It's been awhile since I've posted in the blog, but everything is going along swimmingly during our first session of the year! We've seen a lot of new faces and a lot of returning faces, and we hope that everyone is learning a lot and having fun while doing it!
The biggest and most recent news (aside from the new piece of jewelry sitting upon my left ring finger) is that I took my level 9 judging exams at the end of September... and passed! Last year, I had tested to a level 8 rating, and this year, my goal was to test up, and I reached it. Having a level 9 judging rating enables me to judge a higher level of gymnastics competition, and also certifies me to be able to judge high school gymnastics. Level 9 is the second highest level of USAG Junior Olympic competition. Next year, should I decide to test to level 10, I will be able to judge the highest level of USAG Junior Olympic competition, as well as judge college gymnastics. I love judging and I truly believe that being a judge helps me coach, and vise versa. Studying to be a judge was one of the best professional decisions that I have ever made and it has exponentially improved my overall technical knowledge of the sport, in addition to giving me an incredible amount of experience.
Thank you everyone for the congratulatory messages that pertain to both my professional and personal life! Last weekend was certainly overwhelming as far as emotions go and I want to personally thank my Spectrum family for their continued support.
2013 World Championships
Speaking of big news, the 2013 Gymnastics Championships were held this past week in Antwerp, Belgium, and they were the most successful World Championships in USA Gymnastics history! Team USA took home 12 individual medals in total between the men's and women's teams.
Simone Biles, who was the 2013 National Champion when we at Spectrum had the opportunity to see her compete in Connecticut in August, dominated the championships. She earned all-around gold, vault silver, balance beam bronze, and floor exercise gold! She was the first female gymnast since Shannon Miller in 1994 (the most decorated American gymnast of all time) to qualify to all around finals AND event finals in all four events! It should also be noted that Simone is the first African-American woman to be a world all-around champion. I have always found Simone an absolute joy to watch. Her routines are dynamic and clean, her smile is contagious, and I have really enjoyed watching her become more consistent, confident, and poised.
McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross, both members of the 2012 gold medal winning Olympic team, also represented team USA at World's. Kyla Ross, arguably the most underrated of the "Fierce Five" has continued to assert her dominance and consistency on the international level. Kyla earned the silver medal in the All-Around, silver on uneven bars, and silver on balance beam, in addition to being awarded the Longines Prize for Elegance. Kyla's poise and consistency in competition always amazes me! She is a beautiful gymnast to watch.
McKayla Maroney competed in the all-around for the first time in over a year, after coming back from an injury and subsequent surgery that occurred after the Olympic Games. She redeemed her disappointing Olympic vault finals fall (and silver medal) by nailing both of her vaults and winning the vault gold at worlds. She was the 2011 World Champion on vault, and she is the first US woman to defend her vault title two World Championships in a row. Needless to say, I'm sure her famous "not impressed face" is no more.
And let's not forget about the men! These 2013 World Championships were the most successful for USA Men's Gymnastics in decades. Jake Dalton won the silver medal on floor exercise, Brandon Wynn won the bronze medal on still rings, John Orozco won the bronze medal on parallel bars, and Steve Legendre won the silver medal on vault. In recent years, the strength of USA gymnastics is been in the women's program, but the men are certainly showing that men's gymnastics is alive and well in the United States, and that these athletes can compete amongst the best in the world and contend for medals.
Worlds will be televised this weekend on NBC! Set those DVR's to record Saturday, October 12th at 2:00PM, and Sunday, October 13th at 2:00PM!
(all photographs by John Cheng)
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
About the Author
Coach Sarah is a former Rhode Island College gymnast, NCGA National qualifier, All-American, current gymnastics coach and judge, and contributor for the gymnastics news source, The Gymternet. Find out what's going on at Spectrum and learn more about the incredible sport of gymnastics!