Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Speculating, Gymnastically on the Internet

For some reason, this week the blog has become very Shawn Johnson-centric lately, but I think she has become a conduit for discussing a variety of interesting issues. (Most recently and famously, body image.)

Today's post centers around the speculation that Shawn is not ready for Nationals or Trials and will likely be unable to make it onto the Olympic team. Now, I'll admit to being an admirer of her gymnastics and competitive drive (seriously, as a senior that girl rarely made a major mistake in competition), but I'm definitely losing hope that we will see a Shawn with difficult, well-executed routines come Nationals. As much as I would like to see her on the team, I've gotta admit that it probably won't happen.

Anyway, what's interesting to me about this story is that had this whole shebang happened in the early 90s era, most of us wouldn't have known that there was anything to be worried about. We probably wouldn't have watched the Classics (I know that I never got it on broadcast channels growing up) and wouldn't have known a whole lot of entering/withdrawing from competitions. It wouldn't have seemed so odd to us that a gymnast stayed home from a competition and that we hadn't seen any of her training videos in awhile or that she hadn't donned a leotard at the media summit. After all, we never got to see the girls training.

I guess I'm wondering if gymnasts and their training benefited from not being constantly in view, if it was easier to rehab an injury and skip competitions when necessary fifteen years ago. Sure, as fans, we love the access that we presently get, but does it help the gymnasts?


TamarD said...

Wow! A Jewish girl who grew up Orthodox, loves gymnastics, and actually knows what a giant is? Maybe we aren't the only ones ;-)
My four kids love gymnastics. Three are competitive and the littlest one is still too young, for now. We are observant Jews. My kids never compete on Shabbos and my son is likely the only little gymnast with payos flying as he backhandsprings down the tumbletrak. He does remove his yarmulke for certain events since it tends to fly off. My girls wear leos and put their skirts on when they're done working out. We have an undying love for gymnastics. But we're an unusual breed. How neat to find someone else with similar fervor. As for our favorite gymnasts in the news, my older girls are rather fond of Aly Raisman. Her floor music, although it's been used before, makes them smile with pride.

Dvora Meyers said...

Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. I actually just published a short essay collection about growing up Orthodox and obsessed with gymnastics. It's in ebook form on Amazon (but you don't need a Kindle--just download the Kindle Cloud Reader).


TamarD said...

I saw that you wrote that. I will look into it :-) I do love gymnastics.