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Well, this was another big week for the gymnastics world. The biggest event that occurred was the 2011 CoverGirl Classic in Chicago where we saw the return of Beijing 2008 veterans Shawn Johnson and Chellsie Memmel. Some have described it as underwhelming but I really enjoyed it. Maybe it was the fact that I stayed up until after 3am on Sunday morning watching the sport I love but it gave me a chance to have a look at the new seniors that I’ve not met before and some of the other seniors I’m not too familiar with. I’d never seen much of Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordan Wieber, Mackenzie Wofford so it was great to be able to see them.
Overall it seems to be that Alicia Sacramone and Chelsie Memmel were the stars of the event. Shawn Johnson, a little nervous, was at her best but we never expected her to be. There is no doubt in my mind that Alicia will make the 2011 Worlds team later this year.
Following on from last weekends Australian National Championships where he (unofficially) won the National Title, Naoya Tsukahara is said to be applying for Australian citizenship in order to be eligible to compete for Australia at the 2012 Olympics. Some may say that he is desperately needed.
With one year to go until the London 2012 Olympics, Royal Mail have released their final set (3 of 3) of stamps to mark the 30th Olympics. One of the stamps issued is a gymnastics stamp.
Last weekend many blogs picked up on the news circulating that the former Chinese gymnast Zhang Shangwu had been living on the streets of China, doing street performances to earn money to feed himself. Luckily many companies and people came to Shangwu’s aid, offering him work, money, jobs etc. This brought another flurry of articles up about China’s treatment of gymnasts. John from the Chinese Gym Blog put up some great links to reports and studies of China’s Athletes post- retirement life.
Other interesting titbits: