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Mar 14, 2022
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Hey I just wanted to share an amazing experience we just had- its a bit of a witter, nothing profound. This weekend was the World Gymnastics Championships, hosted in the UK. I bought spectator tickets during lockdown. We aren't a gymnastic family, though my 7-year-old son has always trained at the same club and has a deep love for it. (As it happens, he hasn't been able to take part for around a month now due to having surgery. He'll be back at it in a couple of weeks).
Anyway, this is the first time we went to watch something. It was such a buzz (and those cheering on the USA gymnasts were very loud and encouraging- those boys did well!). By luck, we met some of the men's and women's GB team, bumped into them at the leotard stall and then at breakfast! Even though they were either finished with their session and exhausted, or still due to compete later in the day, they were all lovely. So sweet, taking time to talk to my little boy and having photos and letting him feel the medals! We also listened to a Q&A with a retired gymnast and he was asked 'what should a parent look for in a club for their child?". His answer (I paraphrase!) was 'FUN. They should look for fun. Basically, gymnastics is a lot of fun'. My son agrees and after this wonderful experience our whole family 'gets it'. There was such camaraderie between the gymnasts and I hope all of them felt the crowd willing them to do well, encouraging those who had falls to go again, even though we all wanted GB to win! It showed me that even at a professional level and as serious as it gets, there is a real sense of fun and joy in this sport and I'm so glad its part of our whole family life now! Witter over, thanks for reading ; )
 

JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
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This is absolutely awesome! Thank you very much for sharing this!
 

JessSyd

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Oct 10, 2013
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Sydney Australia
What a lovely post! The whole competition looked like it had an amazing vibe, and it is great to hear from someone who got to experience it in person. How lovely for your son - may he enjoy many more years of gymnastics fun himself!

(on a side note, I suspect the sport wasn’t always like this, particularly on the WAG side. When I was a kid there were just too many injured, half starved waifs smiling for the public while being treated badly in private.

So much about this competition, from some WAG medalists being in their mid 20s, to the little stuff like the American gymnasts choosing their own hairdos (for better or for worse as it turns out) indicates that the elite side of this sport is continuing to evolve for the better.)
 
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Mar 14, 2022
23
45
What a lovely post! The whole competition looked like it had an amazing vibe, and it is great to hear from someone who got to experience it in person. How lovely for your son - may he enjoy many more years of gymnastics fun himself!

(on a side note, I suspect the sport wasn’t always like this, particularly on the WAG side. When I was a kid there were just too many injured, half starved waifs smiling for the public while being treated badly in private.

So much about this competition, from some WAG medalists being in their mid 20s, to the little stuff like the American gymnasts choosing their own hairdos (for better or for worse as it turns out) indicates that the elite side of this sport is continuing to evolve for the better.)
Yes, I think the gymnasts comps I used to watch on TV as a kid were always so intense and the gymnasts seemed to get younger and thinner each year. The more mature age of the competitors (certainly in mens) seemed more comfortable to watch in this event and the younger ones definitely seemed they'd got the support of the older ones. One of the things the coaches at my sons club has said is that they really see a big change in the length of careers for gymnasts now. Max Whitlock is certainly an inspiration, going for the Paris Olympics and also being very open about mental health in elite sport. I told the GB team we were so, so proud of them and being able to say that right to their faces while they hugged my son was lovely and unexpected.
 
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txgymfan

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Sep 4, 2008
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Houston
What a lovely post! The whole competition looked like it had an amazing vibe, and it is great to hear from someone who got to experience it in person. How lovely for your son - may he enjoy many more years of gymnastics fun himself!

(on a side note, I suspect the sport wasn’t always like this, particularly on the WAG side. When I was a kid there were just too many injured, half starved waifs smiling for the public while being treated badly in private.

So much about this competition, from some WAG medalists being in their mid 20s, to the little stuff like the American gymnasts choosing their own hairdos (for better or for worse as it turns out) indicates that the elite side of this sport is continuing to evolve for the better.)
What happened to their hair?
Also, I’m so glad Chellsie was there as the US WAG coordinator, she’s always been passionate about the sport but not militant. I’m thrilled for the team to be successful under her leadership. In her interviews, she discussed how she included the athletes in her decision making, input they never would have had in the past.
 
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