Hey All, wanted to write a quick note saying that I successfully made it back onto the national team following the US National Championships.
It was a long two years after I hurt my knee back at Japan Cup in 2009, but thank you to all that supported me and believed that I could return once again. This is only the beginning!
I would totally write more right now but sadly the meet went for a long time and it’s super late here. More details to come soon.
Last night, my teammates and I finished competing in the team meet at the Japan Cup. Even though there were several highlights throughout the meet (big props to Horton and Steve Legendre for landing their vaults after their funky blocks off the table), the US team had one too many miscues that really cost us in the end. In a 3-up, 3-count event, where all three scores count per event, there is definitely zero room for error. While we can continue to get down on ourselves for the mistakes we made, we are going to take this experience to make us stronger and perform better in future competitions. Aside from Jon and myself, none of the other team members have been in a international senior team meet. That said, we’re definitely a very young team and have a lot of potential to grow. If you look at the difficulties that we put up on each event, we’re just as good as the strongest teams in the world. We just need to go back to our own gyms and focus on refining our gymnastics, as well as putting the pressure on ourselves day in and day out to make sure that we hit our routines when it counts.
As for me, I competed three events yesterday (pommel horse, rings, and high bar). Pommel horse didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I ended up falling which was rather unusual for me considering I’ve been pretty consistent during my practices. I guess it just goes to show how mentally tough you have to be in a 3-up, 3-count format. This is another major thing that I will take from this competition and something I will build on once I get back home. The next event, Rings, went pretty well. Despite having a sore shoulder, my strength was pretty good and I stuck the landing. My last event, high bar, was definitely the most interesting event. Everything was going really well until the dismount when I hyper-extended my knee (yea I know, big bummer). Somehow I managed to stick the dismount, which was a good thing, but I had to be carried off the podium by my coaches.
Anyway, we’re all hoping that it’s nothing serious but we won’t know for sure until I get back to the states and get some images taken. As for the pain, it’s not too bad but the knee is definitely a bit stiff being that I injured it just yesterday. That said, I’m hoping that I can get back to training as soon as possible. If not, I’ll definitely use this experience in the most positive way possible and treat this as an opportunity to train my upper-body. The sport of gymnastics is full of injuries but no way is my knee gonna slow me down from getting stronger. It’s crazy how injuries always make me more motivated!
Later on, the US delegation will go cheer on the guys (Danell and Steve) who’ll be competing in the all-around competition. It’ll definitely be an exciting meet. Even though I’ll be sitting in the stands this time, I’ll take this opportunity to soak in everything and use it as motivation for when I get back to training in my own gym!
Today was a fairly busy day for us. We started the day with a team breakfast at the hotel and headed to our first workout right after. Since we were still feeling the effects of traveling across 8 time zones, we took the morning easy and basically just stretched out. Nonetheless, it was nice to get our bodies moving after having traveled a long way to get here.
After morning workout we ate a quick lunch and took a short break before heading back to our second workout. We did a little more in the afternoon but definitely felt a like we needed a bit more time to get used to the new environment and work out some kinks in our body. Speaking of the environment, the arena is completely light blue! I felt like I was in smurf land, but aside from the crazy color, the gym is great with all the equipment situated on podiums. I think that starting tomorrow we should start to feel more accustomed to the arena and come Saturday, we should be completely good to go.
We ended the day with a “welcome banquet,” which all the participants (athletes, coaches, etc) were invited to attend. I’ve gotta say, the Japanese really know how to prepare food. Doesn’t matter if it’s Japanese food or western food, they make it taste good. Anyway, the people here, especially the Japanese delegation has been very hospitable and Team USA is excited to be here to kick start the new quadrennium!
After a 10 hour flight, my teammates and I are finally here in Japan. Upon landing, we took a shuttle (about 45 minutes) to our hotel in Makuhari City, Chiba Prefecture.
I’ve gotta say, the hotel is absolutely awesome. We each get our individual room and there’s a convenience store in the lobby that’s open 24 hours/day. And most importantly, we get free internet! While we didn’t go to the gym today, we stretched in our own rooms and just hung out and relaxed. Right now I’m trying hard to stay awake for a little longer so that I can adjust to Japan time (there’s a 16 hour difference from California). Anyway, tomorrow we’re supposed to go train at the main competition hall so that we can get used to the equipment. It’ll be good to get the kinks out from our long flight!
We might be a bit busy with all that’s going on but I’ll try my best to update my blog consistently while I’m in Japan. That said, I apologize in advance if there’s a lag!
A bunch of the guys on my team (including myself) are going to be pretty busy for the next week or so. Many of us are traveling to various competitions, both domestic and international. The younger guys on the team will be going to Colorado to compete at the US National Qualifying Competition. The National Qualifier determines the final gymnasts that gets to compete at the Visa National Championships which will take place in August in Dallas. Luckily, David Sender and I, do not have to compete at the meet as we are already pre-qualified from being on the US National Team.
Instead, both Dave and I’ll be competing internationally between now and the end of next week. Dave is currently at the Maccabi Games in Israel and will be representing team USA. This will be his first time competing at the Games so I’m excited for him. As for me, I’ll also be representing the US team but at a different meet. As I’ve written in my earlier posts, I’ll be leaving for Japan on Tuesday to compete at the Japan Cup.
While I’m excited to go to Japan because most of my family lives there, I’ve gotta keep in mind that at the end of the day, this is still a business trip and we have some work to take care of. Nevertheless, it’ll be a fun time and I’m ready to enjoy every little thing about the trip!
Good luck to all my teammates competing. Let’s get it done!
Here’s our highlight video from when we hosted NCAAs last year. Unfortunately we still haven’t made one for this season. Hopefully the guys on team can get the ball rolling on that because I’m not so good with all the video editing stuff.
Anyway, take a look: