- Aug 7, 2018
I gotta disagree with what you're saying. Just because a gymnast is working elite or is elite doesn't mean they are going "pro". I know the majority of elites that I have been around are doing it for the challenge AND the enhanced opportunities that it will provide down the road, INCLUDING a college scholarship. I haven't met one who has said Olympics and pro or bust. And now you are implying that is not fair? Everyone has the opportunity to pursue this path, I understand that for some it is harder logistically than for others, but everyone has their own cost/benefit decisions to make. But its THEIR decision, own it and accept it. You can't punish others who made different decisions that work out for them because gee it just doesn't feel fair that they trained and sacrificed so much and now are able to get a scholarship above someone who didn't do the same.I am not a big fan of the "Professionals" stepping down from elite level into college, but I also agree that is not going to change. I do compare it to for instance, if LeBron James did one or two years of the pro's and then wanted to play college basketball someplace. I am pretty sure NCAA would not let that happen, but honestly, I am not even sure anymore. I think it used to be based on earnings etc, but that has all changed now with NIL. I guess what I would like to see is that if the "pro's" are going to continue to step down and compete in college then USA gymnastics should help support more D2 and D3 schools so that more normal but still talented athletes have a shot at college gymnastics. I believe if you are successful at getting to Level 10 gymnastics you are a pretty talented athlete compared to some other sports. There should be more opportunity for these athletes. I also am realistic and know that new gymnastics programs take a lot of money, coaches, and facilities, and not all schools can afford something like this.
I agree, all who make it to L10 are gifted athletes and should be celebrated as such. But its a bit naive get to L10 and then suddenly realize oh gosh, there is not that many post-competition opportunities. In other words, if you have been in this sport long enough to reach level 10, as a gymnast and family, you know what's up. Like any sport, its what the market supports. Fortunately, the market for college gymnastics (women) seem to be trending up, so definitely 3 cheers to the new programs coming on-line.