008: #scarstories feat. Ali Krieger

We talk to Ali Krieger about the highs and lows of her ACL injury recovery. She opens up about what was frustrating about return to sport, how she learned to value a different perspective while sitting on the sideline, and how her script of what happened in the following years couldn’t of been written any more perfect.

She talks about her initial feelings, the hardest mental and physical battles she faced, and how she used small goals each day to help her feel the progress of her recovery.

Ali also speaks about what her dad taught her at a young age that helped her through the ACL recovery and is something she still uses to this day.
We also play a fun rapid-fire answer game with Ali and get a “February Feels” playlist from her that we will share via Spotify.

2017 Melbourne World Cup  Day 3 “Finals Day 1” Recap

Today was another great day at the 2017 Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne. My day began by watching the Japanese men train on the podium. They all looked super strong and even Kenzo’s floor timers made me gawk. I then was able to watch the general warmup and event warmup which I devoted to watching Sanne Wevers train beam. Her beam training is spectacular to watch. She does countless spins and holds on relevé and is rock solid on every single one. For the competition I sat directly in front of bars and vault so I could get the best view of those two apparatus. I was lucky enough to be sitting next to Peggy Liddick and the rest of the Gymnastics Australia VIPs and got to hear some great insight into the competition from them.

The competition began similarly to Wednesday with Womens Vault and Mens Floor. Mens floor featured Dual World Champion and Olympic Champion Kenzo Shirai who was the clear favourite going into finals. Shirai had a pretty solid routine but had some low landings and lunges forward that kept his E score well into the 7s. Luckily for him his massive D score was able to let him hang on for the Gold Medal with a Score of 14.700 (7.2).

In second place with a score of 14.466 (5.9) was China’s Mu Jile. He showcased some spectacular tumbling with brilliant form to win the silver medal. He opened with a stuck double front and finished with a massive stuck triple twist that made the crowd go wild. Aesthetically he looked like the winner however he lacked the D to overcome Kenzo tonight. Ferhat Arican of Turkey was in third place with a score of 14.033 (5.7) which tied him with Japan’s Wataru Tanigawa, however due to tie break rules Arican was awarded the bronze medal. Arican had a really clean routine that was leagues better than his performance in qualification. He performed beautiful clean tumbling combined with lots of artistic flair which the crowd loved. Hilariously the gymnasts that medaled received a massive jar of Vegemite on the podium which had ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ written on them depending on the medal awarded. I hope the gymnasts realise how long it really takes to eat a jar of Vegemite that big (at least a year).

Women’s Vault was on during the Mens floor and showcased some amazing and powerful vaulting. This was especially evident in the top three gymnasts who were clearly the best vaulters in the field tonight. China’s Wang Yan capitalised on her bigger D scores to take the gold medal with two strong vaults scoring 14.250. Her first vault which was a double twisting tsukuhara landed a bit low but had good form throughout. Her second vault, a basically stuck handspring rudi, was much stronger and allowed her to claim the title here in Melbourne. 

Emily Little of Australia was close behind in second place with a score of 14.199. Emily’s double twisting yurchenko was by far the best vault of the competition and had a lot of amplitude. Her simple yet well performed tsukahara 1/1 could only clinch her the silver medal tonight. In third place was Australia’s Naomi Lee with a 13.383 who showed two huge vaults that have massive potential to be upgraded. Both her full twisting yurchenko and her laid out tsukahara look ready to upgraded and we will surely see them both soon. Naomi was swamped by adoring fans at the barrier to the competition floor after she had received her medal and Vegemite jar.

The next final was the pommel horse final which featured 2012 Olympic Champion Krisztian Berki. Berki did not disappoint coming away with the win for a beautiful clean routine that scored a 14.933. He had great flexibility and internal amplitude that made him a class above the rest of the field in terms of execution and presentation. 

Zou Jingyuan of China was in second with a 14.433 and fellow countryman Weng Hao was in third place with a 14.333. Overall the men really stepped up on pommel horse with far fewer falls than what we saw in qualifying.

Up next on the program was the rings final which had a tie for gold between China’s Zou Jingyuan and Wu Guanhua. Both men had beautiful routines with stuck dismounts. This resulted in their matching E and D scores, allowing them to both take gold with a score of 14.866. Ibrahim Colak of Turkey was in third place with a 14.366 and showed off his long lines and clean form throughout the exercise. The rings competition was super exciting as the entire field performed really well and made massive improvements upon their qualifying routines.

Uneven Bars was the final event of the night and featured China’s Luo Huan and Liu Tingting who ended up taking silver and gold medals respectively. Liu Tingting of china had a pretty strong routine with a score of 14.300 but had a couple of missed handstand that kept her E score below the 8.5 range. She definitely had the best rhythm and line tonight which allowed her to take the gold medal. 

Luo Huan of China also had a great routine but had to improvise after going over on a pirouette. She managed a great save to come up with the silver medal with a score of 13.866. 

Australias Rianna Mizzen came through for the bronze with a solid routine but had some struggles on her opening weiler kips and was a bit tight throughout the exercise. She scored a 13.433 to round out the podium.

Overall tonight was an amazing night of gymnastics that had a great and appreciative crowd. All of the Australian gymnasts got massive cheers and showed how the popularity of gymnastics in Australia is surely growing. Ambassador Aly Raisman also made appearances tonight and talked about her time hear in Australia. She seemed a lot more bubbly tonight and a lot less jet lagged. I’m super excited for the rest of the finals and the sold out crowd tomorrow night in Hisense Arena.