While London all-around champ Gabby Douglas was named AP Female Athlete of the Year Friday, and American teammate Aly Raisman took home co-Bostonian of the year, Jordyn Wieber was busy getting back to work.
According to her outspoken coach John Geddert’s Facebook page, the 17-year-old contacted him Friday (his birthday!) and informed him that she’s ready to resume serious training, with sights set on the U.S. Championships in August.
“One step at a time of course, but what a great birthday present. Have to say I am a bit geeked about this….”
Wieber hasn’t made an official announcement of her future plans in gymnastics, and it’s too early to assume Rio, but it would appear the heavily touted 2011 world champ, who suffered a painful disappointment by not qualifying to the Olympic all-around competition, is ready to take the next step.
In a post Olympic interview, Geddert expressed concerns over Jordyn’s age and body type (she’ll be 21 in 2016) saying, “Like it or not, this is a little girl’s sport, not a women’s sport.”
If Geddert needs a reference on age, we have a good one:
American Shannon Miller suffered disappointment by finishing with an all-around silver medal by one one-thousandth of a point in Barcelona. She went on to become America’s most decorated gymnast, a back-to-back world all-around champ, part of the first U.S. gymnastics team to win Olympic gold, and the first American to take Olympic gold on the balance beam. Miller was nearly 20 at the time. Not bad.
You want one more?
Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina suffered incredible disappointments in 1996, and again in the 2000, when she (like Wieber) was the reigning world champ and expected to take the all-around crown – until, of course, someone set the vault at the wrong height. Khorkina eventually prevailed, winning three world all-around titles, including her final one at age 24. She added an Olypmic all-around silver medal to her resume in Athens at the age of 25.
The relatively inexperienced U.S. gymnastics team performed brilliantly this summer. Both the team and individuals like Douglas and Raisman made history, but Wieber’s determination and unfinished business? That’s the kind of stuff that can make all-time greats. Good luck, Jordyn.