The July National Team Training Camp roster and the 2014 US Secret Classic roster both had something very disturbing in common. The were missing crowd favorite junior elite Laurie Hernandez of MG Elite. In fact, we will be missing her for some time.
Hernandez participated in her second national team camp of 2014 in June after missing the spring due to a wrist injury. During training, she dislocated her kneecap and tore her patella tendon. Coach MaggieHaney shared, “She was doing her first yurchenko double full of the camp, and she landed short. Her knees were beginning to grow in a weird shape and this was the result. Laurie had surgery about 1 month ago and will need about 6 months to be back to 100%.”
Hernandez rose dramatically in the junior elite ranks from 2012 to 2013, placing 21st in the all-around in 2012 at the national championships to second in 2013. She followed this up with some great international showings as well. With another year under her belt, many have wondered if she would be able to give Bailie Key, current 2013 Junior National Champion, a run for the all-around gold this year. But that will have to wait.
Fortunately, time is on her side. Hernandez does not become a senior until 2016. Though two years is an eternity in the sport of gymnastics, she is currently on track to make a very competitive bid for a place on the 2016 Olympic team. Hernandez’s contagious smile, uplifting personality and crowd favorite floor performances will be missed in 2014. “She has been in the gym conditioning & I’m sure she will come back strong,” assures Haney. We can’t wait!
Here is a look at her May National Team Training camp video
And because it is impossible to talk about Laurie Hernandez without wanting to watch her floor routine…
Panic abound on the gymternet earlier this week – “Is that tape I see on McKayla in that picture?” “She seems to be favoring her right foot in every picture.” “McKayla didn’t train today!” After the second day of light training, the panic became more pronounced. It definitely appeared that something was wrong. However, all USA gymnastics would say is that she hurt her toe, but is fine.
Fine is the same word they used to describe Anna Li on July 24 when she took a nasty fall from the uneven bars. It turns out the injury was worse than they thought and she is wearing a neck brace. “She tore a ligament in her neck, and she has been advised to wear the collar as well as check with a physician upon her return to the States. As a result, she is no longer training as a replacement athlete.” (Gymnastike)
McKayla did vault in podium training like a champ, but did not do floor. Finally, in the first interviews given in London, McKayla revealed that her toe is broken. NBC sheds light on the situation.
Maroney broke the toe in May, then aggravated the break in June. When she landed her beam dismount last Thursday, she split the bone even further. She did only light training the next few days to protect the toe.
McKayla’s view on the situation?
“Bad things happen you just have to make the best of it,” Maroney told NBCOlympics.com. “It does hurt. It’s broken. How is it not going to hurt? I just try to ignore it and I have worked so hard to be here I can ignore the pain for a little bit.” (For the whole interview, check out NBCOlympics.com)
It is not uncommon for a gymnast to compete on a broken foot. Chellsie Memmel did it in 2008. Rebecca Bross did it in 2010. But I can only imagine how painful it is! Here is hoping that no more injury is sustained to her toe, and that ALL the gymnasts (from all the countries) stay healthy from here on out.