The Retirement Debate

12:57 AM

It's everywhere!
THE "R" Word... retirement

Two new articles have surfaced focusing on retirement from elite sports. The first is an opinion piece by Ron Green Sr. for the Charlotte Observer which you can read here. His opinion is centred around golfer Annika Sorenstam and tennis superstar Justine Henin's announcements of retirement from their respective sports and the fact that "when to quit is subjective". Both these ladies, went out on top and the common feeling that it was the right thing to do (the right time). It then bizarrely talks about one Miss Brandy Johnson:

Brandy Johnson was a world class gymnast until one day she was suddenly terrified of doing her usual routines on bars and beam. She said, "My brain was telling me it was time to quit."

Life after gymnastics turned out well for her, but she said, "A lot of girls are lost after gymnastics. They've spent their whole life doing something they can't use anymore."

What Brandy says is somewhat try, but what about the courage, determination, perfection and drive achieved from gymnastics? Can these not be refocused on another aspect of their lives? I think if I can recall correctly that there are some organizations in Australia and America which assists them in life after elite gymnastics and other elite sports. I guess it largely comes down to the individual and their ability to adapt to the change in lifestyle.

The second article I only include as a general interest point. It talks about the dangers of burnout for Rafael Nadal and co on a crowded ATP circuit. You can read the article here, but I would like to point out this last statement:
The way things are going, it won't be surprising to see tennis go the gymnastics way with players coming in when they are 15 and out before they are 25.
Umm... gymnasts today are pushing this age "cut-off" focusing only on the 2007 WORLDS think Oksana Chusovitina (1975), Daiane Dos Santos (1983), Daniele Hypolito (1984), Victoria Karpenko (1981), Colombia's Bibiana Velez (1983), Jekaterina Appel (EST, 1981), Isabelle Severino (1980), Jana Kormskova (1983), Katja Abel (1983), Greece's Vasiliki Millousi (1984), Monica Bergamelli (1984), Yeny Ibarra (1982), Kathrine and Julie Hansson (1984), Ursula Botha (1984), Elena Zamolodchikova (1982), Pi-Hsuang Chiang (TPE, 1983), Laura del Carmen Moreno (1978), Katerina Maresova (1984).
Grrr. People should talk about the sport they know and not add an analysis in comparing what they don't know. Oh great publicity and exposure for gymnastics though?

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