Monday, 10 September 2012

The Fierce Three

It brings it home how insane it is that McKayla and Aly have been injured on day TWO of the 40 stop tour (McKayla was not down to do all stops though) when you hear that the introduction of Kyla, Jordyn and Gabby at the end of the Ontario tour stop was..'The Fierce Three'. Both were injured on bars, McKayla on a flyaway dismount and Aly on a fall from a shaposhnikova transition. It emerged after London that Mckayla had been dealing with a fractured fibula, and has been seen in rehearsals with tape on her leg as well as her feet. This would mean it made sense for her to do bars which would not have put pressure on her injuries- despite the fact that bars is her weakest event. A flyaway dismount when others were doing double layouts was a smart choice, but unfortunately she landed awkwardly trying to avoid bearing weight on the injured leg, and fell. She was carried off by medics. Aly, surprisingly, fell on a shaposhnikova transition. Another whose bar work is deplored, yet she is extremely consistent on it. Unfortunately, safety and padding seems to have been lacking, and Aly's legs smacked against concrete. She did get up but ended up walking away off the floor. No further news yet on how injured both of them are. It would appear that McKayla's injury is more serious, as she was carried whereas Aly was able to walk away. How sickening for both.

Who is to blame? Whoever decided to skimp on the mats and padding would be a major one. Aly fell on a totally straight transition between the bars, so should have had amply sufficient matting to cushion her. Because the arena was not on a podium, impact is greater on the gymnasts. This is why it is surprising to hear that Aly is doing double arabians, Chellsie double layouts on floor, lots of double layouts from bars and that the boys are doing Kovacs etc. Tours usually scream of watered down gymnastics. It's hard to get excited about backhandsprings and layouts, but this is a wake-up call. Even though neither were hurt doing especially hard dismounts or skills, it's not safe for gymnasts to pull out all the stops when they have been taking a break from training, are exhausted from media appearances, performing in a dark arena and without enough cushioning for landings. McKayla DID play it safe by not doing a proper dismount, yet they could have played it safer by getting her to step down from the lower bar instead seeing as she was injured already. Aly might not have had it in her head that she could possibly miss a skill she hadn't missed before (at least in competition), yet as a whole it would have been nice if transitions were limited to hecht varieties or standing on the lower bar and jumping to high and if releases were scrapped altogether. This isn't a meet or their own gym, and conditions are clearly different. It's sad that the producers felt that watered down gymnastics was not enough. Hopefully Aly and McKayla recover soon and that it sounds worse than it is.

Update: USAG statement released. Aly bruised her knees, she will be following treatment but it sounds like she's good to go and will carry on with the tour. McKayla spent the night in hospital and is undergoing testing today. No diagnosis yet but the photo of her leg in a brace up to her left hip doesn't bode well.

I hate people. The first comment under the statement is somebody saying that they were at the tour last night and that they were 'bummed because we were hoping they would be at the meet and greet at least but they weren't'. WAY more important than assessing and treating potentially serious injuries! Knob.

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