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With trials coming up feel so sorry for the ones who nearly made it, Bailie, Nora etc

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gymmummy

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Gymnastics is such a cruel sport, feel so sorry for Bailie, Alyssa Baumann, Norah Flatley who gave up their childhoods to chase their dream, a healthy Bailie would certainly have made the team. In Romania Larisa Iordache is out, announced today Ponar is representing Romania... Injuries are part & parcel of gymanstics... are they just bad luck or lack of conditioning (eg Russian team). Its interesting that Aly Raismann has never had a serious injury & alot has been said that it is down to her coach Mihai Brestyans conditioning regieme..
 

cbifoja

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I really hope my child never sees her gymnastics experience as having given up her childhood. I don't look at it that way at all. They make different choices but that doesn't negate their childhood. We've had some wonderful and unique experience as a gymnastics family. It might not be a typical childhood but it is still a wonderful childhood.
 

Committed

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I really hope my child never sees her gymnastics experience as having given up her childhood. I don't look at it that way at all. They make different choices but that doesn't negate their childhood. We've had some wonderful and unique experience as a gymnastics family. It might not be a typical childhood but it is still a wonderful childhood.
I remind DD that she gets multiple "vacations" every year with her friends! ;)
 

mandkmom

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I don't think Ballie was ever a lock to make the team. But that is just my opinion.

I do feel for the girls that work for years and don't even get to do trials...but that just shows why olympics shouldn't be the only end goal.
 

auswi

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Sure, a gymnastic infused childhood is not typical but to train huge (& getting huger as levels rise) hours a gymnast has to want/ enjoy this experience of the training as well as striving for short /medium/long term goals.
So their childhood may not be typical but if they have chalk in their veins this is the experience they choose and is not a wasted childhood IMHO.
 

ldw4mlo

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It's not cruel. It is what it is. Very few make it to the Olympics, that should not come as a shock to anyone.
 

Seeker

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I don't think that is unique to gymnastics....many athletes spend years training for a goal they'll never meet. In some ways, gymnastics is better because their window of opportunity is so small that it can allow them to move on with life, college gymnastics, etc. much more quickly than other sports.
 

gymmummy

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That's a very good point Seeker, it does give them time to move on with their lives,try something new & enjoy their 20's. I worded original post incorrectly, I just feel it is tough for them even Maggie Nichols who is doing her best to come back from injury.
 

B&M's mom

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While I think that each girl does this sport for her own reasons, there will likely be some regret. But that's true for all of us, as an adult I look back at some of the things I chose to do or not do with some regret. Does falling short of these types of goals hurt, according to my daughter who was forced out of elite training/qualification because of injury, yes. Do they get over it, yes but there's no denying that its really hard to let go of long dreamed of goals.

And while it's true that this window closes early in gymnastics, the athletes who are dealing with these blows are teenagers. It's a time when your whole identity is in flux and losing a long held dream can be devastating. Hopefully the parents dealing with this have tried to prepare their children for this possibility. I know that my daughter and I had many small conversations over the course of the years about how there was life after gymnastics and that she wasn't just a talented gymnast but had a lot of other talents. While she hurt letting go of her elite dreams, she gradually understood that there was more to gymnastics than being an elite. She actually began to enjoy gymnastics.

The bigger regret may come years down the road because of the injuries. Some of the injuries these girls suffer will not completely heal. Hopefully as they get older and deal with the impact of those, they don't regret the choices. Unfortunately, there's no way to predict who will be injured and who will not.
 

Flyaway

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My hope is that the coaches (and Marta et. al.) have been very realistic with these girls from the beginning. I think all the girls are well aware of the long shot even for them. I'm sure it's very disappointing to realize that it's not going to end in the Olympics, but my hope is that they're well balanced enough to have other goals as well.
 

looly

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You could look at it as giving up their childhoods to chase a dream, or you could look at it as they were so fortunate to be allowed to pursue their passion through an unconventional childhood, and doubly fortunate that they have been able to reach the upper echelons in their field. I guess it depends on if they are passionate about gymnastics, or just the goal of being an Olympian.

I maybe come at this from a different perspective than many based on my own experience. My parents lets me pursue my passion even though it was clear from the start that I would never be "elite" in my chosen activities. I am so thankful that they didn't try to redirect me into something I would be more traditionally successful in, because I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

I can see some looking at my childhood and thinking that it was wasted - 40 hours most weeks practicing/rehearsing for what? I didn't even have the talent to continue at the college level... But that's not why I did it. I did it because I loved it - I loved every minute of long rehearsals in the studio and the theater, the pain and exhaustion, etc - there was no glory, only the joy of doing what I loved with other people who were equally crazy about it. I did not participate in most of the traditional rites of passage of high school - homecoming, prom, football games, spring break trips, etc - and I don't regret it at all. I never did. I wasn't missing out - I was doing something more important to me.


While not making a goal that you have worked so hard for, for so many years is extremely difficult and painful, I don't think that the worth of the journey is defined by whether you reach the summit - and I have to believe that, if you make yourself do what these children do, it has to be about more than the one goal of the olympics - there has to be a love for the day to day that makes it worthwhile. And doing what you are passionate about is its own reward.
 

MomIdidit!

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I remember my first meeting w DD teacher earlier this year when I had to tell her all about DD gymnastics hours. I was nervous to tell her since we were talking about a seven year old and I had no idea how she was going to respond. After her initial shock, she looked at me and said, "Wow, there are adults that don't get to ever have that passion for something, I'm glad your DD has found her passion at such a young age." Every time I feel like DD is missing out on a "typical" life I remember gym is DD passion and as long as she doesn't feel like she's missing out, all these gym experiences are molding her into what she will be when she grows up.
 
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