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WHAT A SPECTACULAR first Youth Olympic Games in
Singapore, Aug. 14-26! For young athletes who are too
young or not able to qualify for major world competitions,
this new event seems perfect to involve a younger generation. With all the possible problems—injuries, growth
spurts, etc.—that can end an athlete’s Olympic dream,
this event could give many gymnasts their only Olympic
With this as the backdrop, the U.S. still decided not to send a female artistic
gymnast, using as an excuse a rule that restricted the number of coaches. That
rule was later changed, but still no entry for the U.S. women. Maybe the U.S.
didn’t want to go head-to-head with Viktoria Komova, the amazing new Russian star who won in Singapore. She managed to score 61.00 in the preliminaries
and 61.25 in the all-around finals. Those scores would have won both the U.S.
junior and senior national championships.
Nevertheless, the U.S. should have had an entry,
not only to give one of its gymnasts the “Olympic”
experience, but also to avoid being seen as boycotting a very important IOC and FIG event, which
certainly doesn’t help politically. I was especially
pleased that Tan Sixin of China won the floor
exercise event with her new routine choreographed by Adriana Pop.
In this issue, veteran IG editor Dwight Normile
previews the upcoming Rotterdam world championships, which should be a good one. In the
women’s field, it appears that the Russians are
gaining momentum and talented gymnasts, and the Chinese are very good but
looking for that combination of gymnasts that will make them a great team.
Romania is regrouping with a very talented squad of young gymnasts, along with
the return of Sandra Izbasa and the dynamic coaching duo of Mariana
Bitang and Octavian Bellu.
And, of course, the Americans looked good at their national championships in
August, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who will survive the pre-worlds training
camps. From the past 10-year history, it’s a toss up as to whether we’ll see a
very polished and consistent team or one with the walking wounded trying to
hang on to win a medal that will somehow make it all seem right in the end!
In the men’s field, I expect to see Japan and China with teams that will make
all of us feel that this new Code is really worth it. But then, there is a group of
about four or five countries that will make the competition very interesting as
they battle the Code—and one another—for the bronze medal.
Of course, IG will be on the scene shooting you live coverage on Facebook as
well as updates directly on our website. I hope all of you will plan to join us to get
the “real” coverage of the competition. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy our
coverage of the Youth Olympics, along with the beautiful images of contributing
photographer Thomas Schreyer.
Maybe the U.S.
didn’t want to go
the amazing new
Glenn M. Sundby
EDI TOR /AR T DIREC TOR
John Crumlish, Amanda Turner, Christian Ivanov
Anneleen Kaptein-Dekker, Amy Van Deusen
John Crumlish, Amanda Turner
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