Going Out on Top


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Elizabeth Price ends her elite career with a gold in the all-around.

Gymnastics. A sport about constantly reaching for perfection. And then reaching for even more. Setting goals – small goals that lead to large goals, large goals that lead to larger goals, that eventually lead to the elusive end-goal. Since perfection is not actually attainable, the struggle to define what those end goals truly are, and when you have reached them, is quite difficult. So choosing to go out when you are at the top of your game, yet have not actually reached the “normal” goals of elite gymnastics is not a decision we see often in the world of gymnastics.

Right now, Ebee, as she is affectionately known to her fans, is the “it” gymnast. Many had declared 2014 as the Year of Ebee. She won the all-around in both international competitions she competed at early this year – the American Cup and the Pacific Rim Championship. She won the all-around in the FIG World Cup Series. She scored a career high beam score in March at the American Cup, and her career high floor score in April at the Pac Rims. Added to that were  her two best all-around scores at the same meets, reaching within tenths of Simone Biles all-around score at last years World Championships. With injuries abounding, Price seemed to be a lock for this year’s World Championship team, and a definite top contender for the all-around world title.

And though Price has accomplished so much internationally, winning four World Cup titles, these are goals she has never attained. In her first year as a senior, she was named as an alternate to the 2012 Olympic Team. In 2013, injuries held her back from being named to the World Championship team. And so it seemed an obvious choice that Price would defer her scholarship to Stanford for at least a year to make a run at this World Championship team, if not longer to work towards Rio. When you add all that up, it is as refreshing as it is unexpected to see Elizabeth Price retire from elite gymnastics this spring.

You see, these goals may be the ones we expect of elite gymnasts, but they are not Price’s goals. “I never really planned on going to Rio,” Price told NBC Olympic Talk. “It would have been a huge experience if I had gotten to go to the Olympics, or if I were to go in 2016. … But I don’t think that there will be any regret or anything for me not going.”

Though she had not planned on Rio, it would still seem that deferring for a year to go to the World Championships in light of her current success would be in order. “Even though it made me a better competitor, it was really a decision that I wanted to move on from gymnastics. I felt like I had accomplished everything I wanted to with my elite gymnastics career. I don’t think worlds would make me feel any better of how well I did [as an elite gymnast],” she said.

As a fan of gymnastics, I am most used to seeing a mix of heartbreak and success at the end of a gymnast’s elite career. Either not having achieved what they longed for, or having achieved it, then wanting to achieve it again and falling short. To see someone like Price, achieve more than she hoped for in elite gymnastics, and then keep her focus on HER goals (NCAA gymnastics) and move on towards those is quite refreshing. It is so wonderful to cheer her on with a heart full of happiness at all she has accomplished.

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Martha Karolyi and coach Donna Strauss congratulate Elizabeth Price after beam.

Price will be attending Stanford in the fall, and will no doubt dominate the NCAA scene. She currently competes some of the most difficult vault, bars and floor in elite gymnastics. Going into NCAA with that kind of difficulty and a healthy body will make her a standout for sure, and an incredible addition to the Stanford team. Price says she chose Stanford because it is a great academic institution with a great gymnastics team.

Here’s a look at Elizabeth Price’s last international elite gymnastics meet.

Career High Floor Routine

Second highest bar score of her career

Her last elite meet interviews:

And just for fun, her career best vault:

And career best beam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4hLll-7PQo

Congratulations Elizabeth Price, for an incredible elite gymnastics career. We look forward to four more years!

Pacific Rim Competitors


The official roster of the women slated to compete in the women’s gymnastics portion of the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships next week. Check out the full list for the competitors in the other divisions.

Junior

Aya Meggs AUS
Darcy Norman AUS
Yasmin Collier AUS
Rose-Kaying Woo CAN
Shallon Olsen CAN
Megane Roberts CAN
Ying Liu CHN
Tingting Liu CHN
Huan Luo CHN
Linlin Zhou CHN
Mariana Andrade
Gomez CRC
Heika Del Sol Salas Castro CRC
Yariela Francini Mena Matarrita CRC
Ivanka Victory Arroyo CRC
Marina Kawasaki JPN
Ayu Koike JPN
Yurika Yumoto JPN
Stephanie Hernandez MEX
Cinthia Ruiz MEX
Karla Vielma MEX
Paulina Campos MEX
Nicolle Castro MEX
Millie Williamson NZL
Katrina Marie Evangelista PHI
Li-Ya Huang TPE
Bailee Key USA
Norah Flatley USA
Nia Dennis USA

Senior

Georgia-Rose Brown AUS
Emily Whitehead AUS
Kiara Munteanu AUS
Aleeza Yu CAN
Elsabeth Black CAN
Maegan Chant CAN
Yufen Xie CHN
Wei Wang CHN
Karina Regidor Gomez CRC
Hiu Ying Angel Wong HKG
Yuen Yin Ng HKG
Ka Man Leung HKG
Mai Murakami JPN
Chinami Otaki JPN
Karla Retiz MEX
Courtney McGregor NZL
Charlotte Sullivan NZL
Anna Tempero NZL
Isabella Amado PAN
Valentina Brostella PAN
Ana Victoria De Leon PAN
Ariana Orrego PER
Cristina Onofre PHI
Ashly Wei-Ning Lau SIN
Jing Ying Joey Tam SIN
Janessa Min Yi Dai SIN
Yu-Ju Lo TPE
Tseng-Ning Lin TPE
Jhih-Han Wu TPE
Simone Biles USA
Elizabeth Price USA
Kyla Ross USA

 

2014 USA Pacific Rims Team Announced


USA Gymnastics announced the women’s artistic gymnastic team representing the US at the upcoming Pacific Rims Gymnastic Championships on the heels of the City of Jesolo Trophy meet. Martha Karolyi and the rest of the selection committee used the results from the meet to make their final selection for the upcoming championships in Richmond, B.C., Canada, April 9-11.

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The team is made up of three seniors and three juniors, following the format of the competition. USA Gymnastics is sending USA’s best. This team is full of champions, including seniors Simone Biles, the reigning World all-around champion, Kyla Ross, the reigning 2013 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympic team gold medalist and Elizabeth Price, 2014 AT&T American Cup champion and four time World Cup aa champion.  Rounding out the team are juniors Bailie Key, reigning US junior national champion, Nia Dennis, and Norah Flatley who all showed strong performances at the City of Jesolo Trophy meet last weekend, sweeping the medal podium.

The team will begin podium training on Monday, April 7th, preparing for the first day of competition on Wednesday, April 9th against 15 other countries from around the Pacific Rim. The USA will compete in the draw with Canada, China, Hong Kong and Panama at 7 p.m. PT for the team and all-around competitions. Juniors advancing on to event finals will compete on Friday, April 11th at 6 p.m. and seniors will compete on Saturday, April 12th at 2:30 p.m. The full schedule includes men’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline gymnastics.

The competition will be livestreamed at pacificrimchamps.com.