Retiring too soon: The legacy of MG Elite in NCAA — Other gym news — Thoughts from UCLA’s Katelyn Rosen
The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, Nov. 4, 2023
Happy Gymnastics Saturday! Amid all the college decisions that have come in the last couple of weeks, Zoe Gravier’s announcement Thursday that she was medically retiring from the Alabama gymnastics team hit like a lead balloon.
Gravier is one of several gymnasts who came up under Maggie Haney’s tutelage at MG Elite and whose careers, both elite and NCAA, have been hampered or cut short by injury. Laurie Hernandez, Riley McCusker, Ariel Posen, Olivia Greaves and Danae Fletcher are just a few more names from whom we might have seen more.
Haney was suspended by USA Gymnastics for eight years in 2020 for verbally abusing and mistreating her gymnasts. The suspension was later reduced to five years following an appeal.
That’s not to diminish what these women accomplished despite Haney. But you have to wonder how many more accolades they missed because of injuries, disrupted training and the repercussions of abuse. We have seen this over and over — with some coaches more than others — where gymnasts’ careers are too much, too soon, and we get medical retirements instead of longevity.
“Dear Gymnastics,” Gravier wrote on Instagram, “I can only hope I made little Zo proud.” She made all of her fans proud.
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Other gym news
College Gym News has a new installment of its Judge’s Inquiry column, this time about differentiating vaults. It also has a recruiting roundup (so much news this week!), a feature on four-star recruit Allie Forbes’ commitment to Yale, and a rundown of who’s returning to NCAA competition after injury.
All Things Gymnastics, hosted by past Five at The IX guests Ashlee and Brittany Bueller, interviewed Michigan coach Bev Plocki.
Amelia Disidore announced her commitment to Florida.
Jade Carey did a fun interview about her journey through elite and NCAA gymnastics.
Rebeca Andrade has returned to training wolf turns. Should we be happy about this turn (sorry) of events?
Sandra Elsadek did a fun YouTube interview. Elsadek graduated from Ball State and competed at Georgia for her Covid year. She now competes elite representing Egypt.
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Five at The IX: Katelyn Rosen
Katelyn Rosen is a freshman at UCLA. She is a former U.S. elite gymnast and was a national team member in 2020. She trained club at Twin City Twisters, a hotbed of both elite and NCAA talent.
When I saw her as part of this reel that UCLA posted this week showing a very unofficial vault lineup that nonetheless featured five 10.0 start values (plus Chae Campbell’s nearly flawless full), I knew I wanted to speak with her to hear if there was a vault revolution happening in Los Angeles.
LM: UCLA’s vault lineup looks stacked, judging from the video that went up on Instagram this week. What does it mean to you to be part of this lineup?
KR: Honestly, an honor. I’ve been waiting so long to compete for UCLA. So to be a part of such a powerful group just feels awesome.
LM: Do you have any pre-vault ritual or superstitions, anything you always do before you start running?
KR: I wouldn’t call it superstitions, but I do check that I’m starting at the right number. And then I’ll just run through my little key corrections before I go.
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LM: If you woke up tomorrow with the ability to do any vault, what would you try first?
KR: I’d have to say Simone [Biles’] Yurchenko double pike.
LM: How is preseason going for you and for the team?
KR: It’s going amazing. The energy in the gym is just out of this world. And we have so much fun every day. And we get 1% better every day. So I’m really looking forward to season.
LM: If you could design a leotard, what would it look like?
KR: Lots of blues to represent UCLA. And a really open back to show off our muscles. And lots and lots of bling.
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