Gymnast competed in her first meet this past weekend. The meet was located in Mobile at Planet Gymnastics, owned by former Olympic champion Vladimir Novikov. She is competing Level 4 with the USGA. Some of her coaches wanted her to start with Level 3. She came home crying that Level 3 was baby stuff and she wanted to do Level 4. There is quite a jump in skill and length of routine from Level 3 to Level 4. She said that she would work hard to learn her routines. I told here that she might miss a meet or two trying to learn the routines. Well her teammates were ready in Sept. so she missed one meet. But she worked hard the last 4 weeks to learn her routines. She was competing in the 6-7 year old division. She was the youngest, with only one other 6 year old competing. The others were 7, some close to 8 even. She did great at the meet. Wes and I were both choked up and tried hard not to cry. She acted so grown up. She wasn’t nervous at all. On the way to the meet she was talkative. Which is uncharacteristic. Gymnast and I can get in the car and drive for 30 minutes and she only asks one question. She told me that it was going to be like an exhibition where all the Moms and Dads sit in the gym and watch. I told her she was right. So for her there was no pressure. Here’s a video of her doing her routines (it’s about 5 minutes long). (This is my first time downloading a video to my computer and uploading it here. It’s not the best quality. I’ll have to work out the bugs.)
Her team is the third team to march in and line up. They are Flip City and are dressed in blue and black leotards.
She remembered her routines and didn’t have to stop and think about what comes next. She did balance beam first and did great. She hardly wobbled. She missed her dismount but got right back up and did it correctly. Next her team went to the floor. You may remember that in May she was doing a roundoff backhandspring and making it look easy. In fact about a month later she could do 2-3 backhandsprings after her roundoff. Well about July she all of a sudden forgot how to do it. Every now and again in the gym she’ll finally get it worked out. But all summer she has been fighting the fear to just do it again. On the floor she pauses between her roundoff and backhandspring. It led to some deduction but we were thrilled that she went for the backhandspring. I’m sure in 3 weeks by the next meet she will have it worked out. Next up was vault. She has struggled a little with her vault. She just hardly weighs enough to get a good rebound off the springboard. But she pulled it off great. Next was the bars. This has been the area she struggles the most. Her hands are tiny and she doesn’t quite have enough strength. She does a beautiful mount and dismount but struggles with the skills in the middle. She scored lowest on her bars. I am pleased to report that when we were in the gym yesterday she finally got one of her bar skills, her front hip circle. That will give her a better score at the next meet.
So what were the results. There were 7 gymnasts competing in her division. She scored 7th overall. She placed 6th on vault, bean and floor. They gave medals for each event for 1st – 5th place and gave overall medals for 1st – 7th place. So she came home with one medal. She was thrilled. We told her that she may not get any medals since this was her first meet. She thought she could come home with a few. But getting just the one was wonderful for her. Here’s a picture of her in her team leotard with her medal. She is very proud to be wearing that leotard.