Injury a setback but Mitchell pushes on for glory

4:19 AM

With thanks to my beautiful sisters for bringing my attention to this article on Lauren Mitchell from today's (23rd  of February, 2012) The West Australian newspaper. The article, which you can read in full here, was recorded as part of the Coles Sports for Schools program at Kapinara Primary School in City Beach, where Mitchell and Australian pole vaulter Steven Hooker were the special guests. The Coles Sports for Schools initiative aims to make children more active at schools.            

Gymnast Lauren Mitchell, Australia's best hope for gold at the London Olympics, has a shoulder injury which has forced her to stop training on the uneven bars before her first overseas trip of the year.
The star of the WAIS gymnastics program, which also includes three other Olympic squad members - Emily Little, Georgia Simpson and Nikki Chung - has not allowed the setback to prevent her from training.
"The injury is a setback because I am not able to train on the bars but that has allowed me to work on other areas, which is a positive," Mitchell said.
"I have been working on my execution because the start value is at the highest level and that is what you need to be a contender in the finals at the Olympics."
Her coach, Martine George, said Mitchell had come a long way in the past three weeks. George said the decision to stay off the bars was made to prevent her from aggravating the injury while still allowing her to prepare for her two pet events on the floor and beam.
"She needs to rehabilitate well before she jumps back on the bars because we don't want to take any risks with the instability in the shoulder," George said.
"It is a balancing act for her because we leave for two big competitions in Montreal and Seattle next month where she needs to get back on the international scene even though we don't expect her to compete all-around."
Mitchell's main goal is to get ready for Olympic selection trials in Sydney from May 22 to 26.
She said the trip to Canada would give the team a feel of where it stood on the world stage in the lead-up to London.
"My main goal at the Olympics will be to qualify the team into the top eight and after that anything can happen in the finals," she said.
She said her last Olympics campaign in Beijing was disappointing after falling off the beam, and her floor routine was not as good as it was when she won the world title in 2010 or when she took two silvers at the 2009 world championships.
"I am not able to train on the bars but that has allowed me to work on other areas, which is a positive.""

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