Wieber Watch: When is Jordyn coming back?

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Jordyn Wieber’s much anticipated return to gymnastics was originally set to take place at the US National Championships in August, just about a year after she won Olympic gold with team USA. But now Team Wieber appears to be sending some mixed signals to fans and competitors.

Her coach, the limelight loving, big talking John Geddert (who we not-so-secretly love to watch) recently allowed two gymnastics sites into his gym to record mini-documentaries chronicling Jordyn’s return. Both hit the web in the last few weeks, and sent out very different messages. First up was Gymnastike’s “Beyond the Routine,” filmed earlier this year, in which Geddert discusses “championships” as he and Jordyn’s goal numerous times, even going as far as to say “I didn’t want this to be a publicity stunt.”

But in Triple Twist’s recent “A Look Inside Geddert’s USA”, the coach starts ever so casually stating that Jordyn simply has too many obligations this summer – including her sister’s wedding and medical school graduation, her own high school graduation, the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame ceremony – to continue training for nationals. Instead they will revisit where her training is at later this fall.

The stark contrast feels a tad off. In both videos Wieber is training close to her full difficulty, including the two-and-a-half twisting Yurchenko vault, aka: the Amanar, as well as her double twisting double summersault on floor as part of a brand new routine. Looks pretty serious to me. There wouldn’t be a reason for Jordyn to be training peak level skills if her planned peak for the year may not even happen.

Wieber is, however, working on new, more difficult, elements such as a “Weiler full” on the bars, which would be named the “Wieber” if she were to compete it at worlds, and a double turn combination on beam. There is a strong chance she needs more time to become comfortable with the new level of difficulty before competing. She also has yet to attend any of the monthly national training camps at the Karolyi ranch, where just this weekend fellow Fierce Five-ers Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney were seen. Maroney is rumored to be competing in the all-around this year.

But then again, Wieber just tweeted out this little message to fans about the “Beyond the Routine” and the upcoming 2013 championships:

Is Geddert attempting to lower our expectations? Is Wieber taking her time and truly building towards Rio, instead of just a one off national championship? It remains to be seen, but it goes without saying a 2013 U.S. National Championships without Jordyn Wieber would feel oddly empty.

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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