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International Elite Follow-up Poll: Should American gymnasts compete for other countries?

Should American Elite gymnasts be competing for other countries in international competitions?

  • Yes, this is fair because it gives the smaller countries more representation in the competition.

    Votes: 14 23.7%
  • Yes, this is fair because it allows gymnasts to compete under their ethnic country.

    Votes: 38 64.4%
  • No, this is unfair because the American gymnast takes opportunity away from a native gymnast.

    Votes: 14 23.7%
  • No, this is unfair because they have trained in our camps and they should stay loyal.

    Votes: 4 6.8%

  • Total voters
    59
  • Poll closed .

Gym Geek

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Recently, @gymgal posted this question and began an intriguing discussion on it. Some were in favor, because adopted gymnasts could compete for their home country. Others disagreed because American gymnasts would take treasured spots on National Teams from gymnasts in other countries. A debate began in the comments section, however, I would like to take a formal poll.
 

InbarSquirrel

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Jan 28, 2013
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I voted yes because soccer is no different.
My household has access to duel citizenship and one point almost applied for it with my oldest daughter to attend a prestigious ballet school in Europe. Half our immediate family lives in Europe so our ties are significant but I wouldn't send my gymnast daughter to train in another country to compete unless she was an adult as well completed highschool. It has to be 100% my daughter's choice.
 

Gym Geek

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I voted yes but with the caveat that the gymnast should have a very significant tie to that country aka the Belarus situation was ridiculous.
Good to know! On the original post, @Jenny argued that it went against the Olympic ideals to compete for a country you have no ties with. Yes, the Belarus situation WAS incredibly ridiculous.
 

Gym Geek

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Just so you all know, there are TWO votes allowed per person. You can vote for both “yes” reasons, both “no” reasons, any combination of yes and no, or only pick one option. This is if you have split views or agree with both reasons for a “yes” or “no”.
 

bogwoppit

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Yes, as long as the gymnast has a legal right to citizenship of the country. The Belamericans were a disgrace that should not have happened. It doesn't matter where they have trained to me, we have had a few Canadians through the years that trained full time in the US but were elites here.
 

Nikki4

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Dec 12, 2011
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Nope because even if you have significant ties to the other country you still trained in USA and If you are trying to compete for a country that doesn’t have the same standards of coaching and equipment you have an unfair advantage over the native athlete and you’re potentially taking their spot.
 

HappyGymmie

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While visiting my family in a foreign country last year, I took my dd to a local gym, which was considered best equipped in the region. There was only one high beam, one set of uneven bars, one vault table, and a floor exercise that was covered by rows of carpet (I told my dd not to run or tumble on that floor). No equipments for doing drills, so kids had to wait in a long line to work on each equipment. There was a pit, but when I looked inside, it was full of dirts and trashes. The head coach told me the sport of gymnastics was not popular in this country, and the gym did not have enough budget. The coach himself broke his arm when he was a gymnast because the high bar that he worked on was rusty.
My dd felt that she was very fortunate to be able to train in a U.S. gym.
 

Jenny

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I think if you have a strong family connection and / or you are willing to immerse yourself in that country by spending a significant amount of time there and taking on citizenship or similar yes! If you are just buying an Olympic birth and have no intention of actually becoming a proud citizen of that country then no. Shame on you.
 

stillhoping

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Nov 18, 2016
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Not everyone born in the US lives in the US their whole lives. There’s a significant number of people who’ve lived in other countries. My kid has lived, trained, and competed overseas. She may have a chance to compete for one of the countries she’s lived in, and yes, I think it’s absolutely fair and I would let her do it.
 

gymyogimom

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Jun 12, 2015
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Only with either a parent from the country, being born there, or have lived there as a permanent resident for like 10 years.
 
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HappyGymmie

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One gym..... I’m sure there are crappy gyms here too

China and the SU seem to do alright. And we have many coaches here who coached elsewhere ‍♀
No, not just one gym. The gym mentioned above was actually the training center of the region. There were other gyms that I would never let my daughter train at due lack of equipments for safety such as a spring floor.
 
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Nikki4

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Dec 12, 2011
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I know it’s not every country but there is more than one. I’ve heard that tale a few times. And you’re right, we have ill equipped gyms and coaches right here in the US but they’re not sending athletes to worlds or olympics. Some of these countries, our worst gyms are their best gyms and coaches and athletes. and when an athlete from any sport for that matter goes to one of these countries having an advantage having trained here, they are taking that athletes spot, and it’s not an adequate representation of that country.
And those countries know they are not competing for team and all around gold but they are just honored to be there for all the hard work they have put in to be able to represent their country.
 

Aussie_coach

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The average US gym is significantly larger and better equipped than the average Australian gym. Sure we have a few great facilities, but most gyms are not like that.

We are a remote and isolated country, we have limited options for buying equipment and if we ship from overseas the shipping costs and times can be astronomical. In most areas here the cost of wages and rent are far higher here too.

A lot less gyms have higher level kids at all, so a lot less coaches have the expertise to coach higher level skills. There are no college scholarships for gymnastics here, so the pull to stay in the sport through high school is significantly lower. It is quite common for gyms to have zero level 7 and above athletes.
 

sce

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Mar 11, 2014
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The equipment is superior here in the US how???
Money. Many countries and gyms in those countries do not have the money to buy quality, new equipment. Even Romania is using decades old equipment. Also, many countris have few to no pits for their gymnsts to train with as well.
 
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stillhoping

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Money. Many countries and gyms in those countries do not have the money to buy quality, new equipment. Even Romania is using decades old equipment. Also, many countris have few to no pits for their gymnsts to train with as well.
My dd had the chance to train in Deva for a portion of a summer, because Romania had nicer equipment than her gym in the country where we were living. She thought their equipment was nice, but it was very hot.
 
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