I awoke this morning to some disturbing news. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/17843966
Now, there are lots of things to worry about in an Olympic year. You want all your favourites to hit their routines. You want minimal falls in team finals and AA to give as exciting a competition as possible. You want judging to be fair and accurate. The main worry though, for me at least, regards injuries: the worst possible thing to happen is for some of your favourites to be pulled at the last minute with an injury (Chellsie Memmel in Athens AND Beijing is a particularly heartbreaking example).
I will be totally honest here and admit that, of all the wonderful possibilities for London, by far my greatest concern is Beth Tweddle medalling on bars. Why?
1. She is amongst my favourite currently competing gymnasts, which although biased is an important factor to state
2. Her bar work has been world class for a decade, which I believe deserves Olympic recognition
3. She has been the most innovative in the field for several years, and builds her difficulty through a variety of difficult combinations as opposed to repetitive pirouette work
4. She must be under immense pressure, both from herself and from the British press
I understand Beth’s bars are not everybody’s cup of tea, but then again I am not suggesting that she necessarily win the gold (although I personally would like her to). I think most fans would struggle to deny that Beth’s routine is top 3 in the world right now.
But Beth has always has an inconsistent streak, sadly making somewhat of a habit of making errors in prelims. An injury and operation, however small, will have to affect her training time. I just hope this won’t affect her too much heading into the games.
As Beth herself says in the BBC article - better for this to happen now than later in the year, a sentiment with obvious truth. I just wish this didn’t have to happen whatsoever, and I am sure Beth does too. I hope it is what it sounds like: a minor operation with a good outcome, and that this knee does not become an Achilles heel.
GET. WELL. SOON.