What it takes to become a gymnast!
Gymnastics is one of the most demanding sports in existance. On TV, we are often entertained by gymnasts performing gracefully. It may seem easy to do all that but we do not see all the hardship they have been through. All the sweat, bruises and tears they had shed for long years of practice. There is nothing like mastering a new movements that just a few months before seemed an impossible dream; or performing that first back somersault unaided or that first free-cartwheel that comes from performing in competition to the best of your ability and maybe coming home with a medal.
Coming back to the topic, we all understand that gymnastics is an all-round challenge. Precision, control, speed, strength, grace, agility, concentration, wits, courage, personality, determination and above all, discipline is required. To show that, we have used an incident which happened at the 1996 Olympic games.
Here's the incident which happened at the 1996 Atlanta Games...
Kerri Strug, a team member of the Magnificent 7, was known as the quiet member of the American National team. She was also the worrier and the sensitive one who attended to the feelings of her fellow team mates when they were down. She was also the one to remember birthdays and send notes. When her team mate Amanda Borden,was going through some physical problems, Kerri was the one who kept her spirits up.
During the vaulting events, 14-year-old Dominique Moceanu vaulting next to last, wound up short both times, landing ingloriously on her rear end. Her low scores put the pressure on Strug to anchor the team with her best event-the vault.
But disaster struck when Strug raced to the vault and landed incredibly and shockingly on her seat and, what was worse was that she had came up limping. She had gotten a score of 9.162 which was actually enough to ensure U.S. victory but she went for a second try at the vault despite a severe sharp pain in her left ankle.
Her second try gave her a higher score of 9.712 but she was unable to stand up and was collapsing in pain after hopping on 1 foot to face the judges. 2 assistants had to carry her out and her teammates were already trapped between celebrations and concern for Strug.
Why did Strug go on a second try despite a sharp pain in her ankle after her first try on the vault?
"I knew with Dominique falling on both vaults, the gold was slipping away...I let the adrenaline take over."
But by making that second try, she risked more serious injury-a severe ankle sprain that forced her to withdraw from individual competitions 2 nights later. It was her guts and anything-for-the-team performance that won praises from the media, her fans and people all over the world.
Kerri has shown what her determination, guts and give-your-best sort of attitude can do for her team. It is this kind of spirit that really shows what it takes to become a gymnast. And we salute her for this and her strong team spirit!!! YES!!!
Kerri Strug raced into her first vault but landed badly on one foot.