So Close Saturday
Adding insult to injuryAs the Olympic Games draw closer I cannot help but feel sorry for those gymnasts who will not be able to compete, through no fault of their own. The list of injured gymnasts seems to be growing ever longer and there are a lot of amazing routines we will be missing out on seeing this summer.
Marine Brevet of France started her senior career in 2010 after a successful junior career. She became the French All Around National Champion in 2010 and she helped the French team to take 11th place at the World Championships and 4th place at the European Championships that same year. She also qualified to the floor final at the European Championships where she finished in 6th. In 2011 she took the Silver medal in the all around and on beam at the french National Championships and finished 3rd on bars and 6th on floor. In 2011 she placed 10th all around at the European Championships. At the 2011 World Championships she helped the team to a 10th place finish but did not make any individual finals. In 2012 Marine was part of the team that helped France qualify a full team to the Olympics at the London 2012 Test Event. Individually, she placed 4th all around as well as making two apparatus finals: beam, where she finished 7th and floor, where she took a Bronze medal. Having been selected to the French Olympic Team, Marine was injured during a competition and diagnosed with a fracture and dislocation of her elbow. With the injury happening just over a month before the games I can only imagine how devastated she must feel. I wish her a speedy recovery and hope to see her competing again soon.
Julie Croket of Belgium had a great junior career before turning senior in 2010. She became National All Around Champion in her first senior year and was selected as part of the team at both the 2010 European Championships and the 2010 World Championships. In 2011 she again competed at both the European and World Championships, qualifying for the all around final and two apparatus final at the European Championships. She finished 12th all around, 4th on bars and 5th on floor. Earlier this year she competed at the London 2012 Test Event, where the team finished just outside the top four and therefore did not qualify a full team to the Olympics. Individually, Julie placed 5th all around. In the 2012 European Championships she helped the team to a 6th place finish as well as qualifying to the floor final where she finished 8th. She also became the 2012 All Around National Champion. Unfortunately for Julie, after being named the representative for her country at the 2012 Olympic Games, she tore her ACL in her left knee at the end of June. Having worked hard to become the sole representative for her country it must be heartbreaking for the injury to have occurred at this time. I hope that she recovers quickly, and I will certainly miss seeing her compete his summer.
Cheng Fei has been an amazing gymnast over many years of competition and has already competed at two Olympic Games, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. She is best known for her vaulting and has been three time World Champion on vault from 2005 - 2007. In 2005 she was the first woman to compete the vault which has now been named after her, the Cheng. She helped the team take the Gold medal at the 2006 Gymnastics Championships and led her team to take the first ever Olympic Team Gold medal for China at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is also well known for her floor work and took the Gold medal at the 2006 World Championships on this apparatus. Cheng has competed very little since 2008 due to a leg injury, but was in training hoping to recover and compete at the London 2012 Olympics. It would have been a fantastic achievement and one that many people would have loved to have seen. Unfortunately though, she injured her Achilles tendon in June and was no longer able to be in consideration for the team. I hope that she recovers soon and feel that it is a great shame that she will not be able to share her fantastic skills and personality with us again this summer.
Christine (Peng Peng) Lee
Peng Peng Lee is a Canadian gymnast who is known for her style and originality and her routines have been a delight to watch over the last few years. Peng Peng has not had things easy, having been plagued by injury for much of her career. Recently she was part of the Canadian team at the 2011 World Championships, where the team placed 11th. Individually, she placed 19th in the all around final. In 2012 she was part of the team that competed at the London 2012 Test Event where she helped Canada to qualify a full team to the Olympics. She finished 6th all around and also qualified for the bars final where she came 5th. In May however, Peng Peng injured her knee during training and was unsure whether it would heal in time for the Olympic Games. It was later diagnosed as a torn ACL and she had to withdraw. Yet Peng Peng is not going to completely miss the Olympic Games this summer. Despite being unable to compete she has been named as team captain and will be there to support her team. I am really pleased that her hard work has been recognised in this way but I just wish, as do many others, that she was still able to compete as her artistry and innovation will be greatly missed.