This weekend is the April National Team camp. And it appears that Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson will both miss it once again.
GymNewstics reported on twitter yesterday: “National Team Camp begins tomorrow: Nastia pulled out at the last minute and Shawn is not going either.”
Back in March, The Gymnastics Examiner reported on Martha’s comments regarding Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.
Shawn Johnson is back from her stint rehabbing her knee in Texas and is “working skills,” according to Martha, but is not in routine shape at this point. Nastia Liukin, Martha said, declined her invitation to the U.S. training camp that took place just before everyone came to Everett. And in what seemed like a pointed warning to both Nastia and Shawn, Martha said point-blank: “If they do not seem to be in at least half routine shape by April, I do not see much hope.” (Lawrence, 2012)
April is almost over. The fact that they are not at camp doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not in half routine shape, but it does raise a lot of eyebrows in the gymnastics community. I am really rooting for them and this news made me sad. It makes me wonder as well.
In a Skype interview with Universal Sports on 100 days out (April 18), Nastia said she felt confident. “Any professional athlete would tell you they wish they were further along, or better, or more consistent or stronger, but for where I’m at right now I feel pretty confident.” Nastia looks great in the training video released recently.
She also said in the interview that bars is coming back the slowest. “I’m pretty pleased to see how much stronger I’ve gotten over the past few months even in being able to put together routines and skills. My shoulder has been bothering me a little bit, so I’m still trying to get that stronger and if anything, that’s been my biggest setback – not allowing me to be further along in the process.” Nastia without an Olympic Finals bars set just won’t make the team.
However, it is only the end of April. And in the gymnastics world, a lot can happen in two months. Chellsie Memmel’s comeback in 2008 comes to mind. Chellsie didn’t compete until nationals. Martha had said she was starting to lose patience and getting a little bit frustrated with Chellsie. But Chellsie wowed everyone and made the team.
I guess it’s not over ’til it’s over! Here’s hoping that the next two months are enough!