I am very excited to share with you some of my experiences from the World Gymnastics Championships. It takes a lot for me to be happy to be a spectator rather than a participant, but World Class level gym is spectacular, dramatic and extremely emotional. There have been a number of stories, of loss, disappointment, outrage, triumph and pure joy all of which are topped off by super human physical feats. For every dream that comes true someone else’s heart is broken, and EVERY one of the competitors has put everything into the preparation leading to the world stage. I know what it is like to devote many hours per week, (before and after school, weekends, holidays) pain, fear, hard work for the love of gymnastics, and I was working no-where near the standard, or showing the level of commitment and courage of the competitors in Glasgow (well not most of them).
The championships are still on and you must have been hidden under a rock if you don’t know that the British teams have done extremely well, particularly in the team finals. Both gaining historic medal wins, with the women winning bronze and the men getting silver. I’m not going to lie, whilst I am proud of the men I am extremely happy for the women’s team, when I used to compete the idea of a British woman winning a medal at the world championships was unfathomable. So as they came into the last round I was frantically calculating the scores required to make it on the podium, and as they one by one they performed their vaults, each one good enough to edge closer and closer to the Russian scores until, with the last gymnast they leap frogged into third place. I was in tears – god knows what they were feeling.
You can’t mention gymnastics without mentioning another history maker – Simone Biles, regarded by many to be the greatest female gymnast for all time and who, as of Thursday, is the only women to win three consecutive all around world titles. The difficulty of her moves and the ease with which she competes her skills means that she could make major mistakes, such as falling on an event and still out-score all of her competitors. She also took the beam and floor titles.
4 women won bars gold – this is an unprecedented occurrence, and the women who won all deserved it.
If you want to see any coverage I encourage you to watch the Netherlands on floor in particular Eythora Thorsdottir, this girl is made to be on a stage.
For every person who reached their goal there were disappointments too. Giulia Steingruber being injured on value, not medalling in the all around and being unable to compete in the floor final. Shang Chunsong a stunning and powerful Chinese gymnast who just missed the podium so many times. She was the brunt of more derogatory comments questioning her age, which were completely unfounded and countered by her back story of poverty and malnourishment in her childhood. Aly Raisman, the most devoted and persistent, usually highly reliable American gymnast who was the 4th place qualifier in the all-around but missed out on both floor and all-around finals because of the 2 per country rule.
All in all I was in awe of everything I saw, the women are ambassadors for hard work and focus. Passion and team work were the overriding traits that shone through, and the pride is overwhelming apparent on the faces of everyone who ends up on the top of the podium as their performance unlocks the honour of letting their national anthem play.
So much more I want to say about this competition, but I will never post if I don’t stop now!!
Enjoy the photos below.