Thursday, March 25, 2010

Unknown Elites

I am often bothered by the media. There are so many good elite or level 10 gymnasts that never get any attention for all of the hard work they put into their sport. Within the past years it has been Nastia and Shawn. After about the first few months of hearing about them over and over again, I began to get bored...And then irritated. Now it's Rebecca...Rebbecca...REBECCA! Geez, what a way to put a TON of pressure on a teenager! I do recall the same thing occurred with a young woman named Vanessa Atler. Does anyone else recall this or am I just getting old. I couple of days ago I even came across a facebook link that said, "just showed my daughter Kerri Strug falling on vault in '96 and she had never heard of her." I was apalled! I guess I should remember that the younger generation doesn't know and often has no interest in the "has beens" in gymnastics. That has never been the case for me. I can name the Olympic all-around champ from every year since 1984 til 2008. I can tell you all about Larissa, Nadia, Teodora, Cathy, Mary-Lou, Daniella, Pheobe, Shannon, and many, many more! Yet I was born in the 90's! Not in the 70's or earlier. I guess I am also biased in my desire for the hardworking-underdog to come out on top. That's why I loved Terin Humphrey, Yelena Zamolodchikova , Allana Slater, Anna Pavlova, Simona Amanar, Elise Ray, Samantha Shapiro, Bridget Sloan, on and on the list goes. That's also why I'm not a huge fan of Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Shawn Johnson, Dominique Moceanu, Jordan Weber and now Rebecca Bross. I am also a "lover" of artistic gymnastics and not powerful, robotic gymnastics. I am largely, inspired by older gymnasts. Most recently Chari-Knight Hunter, Oksana Chusnovitna, Jessica Lopez and Ariella Kaeslin. All whom are my top inspirations for continuing on at such a high level of gymnastics at an age that is considered by most gymnastics fans, "too old" for gymnastics.

Getting back to my first and more important topic. The unknown gymnasts: Yesterday I ran across a 16 year old elite gymnast I've never heard of before while playing on youtube. I was impressed by her gymnastics, and also sad that I had never heard of her. Her name is Joy Goedkoop and I believe she is from the Netherlands. There is hardly any information on her. Particularly in English, yet she displays good athletism and is another example of a hard working elite who may never get the recognization she deserves.

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