Chloe Sims Retires and THAT Broken Bodies Article.

6:40 AM

CHLOE SIMS' RETIREMENT IS OFFICIAL

Yes, another Australian gymnast has retired. Gymnastics Australia released the official media release on Thursday the 15th of May. According to this release, located at this site:

One of Australia’s leading gymnasts, the Queenslander suffered a series of injuries over the past twelve months, however had been working hard to regain her fitness and form in a last ditch effort to make the team for Beijing.

However this week, the 17-year-old came to the realisation that her attempt was in vain. Succumbing to her injuries, Sims made the difficult decision to stand down from Olympic contention and retire from gymnastics after 13 years in the sport.

So very sad, and only a few months away from the Olympics.

Although Sims’ withdrawal is a disappointment for Australia’s Olympic campaign, Australian women’s head coach Peggy Liddick believes the team has the strength and depth to cover Sims’ absence.

“Chloe’s decision has taken a lot of courage this close to the Games, as it has always been her dream to compete at the Olympic Games,” explained Liddick.

“Obviously at this stage of our Olympic preparations, to lose someone of Chloe’s calibre and experience is disappointing, but that is the nature of the sport.

“However, Chloe’s retirement means that the door is now open for other girls to step up and challenge for one of the six positions on offer in the Beijing team.

“We have a strong group with great depth, and we’re looking forward to next week’s nationals and Olympic trials at Vodafone Arena.”

A large number of people have questioned how serious Chloe was about the Olympics, however as Peggy said it has been her dream to attend the Olympics. I think it was a bit disappointing that their was nothing in this media release quoted from Chloe herself. But whatever Miss Sims decides I am happy for her and hope she does well - I believe she is looking into sports aerobics. I think I mentioned I am a newly converted fan of sports aerobics and no this is not a contributing factor to that - Check out some of my favourites: W.A's Kieran Gorman's routine from Borovets 2007 here, 2008 World Champion Ivan Parejo's 1st place routine from the 2008 Borovets World Series located here, 2008 World Champion and one of the greatest Aerobics superstars Marcela Lopez, check out her amazing performance from the World Champs at this link and finally the FISAF 2002 and 2003 World Champion Australian Lauren Farry's routine from the 2002 Worlds at this youtube link.

Broken bodies are tragedy of Beijing Olympics

Article from the Courier Mail site located here

The opening paragraph or subheading depending on how you view it is pretty powerful on it own. "The lost generation" of young superstars in the making, yet are "the casualties of sport" - I semi-agree with this statement, I mean not everyone can make it to the top and yes things can happen on the road, but it's somewhat a fact of life.

The article mentions that in the past 18 months 15 talented gymnasts have left Olympic level programs, with 7 of these being Queenslanders. Some of these retired gymnasts include: Alyce Arrowsmith (QLD/QAS/MBC), Monique Blount (ACT/AIS), Jacqui Bull (VIC/ Waverly), Hollie Dykes (QLD/AIS), Tanya Harle (VIC/Waverly), Anabelle Hawkins (VIC/MLC), Melody Hernandez (NSW/AIS), Trudy McIntosh (VIC/MLC), Karen Nguyen (VIC/VIS), Nikola Photinos (QLD, QAS), Monette Russo (VIC/VIS), Lynn Silcock (VIC,MLC), Stephanie Waters (QLD/QAS), Jasmine Webb (QLD/MBC), Kayla Winch (QLD/QAS), Claire Xian (SA/AIS) and now of course Chloe Sims. Oddly enough none of these gymnasts are from W.A. Obviously says a lot about the program offered over here and the support that the WAIS girls receive from the coaches and Liz Chetkovich, the programme coordinator.

Liddick said she had talked to sports psychologists about the high attrition rate and was told that many gymnasts retired before Olympic trials because they "do not want to know the truth" – whether they were good enough to make the team
I think this is true, however if you have put the time in in the gym and know what you are doing and are happy where you are at in terms of gym and life then I believe that you'll be fine. A lot of people thought that I could have given it a fair go at the 2004 Trials, however injury kept me from participating. And you accept that and it can make you stronger and more determined to carry on with your gymnastics or you can wonder what if? Someone from my past asked me the another day what ever happened with my gymnastics - I guess it took a backseat to my university studies, but I still get into the gym daily and have 99.9% of my skills still [yay!]. Alright back to the article.

Speaking out BRIEFLY in this article are:

SIMS - 3rd AA at the 2007 Nationals, 2nd on vault, 3rd on bars and 4th on floor. At National Clubs in December she was 2nd AA, 1ST on vault and bars, and 2nd on floor.
DYKES -5th AA at last years Nationals, and 2nd on BB. At the 2006 CWG she was 3rd AA, 2nd BB and 1st FX. At the 2006 DTB Cup Hollie was 1st on Beam and 6th on Bars, capping off a 7th place AA finish at the 2006 World Championships. At the Pacific Alliance Championships in Honolulu, Dykes was 3rd AA, 4th on Beam and 5th on floor.
ARROWSMITH - 2 time Junior International Champion at Nationals 2004/2005 and was a Junior representative on the Australian team at the 2004 Pacific Alliance where she was 7th AA, 3rd on Bars and 2nd on floor.
WEBB - 4th AA Junior at the 2005 Nationals, she improved in 2006 finishing 1st AA, as well as on beam, bars and floor. She also competed at the Pacific Alliance in that year coming 7th in the AA and on vault, 6th on beam and 5th on floor.
HAYLEY WRIGHT - Unlucky with injuries, Hayley retired in 2006. She was the 2005 QLD State Champ and was 5th at Nationals in 2005. At the 2006 Nationals Hayley was 4th AA, 3rd on bars and 4th on floor.
WINCH - Renowned for her artistry, Kayla was 1st on Vault, 2nd on Bars and 3rd on floor as a Junior International gymnast in 2006 at Nationals.

Liddick goes on to say:
there was a record 16 competing at next week's trials, including three Queenslanders – Naomi Russell, Amber Fulljames and Larissa Miller.

2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Russell has overcome four operations (elbow, shoulder, knee and ankle) but still maintains her passion and perseverance.

"I really can't think of anything else I would rather be doing and I don't want to have any regrets," Russell said.

"There have been a few times I've thought, 'this is too hard' but I've always got back into the gym the next morning."

Amber Fulljames said that achieving her Olympic dream and her "pure love" of gymnastics, including executing the hard tricks and the travelling, kept her in the sport after overcoming two broken arms and a broken collar-bone.


Here's hoping our Aussie gymnasts triumph over the issues mentioned in this article [weight problems, injuries, the impact on the body, and the "seriousness" of the sport], and show that Australian gymnastics is not in the extreme crisis state that some are saying and that we can attempt to make our make in the gymnastics community. And may some of our seniors or most of them, continue on after the Olympics.

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