How do you feel when you watch gymnasts?

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I was a competitive gymnast for 10 yrs so of course I love watching it! Will have a lifelong love for the sport but yes, it was hard on my back & I suspect that's why it hurts daily at the age of 28 & I have weak ankles from tearing them up in the gym.

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I find it interesting that you can tell who are the older and younger US women based on their muscle development, and I see that as a plus.

They are super strong, and judging encourages more and more strength and power. But being able to look at them and see the older ones have more muscle is encouraging, vs. some of the other examples given where they all appear pre-*****cent and you have to wonder what they were given to stay that way, or if they were starved. There are so many stories out now of training programs where that happens, I was elated to actually see slight signs of a little bit of a tummy.

What I was really thinking a lot about was the judging system. The way points work now, number of flips/rotations is SO important, and is something most of us laypeople can't understand. What we can understand is if they stick a landing or not - and since difficulty is rewarded well beyond sticking ability, they rarely seem to stick. I'd love to see that transparent, easy for the casual observer, point to be more important in scoring like it seemed to be on the 10 point scale. As they casually discuss one surgery after another, I keep thinking how maybe making them stick to things they can land would reduce the amount of injuries because they wouldn't be pushing their physical boundaries so hard.

As someone in a sport which my doctor compared to being a paratrooper for how it acts on the back, if I think much about how gymnastics work on their backs, I'm not likely to be able to watch at all!
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I don't watch much anymore but no I don't think that. I just think it's awesome how flexible they are. I also grew up reading and watching old videos of Nadia Comaneci since I was named after her and wanted to be like her. I even took gymnastic lessons for a while but I wasn't too into it and as usual my mom didn't push me since she was lazy and just didn't see the importance of anything except education.
I feel a little sad for them, bc it seems that female gymnasts w/ Olympic aspirations train more ~intensely~ than athletes in other sports (i.e., they are taken from their homes at a young age and moved to where one of the two or three top coaches have gyms, etc. and don't attend regular school). At least that's the way it used to be when I watched. That's all well and good if you earn an individual gold or even the team gold...then you have it made for life.

But if you don't place gold (esp not ind), you are probably washed up and you've missed out on your childhood, and your growth was probably stunted from all those high impact routines and you have all kinds of bone and joint and connective tissue damage.

It just doesn't seem worth it to me.

Swimmers, basketball players, boxers, soccer players, etc., on the other hand, all seem to be able to maintain normal lives, and have many ongoing opportunities to compete in their sport while they train and wait for the next Olympics.

But with women's gymnastics, it just seems like it has a strong potential to be anti-climactic for most of the particpants.

I know there are other gymnastics competitions besides the Olympics, like the World Games and the Goodwill Games, but not many...seems like a lifetime of training, training, training and one or two brief moments to prove yourself. Then when those brief moments are over, you fade into obscurity w/ a lot of health problems and all the "purpose" in your life is gone.

Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 07-02-2012 at 09:57 AM.

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