Completely impossible: gymnasts wrestle with imperfections | Lifestyle

Will Graves AP Sports Writer

Tokyo (AP) — Snissary gymnastics is great. They are not “perfect”. Anyway, it’s not technical.

Thousands of hours of practice. Dozens in dozens of competitions.And the judge has never seen New Olympic all-round champion Even with the uneven bars she planned for Sunday’s event finals, she was free to see a series of connections and releases that seemed to float, and thought “it’s perfect.”

Lee is not alone. Since the sport has moved from the “10” system to the new, elite gymnasts haven’t scored a perfect score, even for American star and six-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles. 2006 point code.. The score is now a combination of routine difficulty (open end) and execution based on the 10.0 scale.

In theory, “perfect” execution is possible. It’s just that no one has done it. Long ago, Lee came to reconcile with the idea that the perfect routine was a myth, no matter how it felt to anyone other than the two in a blue blazer sitting at the judge’s table.

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Instead, she shoots at what she thinks is best, perhaps above all, with a sense of self-preservation. Her 15.400 bar in the team final was a great night for any athlete at any event and was a spectacular exhibit that helped the United States win the silver medal.

It also included a 1.4 point deduction, and she could feel them piled up, even when her teammates were encouraging.It’s hard to blame her for sounding reassuring when talking about her imminent switch on Friday Compete jointly in Auburn..

“(I) just because it’s so crazy to escape this elite atmosphere,” Lee said.

It is a mental and physical grind. Gymnastics can cause havoc in the body and cast doubt on the mind. Every single turn of every single rotation of every daily practice of your career can be fine-tuned.

“It’s a sport that aims for perfection, so it’s difficult in that sense, but you can’t achieve perfection,” said three-time Canadian Olympic athlete Ellie Black. And it’s easy for the rest of your life and the rest of your career. “

For Lee, some sort of release awaits.

NCAA training is limited to 20 hours per week. The difficulty and length of the routine is one step below what Lee is accustomed to, and the 10-point scoring system is very much alive.

Even if Lee Seung-yuop says, “It’s weird to think about it,” a shot is waiting to excavate the routine and reward it.

This is a delicate psychological dance between the best gymnasts in the world and their sport. Lee has been competing under international law for a long time, and she can’t even understand the idea of ​​seeing a score flash that doesn’t include being stumbled within an inch of her life.

Anyway, from a technical point of view, if you don’t meet the ultimate standards that conflict with most other sports, you need a lot of mental strength to prosper. Tom Brady can throw a 50-yard spiral for touchdown. Stephen Curry can swing 3 pointers. Those moments do not exist in gymnastics.

Black believes that the code for points makes up for it in other ways. The open-ended nature of the system increases creativity in organizing routines.

“It’s part of a sort of addiction,” said Black, who participated in the Olympic all-round final before an ankle injury sat her down. “There is something new to try.”

What’s more, the black man says, “If you can hit something perfectly, you will probably lose some of that interest and motivation.”

In short, Black, like all other gymnasts on the planet, looks for little moments of bliss. Get off the stack. Acquisition of new skills. Smooth connection from one element to another.

Still, inner voices (voices that may feel wobbling or improper hand placement) can be difficult to turn off. American Chellsie Memmel was part of the US team, which won the overall world title in 2005 and the silver medal in Beijing in 2008.

Memel retired and started coaching and judging before Start returning to training during a pandemic.. Even if her skills returned, it was difficult to turn off the “judgment” switch. She records all routines and does a video review with her father, Andy, who also serves as a coach. She loves immediate feedback on what works and what doesn’t, while trying not to overburden herself.

“We need to give ourselves some leeway and not beat ourselves about it,” said 33-year-old Memel, who competed in the US Championships in June. “You should look like this:” OK, that was fine, but where can I make those improvements? What do I need to fix? “

Even if the fixation can feel relentless. Biles is closer to deciphering code than anyone else.

On the second day of the 2015 US Gymnastics Championship, Amânar’s vault, then 18 years old, began to hear “hmm” throughout the arena when he sucked his foot on the mat when getting off.

It looked perfect. I felt perfect. It wasn’t. She received a 9.9-E score. Later, when asked if she knew where the deduction came from, she shrugged and laughed, suggesting that her toes were crossed.

After the Biles got lost in the air, it was the same vault (round-off to the table / backhand spring followed by a 2 1/2 twist) that bailed during the first rotation of the team final in Tokyo. Her availability in the rest of the game is questionable. She has already withdrawn from the finals of uneven bars, vaulting and floor movements. In the beam finals on Tuesday, she may return one of her last bows, even though she has run out of time. For her match with “Twisty” To subside, as she explained them.

This is a phenomenon that can plague the best gymnasts of all time, regardless of skill level. It also emphasizes the pursuit of the sport’s own sisifian, the ultimate goal that can never be achieved.

It may not be the point anyway.

“People need to understand that we are not robots,” said Brazilian universal silver medalist Rebeca Andrade.

Concept Biles, Lee, and everyone else in Tokyo have long understood it. If they had been consumed perfectly, they would have been bailed out many years ago.

Go there. Do you do as much as you can? After all, the fight is not with the judge. It’s yourself.

“I usually don’t even think about scores,” Lee said. “Because that’s when I came to the top.”

And what’s more perfect than that?

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