The Minnesota Star Tribune has published an in-depth interview with Bela Karolyi- the mouth, if not the man, of USAG. It is a good read, and Bela says some interesting things. I particularly liked what he had to say about Shawn Johnson;
I knew the time would come very, very shortly to see her back with the same kind of hunger and same kind of desire like she had before. Shawn Johnson coming back into the sport of gymnastics, it won't take years and years like an ordinary gymnast. With her amazing abilities and her amazing way of judging things and digesting mentally the preparation, her return is going to be quick and spectacular.He is right, it is her sheer natural talent that is allowing her to regain her skills so quickly. It will be really fun to watch her come back.
I was also interested to read what he had to say about he and Marta's tenure in the sport. Marta's tenure is up in 2012. Bela pointed out the alarming fact that she will be seventy by then. Sheesh! I didn't realise quite how old they are. They must be incredibly fit and health because they are so energetic! I guess whatever decision they make, and whatever decision USAG makes, Bela is right, I am sure they will still be around. There will be no shuffleboard in Miami for these two.
Martha goes all the way to 2012 (under her contract with USA Gymnastics), and I'm going to back her up all the way 'til then, no doubt about it. Then, after 2012, we will see. We're both going to be 70 years old, and there's going to come a time where you reconsider some of the things you've done before. But as far as I'm concerned, my passion and my life are still connected to the sport. So we're going to be around in one way or another.
It does of course, beg the question, if they do semi-retire (I can't quite imagine any real retirement), who takes over? Oooh! Delicious fun!