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FIG Pres Bruno Grandi pushes for stronger age restrictions
The age requirement for FIG competitions was raised from 15 to 16 in 1997 (the year after Bruno Grandi was elected to FIG President) - if you're 16 by the end of the year, it's ok. Now Grandi is pushing for the 16 years old age reuirement for all international competitions: [quote]Grandi has previously stated his desire for the age limit to be 18. He is now stating that there shouldn't be any international competition for juniors, such as the Junior European Championships, Junior Pan Am Championships or dual meets between two countries. "Gymnasts should only be allowed to compete in international stage when they are mature physically and mentally," Grandi said. [/quote] Nadia Comaneci's response: [quote]"I was great at 14 because I was good at 11," Comaneci said. She said an FIG ban on junior competition won't stop gymnasts from training elite-level skills, but will put gymnasts from small and developing countries at a disadvantage. "Countries like the U.S. are so big, and have so many good gymnasts, that the state of Oklahoma could compete against Nebraska and it would be strong competition," she said. "But what about the small countries with like, 10 gymnasts total. Who will they compete with?" [/quote] http://intlgymnast.com/news/2007/dec/120507_grandi.html It's funny in the IG article they keep using the term 'age limit', implying that you shouldn't be older than that age...in women's gymnastics especially there is a conception in coach's/media's minds that you should start young, compete young, at 22 you're old...not so in men's gymnastics. Changing the age restriction to 18 would probably make the coaches change their training program schedule to peak at that time and not burn out soon and to be careful of overuse injuries, rather than focusing on junior international competition at such a young age and to be in a hurry to get that experience to be ready for the Olympics at age 16. Then again, you peak when you peak. Related: Kim Gwang Suk - 1992 Olympics age controversy -> http://www.gymchat.com/messageboards/viewtopic.php?t=407 . Bela Karolyi accuses: "her milk teeth are falling out which is a good indication she's not even 11", while he has been accused of falsifying age records too. [quote]1986: FIG raised minimum age for competing in senior level competitions from 14 to 15 1997: from 15 to 16 for children's health Quote: The gymnasts -- Alexandra Marinescu, Gina Gogean, Monica Zahiu and Daniela Silivas -- claim coaches and gymnastics officials forced them to declare themselves older so they could compete in senior-level world competitions. Romanian officials deny the allegations. [/quote] http://www.gymchat.com/messageboards/viewtopic.php?t=407 It would be interesting to ask what Bela Karolyi and the Romanian gymnasts who were told to lie about their age, and Kim Gwang Suk and other gymnasts what they think about the age restrictions.
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Good idea for pushing the sport out of the idea that it is just for little kids and at 18 the girls are close to retire. There's also another thread started on it by nance at: "My take on the New Age Limit..." - http://www.gymchat.com/messageboards/viewtopic.php?t=14155 [quote]- Making the age limit higher will encourage athletes to stay in the sport longer. Athletes, especially on the women's side, will see that it's not necessary to stop the sport at 18. Gymnasts like Chusovitina, Khorkina, Bhardwaj, & Hatch have made it abundantly clear and I believe the FIG should encourage that. With Rick over at Gymnastics Coaching slowing changing my mind about event specialists, I believe that the rise of the event specialist will also encourage longevity in the sport. [/quote] The tv commentators on the girls getting old at 18 are getting annoying. Good job to all those like Oksana Chusovitina, Svetlana Khorkina, Mohini Bhardwaj, and Annia Hatch. And their coaches. It's actually not just the tv commentators, but also many coaches and clubs.
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age restrictions are a bit wierd. they dont have them in other sports and its not fair just to have it in gymnastics. the higher the age is raised, the less popular this sport will get. irts so nice to have a sport where the best are just little girls. the best gymnast ever was her best at 14, that says a lot. lifting the limit to 18 is nothing short of insane, if swimmers are competing at 14, why cant gymnasts!?! its actually very mean, the gymnasts and the coaches on the whole dislike any age restrictions. mental readiness can have nothing to do with age, it differs immensly from person to person, its a pity the people in charge cant see that when so many others can. no offence but i reckon bela karolyi knows more about gymnasts and gymnastics than bruno grandi and he says "OPEN IT UP"! and he's right.
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