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.
Heard an exciting news today. The 2012 US Olympic Trials will be held in San Jose at the HP Pavilion, which is basically in my own backyard!
It’s always fun having the home crowd behind you as you compete. In fact, USA Championships in 2007 was held at the same site and I had a blast.
I know I’m not the only one working hard right now. Everyone is gearing up and training hard as we enter the second half of this quadrennium. Again, it’s important not only to train hard but also to train smart!
This’ll be another busy week for me. Everything will be pretty much the same until Wednesday, but on Wednesday night I’ll be leaving to go down to San Diego. I’ll be there to judge and coach the boys at the Regional Championships. It’ll be four full days of gymnastics but it’ll be exciting nonetheless. Now that I think about it, I haven’t been down in San Diego since I competed in my first regionals when I was 8 years old! That’s a pretty long time considering I’m out of college and all. Looking back, I remember being super nervous and having a terrible meet. I think I put too much pressure on myself because my dad told me that he would buy me a video game if I won first place. Anyway, It’s funny to think that I’m going back there for the same competition, but this time as a judge and a coach.
As far as things in the gym, they’re definitely coming along. After getting the green light from the doctor last week, I’ve been gradually trying new things with my legs during practice. The other day I did a double-back off of the pbars. I won’t lie about it feeling a bit weird considering I haven’t done a dismount in over 8 months, but there wasn’t any pain. I’m hoping that my knee will start to feel more comfortable as time goes by.
Also as soon as I get my custom brace delievered, I should be able to start doing a little more. The other day, I went back to the hospital to get sized up for it. Overall, it was an interesting experience. The specialist basically created a cast around my leg to make a mold of it. Then that mold is going to get sent to the headquarters so that they can make a custom brace for me. Pretty neat!
Speaking of NCAAs, I was doing some searches on YouTube and came across some cool videos of past NCAAs when Stanford won the team title. Having grown up in the Stanford gym, it’s exciting to see all the people I looked up to when I was younger.
Some of them include Jair Lynch (1996 Olympics silver medalist), Keith Wiley (my “adopted” brother…but more importantly US vault champion), among many others. I definitely laughed out loud when I saw the former head coach, Sadao Hamada, sporting his mustache. He’s known me so long that he considers me to be his son that he never had!
Yup, you know it…I’ve had ties with this school for a long time.
Check out Stanford winning the 1992 and 1995 titles below:
And just for the heck of it, here’s a video of us from last year when we just found out that we won!
Most of our joy came from knowing that we made all of the Stanford gymnasts that came before us proud! Good luck to the 2010 team next weekend at West Point!
I was doing some thinking earlier and realized that this year’s NCAAs is only a week away! Even though I won’t be competing (because I’ve officially completed my eligibility), I’m looking forward to it nonetheless. Looking back, last year’s NCAAs was the most exciting meet that I’ve competed in my career thus far. The meet even tops all of the big international competitions I’ve been to. There’s something about the arena and how intense it gets with five other top-collegiate teams going head-to-head, not to mention the ecstatic fans and all of your teammates mixed in there as well. The meet definitely gets rowdy!
It’ll be another close-battle but I’m hoping to see Stanford defend their national title and become back-to-back champions. For more info on this year’s NCAAs, check here.
The team had a bit of a rough tough time at the conference championships, but it’s necessary to experience that kind of meet every once in a while. It definitely gives you that extra fire to make sure you’re 100% prepared for the next one. Looking forward to seeing all the team’s A-games!
For a few pics from last year’s NCAAs, click here.
The Pacific Coast Classic just finished yesterday, and as expectd, it was an excited meet. At the end of the day, the U-21 Japanese team finished 1st ahead of Stanford, similar to last year’s results. The thing I’m most impressed about the Japanese gymnasts is that they really know how to turn up the intensity when it’s go-time. Sometimes if you watch their practices, it might look like they’re not fully prepared, but come time for the competition, they look a different athlete. Anyway, despite some falls on the parallel bars, the Japanese team took the title over the Stanford team.
After the meet, we had a chance to take them back to Stanford campus and hang out for a while. For most of the night, I played the interpreter so that both teams could communicate. It was a great time and I hope the Japanese guys made a lot of great memories during their time here. Anyway, they leave to go back to Japan tomorrow and wish them safe travels.
Another great part about the weekend was the Champions Invite finished successfully. It was a successful competition and it was great to see a lot of teams come out to the competition. Definitely can expect the meet to grow over the next couple of years.
It’s an exciting and busy weekend all together! For one, the Japanese team is here and they’ll be competing against Stanford and other collegiate teams at the Pacific Coast Classic. Unfortunately some of the college powerhouses that are usually here aren’t competing this year (budget reasons?). The meet should be fun nonetheless. We’re also really excited about being able to hang out with the Japanese team after the meet ends! We had the chance to do so last year and had a blast.
Another big event that’s occurring this weekend is the annual Champions Invitational. The gym that I’m currently training at is hosting a large competition for junior level boys. There’s a bunch of California teams in attendance as well as a couple out of state ones. Since the gym has recently moved to a new location and a better facility, it should be a great meet!