for her slip on beam. Sure, she doesn't really have much of a chance of a run at the Worlds team, but hell, isn't it great to watch her up there? Despite that almost paralysingly slow beam chorey, I would much rather watch her clean, pretty beam work than so many of her contemporaries out there this weekend.
Considering she didn't have time to do much with upgrades- except utilise skills she already had used in the past, she did extremely well. I think she and her coaches have probably been quite realistic in seeing that World is a long shot- and it's not exactly as if she has stated that's her aim. I think she is being wise and heading toward a more long term goal.
And we know she already qualified for Nationals, but it is great for her to get in as many competitions as she can at this level. As long as they don't break her at camp. That would blow.
Vanessa told a UCLA journalist recently,
"I just feel like each year I keep getting better and stronger and I thought since I'm healthy and everything has been going well so far, why not give it a shot. I love competing so I want to compete as much as I can and see where it takes me. I feel like every gymnast at this level has the Olympics in the back of their head."
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And you know what? Even if the Olympic Dream doesn't end up being realistic for Vanessa- which there is no reason why it shouldn't, really- I am so glad she is going for it. It's a real love of the sport that gets you to a place like this, and it is just awesone she is being supported so much by UCLA. And while she is having a great time, why not?
"The amount of talent that I had didn't change; it was mainly my mental discipline. I have a different outlook of how I view gymnastics - I am enjoying it more, living in the moment, and having a lot of fun with it. I feel like a lot of people forget that it's just gymnastics and you should have fun doing this sport. I have a good time with it."And if she can lead by example among the elites, if she makes it there, her atitude has got to be a good thing.
Read the latest Bruin Profile on her here.