Why we gave Nastia a standing ovation…

I just read an article about Gabby and Nastia at the Olympic trials. How Gabby may be the next Mary Lou Retton after charming the crowd at the Olympic trials and how Nastia was overwhelmed by a standing ovation after her horrible fall from the bar – an ovation comparable to the one she got when she won previous championships.
I was there in the crowd. Yes, Gabby charmed me. You will see why in less than 3 weeks when she charms you, too, with her performance in London.
And I know why we (the crowd) gave Nastia such a vigorous ovation even as her Olympic hopes were dashed: because she is still "Nastia Liukin – 2008 Individual All-Around Gold Medal Winner??for the USA.
I walked around the HP Pavilion for four days, watching??young athletes compete in the meet??of a lifetime and one of the things that impressed me most: so many??kids and??their parents were wearing t-shirts emblazoned with their??achievements: Level 6??Championships, Team Twisters, even one??from my hometown: 2011 Women's Gymnastics Idaho State Championships (the turquoise of the shirt??is very distinctive, I recognized it immediately and then wondered where my daughter's shirt like that was now…??tucked in some drawer somewhere).
So I know that a lot of the crowd??knew??how amazing??a gymnast Nastia is despite her??troubles at the trials. We've seen our??kids struggle to gain back skills after growth spurts, we've seen our kids have bad meets where??they flub skills they perfected??years before, we've seen them crumble under the stress of a particular??stiff competition. We know it's not always about that day's performance.
I am very sorry that I will not see??Nastia??compete in London but I am very excited??about watching my new found favorites: Gabby Douglas and Sam Mikulak.
Gymnastics is a??very difficult sport that calls for youth and strength – to??be??honest, I am most looking forward to rooting on the 16 and 17 year-olds that compete in Rio in 2016 because??my daughter will be 13 and (hopefully) still in gymnastics. She has??connected to Jordyn this Olympics so much more than she connected to Shawn and Nastia last Olympics (granted, she was five – but already a gymnast), I can't imagine the connection she will feel for the next round of Olympians and I hope to treasure every moment of it.
But first – GO GABBY!
Oh, and from my daughter – GO JORDYN!

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