Canadian gymnast badly injured

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Feb 26, 2007
This is a very sad story, one of our lovely young Canadian gymnasts was very badly injured doing a new bar dismount at her club. She trained at Sport Seneca in Toronto, the same club as Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and Peng-Peng Lee and was a hopeful for the 2012 Olympics.

Taylor Lindsay Noel is a 14 year old only child in a single parent family. She was a talented pianist and a gifted student.

shocking how life can change so quickly. I know we all have many causes to support, but if you can help I am sure even the money for your morning coffee would benefit this child.

Friends have established a fund to assist the single mom with medical expenses at CIBC, transit number 07312, account number 7759185.

Here are two newspaper articles on Taylor and her Mom's struggle to deal with the Canadian Gymnastics Federation. The comments are the bottom of the Globe and Mail article are particularly shocking. | GTA | Paralyzed gymnast waits for miracle
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Aw, that is so upsetting. I hope she gets better and makes it to the olympics!
She is paralyzed. I highly doubt a trip to the olympics is in her future. She'll be blessed if she can walk again, much less flip off a high bar.

Very sad, and very disturbing how the Canadian Gymnastics Federation is not doing anything.

How tragic. I said a prayer for her. Please update if they get a Paypal funded way to send a donation. :(
That is horrible! :( I can't believe that the Canadian Gymnastics Federation is not doing anything to help. The least they can do is mention her on their website and send her well wishes. So sad. She will be in my prayers.
That is so sad :( I am so disgusted by some of the idiotic comments posted by people. I'd be curious to see how their self righteousness held up if they were faced with that kind of tragedy.

This poor girl and her family will be in my prayers.
A follow up article. Pressure builds on gymnasts


Pressure builds on gymnasts

August 29, 2008

The signature moves that won Mary Lou Retton her perfect 10 and propelled Nadia Comaneci to superstardom are considered tame by the high standards of today's gymnastics world.

Now, if they want a chance at the podium, female gymnasts must work harder, spend more hours in the gym and pull off increasingly complicated moves once performed only by men. But emerging revelations about a 14-year-old Toronto gymnast who was severely injured last month while training, as well as the controversy surrounding the age of some Chinese gymnasts, have raised questions about the rising demands and intense pressure placed on young female athletes.

Some experts and parents are now questioning the evolving difficulty of gymnastics and whether significant changes are needed to protect young girls from the physical and mental stress of the sport's demands, as well as prevent serious injuries and accidents.

"Gymnastics has one of the highest injury rates of all girls' sports," said Lara McKenzie, assistant professor at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institution at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "We don't typically think of gymnastics as a dangerous sport, yet it has the same clinical incidence of catastrophic injury as ice hockey."

In a study published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics, Dr. McKenzie found that about 26,000 U.S. children are treated in emergency departments every year for gymnastics-related injuries. Nearly 426,000 U.S. children aged 6 to 17 were treated in emergency departments for gymnastics-related injuries between 1990 and 2005.

As the popularity of gymnastics has increased, Dr. McKenzie noted, so have the physical demands on the young competitors, and this contributes to the apparent increased risk of injury in the sport.

"The increased skill level that you see and gymnastics practised at younger ages, that coupled with an increase in the intensity and the hours of training that are required to remain competitive, that's really led to the concern regarding the risk and severity and the long-term effects on young gymnasts," she said.

Olympic gymnasts must be 16 in order to compete, one of the changes brought in several years ago to decrease the pressures placed on athletes at very young ages.

However, to get to that level of competition, athletes must begin training much earlier.

Last month, 14-year-old elite gymnast Taylor Lindsay-Noel broke her neck after attempting a complicated dismount from the uneven bars while training at Seneca College. She remains paralyzed, with no feeling in her legs and only slight sensation in her hands. Her mother, Rowena Lindsay, has said she wants people to realize the danger inherent in gymnastics so that other children may be protected.

Canada's gymnastics community is rushing to defend the safety of the sport following Taylor's devastating injury.

"She's been training at a very experienced club as far as we know," said Jean-Paul Caron, president and CEO of Gymnastics Canada. "It is a safe environment. She was under supervision of very competent coaches.

There are about 700 gymnastics clubs across Canada, many of which work with children of all ages in programs that range from low-level recreational exercises to elite-level training programs. The sport has become increasingly popular in recent years, fuelled in part by major successes by the U.S. women's gymnastics team in the 1996 and 2004 Olympic games.

Mr. Caron said there are rules and regulations in place that clubs must follow in order to ensure the safety of athletes.

However, the gymnastics federation doesn't actively monitor the activities at individual clubs. Any problems or indiscretions, such as young athletes training for excessive amounts of time or attempting moves that are beyond their skill level, are investigated only if they are reported by a complainant.

There are also no national limits on the hours gymnasts are allowed to train in Canada.

But Mr. Caron said coaches would not put athletes in harm's way. High-level coaches, he said, receive significant training in the area of nutrition, injury prevention and ethics. However, seasoned coaches say those elements are barely covered in the certification programs they must complete.

Chris Foo, head coach of the men's program at Gymnastics Mississauga, said that while Taylor's accident is tragic, it isn't a common occurrence that should negatively colour the sport.

"My natural reaction was one of shock and horror. I know her - I know her very well," said Mr. Foo.

"We can't keep taking a look at sports and knocking a sport, because accidents happen. Accidents do happen, but accidents also happen in everybody's general life. Whether they do gymnastics [or not], accidents are going to happen."
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