ADULT CLASS NEWS
This is the most current issue of the Adult Class Newsletter.
Some of our previous Newsletters include:
Adult Gymnasts and the Olympics
2000 Olympics are now a memory and only the record books will serve
to remind us of what will probably be remembered as one of the most
unusual world-class gymnastics competitions ever held in this
quadrennial event. Looking back, it’s easy to spot the negatives and
overlook the positives. The coaching fiasco with Bela Karolyi,
the technical fiasco with the women’s vault, the political
fiasco surrounding the taking of the gold medal from Romania’s Andrea
Raducan, and the disappointment at seeing our American athletes fail
to reach the medals podium, will be etched in our memories for some time
to come. Certainly, these negative aspects of this 27th Olympiad might
overshadow some outstanding performances by some of the world’s
premier gymnasts. However, I think most of us will also remember the
dominance of the Russian and Romanian women as well as the
great mastery of the Chinese men. The fact that our American men’s
and women’s teams failed to bring back gold, silver or bronze does not
take away from the hard work they put into their training nor the high
level of their performances. These are fine women and men with great
talent who deserve a gold medal for all the hard work, heart and soul,
that they’ve given to the sport. Congratulations to the American
While our young athletes were representing our country in the land down under, a different kind of Olympics was taking place back here at home in L.A. County. The Senior Olympics is an annual gymnastics meet for adults held at the L.A. Valley College in Van Nuys. This year, the Senior Olympics was held on Saturday, September 24, and a trio of gymnasts from the USGTC adult class participated along with approximately 20 others
Southern California. Although these gymnasts do not enjoy the benefit of
training four or more hours a day, seven days a week in a picturesque
setting like Colorado Springs (home of the U.S. Olympic Training
Center), they still have the heart and determination to do their
best when they perform at events such as the Senior Olympics and the Gym
Masters Classic, which was held this past June here at the USGTC.
USGTC adult class participants at the Senior Olympics this year were Daneen
Leidig, Masako Kardos and Ross Shaw. All three
received gold medals in their respective events and in their
respective age divisions. Daneen received the overall highest score in
the balance beam competition.
Throughout the Senior Olympics competition, the contrast to the events unfolding in Sydney could not have been more striking. While the Sydney athletes enjoyed the most modern sports facilities in the world today, the older gymnasts in Van Nuys had to contend with very cramped quarters, including a vaulting horse that was located approximately three feet from a wall (on the side) and about ten feet from another wall. I’m sure our Sydney athletes would have declined to vault in this setting, even if the horse were set at the correct height. Also, while the Sydney gymnasts could rely on two or more coaches to help them along, in Van Nuys most competitors had only themselves for a coach. In many cases, competitors helped each other with apparatus set-up, mat placement, spotting and even tips on improving a performance.
Our Van Nuys competitors proved once more that many adults of all ages are still putting their hearts and souls into gymnastics for the sheer love of the sport. Congratulations to all our adult competitors - your efforts deserve a gold medal!