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Is there any hope for me?

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Hello everyone =]
I was wondering if there is any chance that i'll make it into the olympics ever.
I'm 13yrs old.. been doing gymnastics for 1 month and i'm a level 2 advancing up to level 3 soon.

I train all the time at home because I would really love to go to the Olympics.

If anyone could tell me if I have a chance to one day make it... please tell me
 
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californiaaaa017

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Probably not... I mean most gymnasts your age have been elites for 1-2 years and are competing internationally. You can still have a successful competing life probably... But put it this way. The average age of an Olympic gymnast is 17-18. You would have 4 years to get through 8 levels. That's 2 levels a year, which is a lot for any gymnast. And then you would have to be the BEST of the BEST of all the gymnasts. And they probably wouldn't take you without years of international experience.

You could probably still have a college career though... They take 9s and 10s.

I mean stranger things have happened. Like Dara Torres said, never put an age limit on your dreams!


I see you're in Australia... That makes a bit of a difference. I don't know about the levels there, so screw everything I said about levels and college and stuff - I don't know. Also, Australian gymnastics is less competitive - I mean, I don't want to be rude, but it's true. Although I hear they have some great juniors coming up. Anyway, it does make a difference to be in Australia, so I would say you have a better chance then I said before. Still not very big. But again, stranger things have happened. The odds are against you, though. Good luck!
 
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Yerh alot of people say that your too old to me.
But i'll never give up and i'll keep trying =]
My friend has been doing it for a year and now she is level 5 =O
PS. I know the levels here are a bit different and stuff thats why i'm really confused.
 
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californiaaaa017

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Well I just saw a post, this girl had been doing it for 2 years and was a level 8 [American, I think] so I'm not saying it can't happen, but the odds are against you, so don't like... Bet on it or anything.

Are you interested in college or anything? Because that is still very much achievable, and not quite as difficult as the Olympics.
 

Aussie_coach

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No, it won't happen. I am sorry to say that, but you are in Australia and the system currently in place in Australia for choosing the olympic teams and identifying elits would make it impossible for you even to reach this level.

In Australia the kids who may go to the olympics are generally selected at 4-5 years of age and then trained in development programs following the level 1, 2 and 3 A system with much harder routines than the usual level 1, 2 and 3 routines. You won;t be able to do these levels because there is a maximum age limit. By them time they are 9-10 they move into the international levels system and train at one of the elite training centres. There are three in your state (Victorian institue of sport, waverly advanced gymnastics club and MLC), they will be training 30-40 hours a week from 10 years of age. Again these levels have a maximum age limit and you are past it. They are at this stage closely whatched and trained under the national head coach who has already seleceted the team of current kids your age who are being prepared for the next olympics and they are already competing skills that are far more advanced than level 10.

In another country like the USA it could be possible but not in Australia due to the system.

However, that does not mean you can not have a very successful career as a competitive gymnast. The olympics is just 1 competition, there are many other competitions that you can enjoy.
 
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lil_gymnast_lanny

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Sorry to turn the convo around to me, but i have been wondering the same thing lately.
I am 13 and i am currently learning national 6/7 routines I am trying out for an elite club at the end of this year. Is there any chance of making it to a very high level competition??
just wondering
I am trying to get as far as i can in gymnastics. I might not get to the olympics but i want to get to national 10 at least...hopefully anyway
 

all-aroundgirl

Active Member
Aug 26, 2008
646
Texas
No, it won't happen. I am sorry to say that, but you are in Australia and the system currently in place in Australia for choosing the olympic teams and identifying elits would make it impossible for you even to reach this level.

In Australia the kids who may go to the olympics are generally selected at 4-5 years of age and then trained in development programs following the level 1, 2 and 3 A system with much harder routines than the usual level 1, 2 and 3 routines. You won;t be able to do these levels because there is a maximum age limit. By them time they are 9-10 they move into the international levels system and train at one of the elite training centres. There are three in your state (Victorian institue of sport, waverly advanced gymnastics club and MLC), they will be training 30-40 hours a week from 10 years of age. Again these levels have a maximum age limit and you are past it. They are at this stage closely whatched and trained under the national head coach who has already seleceted the team of current kids your age who are being prepared for the next olympics and they are already competing skills that are far more advanced than level 10.

In another country like the USA it could be possible but not in Australia due to the system.

However, that does not mean you can not have a very successful career as a competitive gymnast. The olympics is just 1 competition, there are many other competitions that you can enjoy.

Ok, yes that is true but the Olympics aren't just one competition. It's THE competition. It's the Super Bowl for some sports. Nothing can replace them no matter how many world championships, ribbons, and national medals you have they can't replace the Olympic expirence. And yeah Australia may have this so called "system" but how well has Australia done in gymnastics at the Olympics? I don't quite recall them being much mentioned during Beijing. So my advice would be anything is possible and consider transferring to a smaller country where you're skills will be appreciated! Joking! Altough that is a possiblity. Hard but a possiblity.
 

Aussie_coach

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Sorry to turn the convo around to me, but i have been wondering the same thing lately.
I am 13 and i am currently learning national 6/7 routines I am trying out for an elite club at the end of this year. Is there any chance of making it to a very high level competition??
just wondering
I am trying to get as far as i can in gymnastics. I might not get to the olympics but i want to get to national 10 at least...hopefully anyway

It depends what you mean by high level competition and what you mean by elite club. In Australia when you talk of "elite gymnastics" it is used to describe those who are training in the international levels program. There are only a few in the country. Again for this type of system you are probably already too far behind for your age. By 13 you would need to be competing international level 10 at least to make it into the elite stream, International level 10 is basically the same skills as the olympics but with a few exception. Like only needing C dismounts instead of D dismounts. But this is only if you want to make it to international competition.

If your aim is national level competition then yes you are well on track. Yes, if you are 13 and a level 6 working level 7 you have a great chance of making it to national level 10 and competing nationally.
 

Aussie_coach

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Ok, yes that is true but the Olympics aren't just one competition. It's THE competition. It's the Super Bowl for some sports. Nothing can replace them no matter how many world championships, ribbons, and national medals you have they can't replace the Olympic expirence. And yeah Australia may have this so called "system" but how well has Australia done in gymnastics at the Olympics? I don't quite recall them being much mentioned during Beijing. So my advice would be anything is possible and consider transferring to a smaller country where you're skills will be appreciated! Joking! Altough that is a possiblity. Hard but a possiblity.


Actually the Australian WAG team made the finals at the Beijing Olympics and ended up placing 6th. Being the 6th top country in the world in gymnastics is fantastic when you consider that the population of a country like the USA is nearly 20 times the size of Australia's population.
 

gymch34

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Aug 2, 2008
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east coast
Aussie coach-
Please clarify- they select the youngest athletes, put them in the system, and that is the only talent pool they draw from? If a super talented, well trained elite athlete popped up somewhere at the age of 14, what would happen?

Interesting system- do you know the success rate? How long has this system been in place? What do the coaches in your country think about it? I know its off topic, but I'm very interested.
Thanks-:D
 

Laura

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there have been a couple of cases where national level gymnasts have crossed over to the international stream. I can only think of two off the top of my head but there may be more. Both Monique Cowan and Melanie Jones were national level 7s (probably young teens) and went on to compete in the international stream (I think they went straight to junior international level).

Monique has since dropped back to national level 10 (placing 4th at Nationals this year) while Melanie was the 2nd alternate (became 1st alternate when Emma Dennis was injured) for the Olympic team.

Generally though this is uncommon and the girls who end up competing senior international will have been training in the elite stream since they were very young, progressing through the developmental stream (L1-3) and international stream levels (International level 5,6,8,10). At level 2 (about 8 y.o) the girls would already be doing at least 20 hours of gym a week. Generally these girls train at state instituions or the A.I.S or in a couple of cases large private clubs that have an elite stream (e.g. Waverley, MLC and MBC). The institutions have try outs or talent ID days where anyone can go along, clubs who think they have a girls with talent will often recomend they go along or will organise a try out just for that girl, they also have talent scouts at some competitions etc. Girls are generally selected between the ages of 5 and 9.

This kind of system has been in place pretty much forever (as far as I know). the structure of the levels has changed a bit, but the idea of a different stream for elite and national competition has always been there.

As for success rate I guess we are doing ok, 6th place in the olympics is not too shabby.... (especially as Aussie coach said when you consider our population).
As for what coaches think, I have no idea! maybe Aussie Coach can help with that one :)

Hope this has helped at bit :)
 
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lil_gymnast_lanny

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I don't really like the system that we have here.. It is good in some ways but it's also really annoying.
Like the fact that you are usually picked when you are younger, which is reasonable, but sometimes a person who is older and willing to train that hard can also get as far as those who are younger.
I think that it's good that we have the gymnastics competition levels streamed though.
 

Aussie_coach

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Aussie coach-
Please clarify- they select the youngest athletes, put them in the system, and that is the only talent pool they draw from? If a super talented, well trained elite athlete popped up somewhere at the age of 14, what would happen?

Interesting system- do you know the success rate? How long has this system been in place? What do the coaches in your country think about it? I know its off topic, but I'm very interested.
Thanks-:D

Hi, well its quite complicated. In Australia there are 3 different levels systems. they are
1. The national development program
2. The national levels program
3. The international levels program.

Basically the gymnasts start out in the national development program and in this program is levels 1, 2 and 3. But it is a little different to the USA. Instead of just 1 set of routines for level 1, 2 and 3 there are 3 sets of routines for each level. Each level has an A, B and C routine. There are competitions held in level 1, 2 and 3 and often 3 divisions for those doing mostly A routines, mostly B routines and mostly C routines. The C routines are the easiest and cover the basic skills that are needed for that level. These are the most popular with recreational gymnasts or competitive gymnasts training a few hours a week only. The B routines are harder and generally done by more competitive gymnasts who are training more hours a week. The A routines are the hardests and generally done by just those gymnasts who are outstanding and identified as talented enough to reach the international level. Those doing A routines a training often more hours a week at level 1, 2 and 3 than most level 6-7's. To give you an idea of the differences.
Level 3 C floor routine contains skills like - handstand forward roll, Cartwheel, cartwheel snap up. Level 3 B floor routine contains skills like back walkover and round off. But the level 3 A floor routine has front handspring to front tuck, and round off back handspring back tuck. So basically right from level 1 the gym must evaluate the gymnast and choose which stream to put them in. From level 1 they decide if they have the potential to train elite or not.

After the national development program most gymnasts will go into the national levels program. Which is levels 4-10, they will train around 8-20 hours a week and compete in regular competitions. Thise program is offerred at the normal gyms.

The gymnasts who have done level 1, 2 and 3 A routines may have the chance to be selected to go onto the international levels program. The international prgram has 5 levels, they are International level 6, International level 8, International level 10, junior international and senior international. To do this program they can't do it at their regular gyms. They must go to one of the few elite training centre in the country (There are about 7 gyms in the whole of australia that offer these levels). From this point they are trained and have their training overseen by the national coach and are being trained up for international competition. If they do not progress at the appropriate rate they will be removed from the program and sent back to train in the regular program.

The system has many good points and many bad points. The good points are that the selected gymnasts train at the top facilities in the country with the top coaches. This is important in a small country like ours where there is a very limited number of gyms and coaches able to deliver such a high calibre program.

The negatives are basically that we have a limited number of gymnasts to choose from. Many of the competitive gyms will not allow their gymnasts to be selected for the international program because it means they will loose them from their gym and they will go and train at the specialist gyms. Gyms often want to hold onto these athlestes that give them so much success but by doing this the gyms are destroying their chances of representing Australia. The other negative is that there is no big goals for non international gymnasts to work towards. basically they get to level 10 and thats it they quit. They can't move from level 10 to elite and compete internationally and we don't have a college gymnastics program like you do in the USA so there is nothing for them. As a result very few gymnasts continue training past the age of 12 or 13.

It is possible for an elite athlete to pop up somewhere at a later age and transfer into the international levels system but it really doesn't happen. Gymnastics is a political world aswell, like I said before the next olympic team has been basically already chosen even though the olympics is still 4 years away. With a few extra's being chosen in case some get injuries or quit the sport.

The success rate of the system is good, we do very well with our limited population. 6th in the world is outstanding. But I personally believe that the system is limiting us a little. Basically we choose a few outstanding athletes and put enoormous recources into making them outstanding., But the USA system also brings about great success by deepening the talent pool so there are more athletes to choose from. Unfortunatly that type of sustem would not have worked here in the past as we just don't have coaches all over the country with the ability to train international athletes.

How to coaches feel? Its a mixed bag, most coaches want what is best for their gymnasts. If that means sending them off to one of the countries 7 elite gyms from the age of 7 or 8 then thats what has to be done.
 

gymbaby12

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Oct 17, 2009
118
n/a
um no offense, but no. olympic gymnasts are either level 9,10, or elite at ur age. and level 3?! no, there are no hopes. i would like to go to the olympics too but im ur age and level 4 team. i feel for u. :( but its still fun and ull probably make it to team, which is super fun trust me :huge:
 

gymbaby12

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Oct 17, 2009
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wait, r u USAG, cuz if ur not then nevermind. idk about anything else though. again sorry if ur not a u.s. gymnast
 
Actually, with the right training and some luck, it's possible to move up to elite in as little as 3 years. I'm not making this up- people have done it.

I've been in gymnastics for a year and a half and I'm training level 5. I only went one day a week for a lot of that time. When- not if, when- I move up to team I expect to progress even faster. I don't really expect to go to the olympics but I would like to make optionals.

YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! =)
 
Actually, with the right training and some luck, it's possible to move up to elite in as little as 3 years. I'm not making this up- people have done it.

I've been in gymnastics for a year and a half and I'm training level 5. I only went one day a week for a lot of that time. When- not if, when- I move up to team I expect to progress even faster. I don't really expect to go to the olympics but I would like to make optionals.

YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! =)

Sounds a little far fetched now that i think about it. I'm from Australia btw.
I want to at least make it to Nationals, I'm not ready to quit for along time.
Nothing can stop me :p
 

tumblebug921

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Apr 30, 2009
65
alabama
i know exactly how you feel. i started gym when i was 11, which seemed pretty late to me. im now 16 and am working to move up to 8 in january. i dont know where im gonna go in gymnastics, but i think i may be able to make a college somewhere if i work really hard. just keep your head up and dont give up
 

T.Gymnastics

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May 26, 2009
316
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Well it sounds pretty impossible, because you should be elite a year or two or three before the olympics which means you should hit elite about 14-16 years old maybe even younger beacause its just hard to do that level of gymnastics much older. however you cant give up on something you want! so dont give up, but dont be dissappointed!
 
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addicted2tumbling

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i have the same problem!!! im 13 and im supposed 2 b a level 5 but im really like a level 7!!! i started gymnastics exactly a year ago!!! So if u r passionate about gymnastics as i am and u stay in it like i am u can make the olympics when u r 20 like me!! im probably gunna try that!! just cuz ur 20 doesnt mean u cant go to the olympics so... It only took me 3 months into gymnastics 2 become a level 4 and then 2 months 4 a level 5 and i keep learning level 9 skills so when i compete in level 6 i will move up 2 level 7 in a flash and same with 8!! thats y i learned all the high skills so i dont have 2 wait!! try learning tucks because it will help you in the future trust me!! sorry this was a long message and I hope it helps you a bit!!
 
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