To find watching the gymnastics utterly depressing?

(208 Posts)
GandalfsWrinklyHat Tue 09-Aug-16 21:53:05

Watching the olympics - gymnastics on right now. Think it's the team competition bit. I know nothing about gymnastics at all, and am in awe of all those girls doing what they're doing, but they are SO YOUNG. And I cannot imagine that they could have had much of a childhood at all. I just find it so depressng. And they must surely know pain? You cannot train to do what they're doing and not experience a lot of pain. Somebody set me straight. I actually feel quite guilty for watching... Am I wrong?

ayeokthen Tue 09-Aug-16 21:55:47

I went to watch my friend's daughter doing a gymnastics class, there were 7-8 year old girls literally screaming in pain as their coaches "stretched" them. I swore my daughter will never be put through pain like that for anything.

Zippidydoodah Tue 09-Aug-16 21:57:10

They are tiny, and so young...I actually just said to do that I want to pick her up and cuddle her! Then that other poor Chinese girl nearly fell right off the floor. sad They are incredible but it must be such a tough job. They must love it though, to be so dedicated!

redhat Tue 09-Aug-16 21:57:55

Why do you think they "know pain"? Yes gymnasts have injuries which are of course sometimes painful but there's not general pain.

Its a good sport to teach resilience, determination and motivation. All of which are fantastic life skills. None of those girls will have reached that level without wanting to be there.

Gymnastics was my life when I was younger (30 years ago now though...) I trained 4 nights a week and on saturdays. I had a great childhood.

Zippidydoodah Tue 09-Aug-16 21:57:58

Omg aye, really??!! I've just signed up my own dd! 😮

redhat Tue 09-Aug-16 21:59:29

ayeokthen there was either something very wrong in that class or they were exaggerating for effect.

Yes it hurts when you stretch but not to that extent. And it's a type of pain that you are used to.

LemonRedwood Tue 09-Aug-16 22:01:47

I spent my childhood and teenage years doing gymnastics and trampolining 4 or 5 days a week. Loved it. Wouldn't change it for anything.

I think I had a less painful experience than my friend who played rugby.

bigbluebus Tue 09-Aug-16 22:03:08

I'm watching with DH who commented that they all look so miserable they should take up a hobby they can enjoy grin

LemonRedwood Tue 09-Aug-16 22:03:15

My coach always used to say that pain is your body's way of saying stop. You should feel it, but it shouldn't hurt.

GandalfsWrinklyHat Tue 09-Aug-16 22:03:52

Redhat i cannot imagine having to get to a point where your body can do the things they do and not experience a lot of pain. As for reaching that level because you want to be there... What do you really know at that age though? They must have started training as very very young children. I can imagine that some (most mabe?) know nothing else and probably had little choice. How many didn't make it for the ones that did. And for all the hours you put in (5 day a week!) what level did you achieve? (Just interested, not being judgey) I just feel very sorry for them. Probably misplaced. Anyway.

Dontrocktheboat Tue 09-Aug-16 22:04:12

My dd does gymnastics and is a similar age - definitely no crying in her class, she loves it and she is fit which is important to me. If she was crying with pain I would take her out the class! Not expecting her to make the olympics but I would imagine all top athletes suffer for their 'art' and nobody is likely to get to the olympics without a love of what they do.

redhat Tue 09-Aug-16 22:04:31

Although miscalculating a somersault and landing with your full body weight with one leg each side of the beam is not a pain you want to experience twice...

RealDMJourno Tue 09-Aug-16 22:05:39

I adored gymnastics. Then as an adult I discovered roller derby.

They aren't being forced to compete, you know.

ShowOfHands Tue 09-Aug-16 22:06:39

BIL was a competitive gymnast when DH and I met and he would cry through training sessions but it was his choice. He did regular exchanges with Russian gymnasts and was horrified by their treatment. I think things are better now.

BlL's a ballet dancer now and says that's worse. The eating disorders are the worst bit and so common.

GandalfsWrinklyHat Tue 09-Aug-16 22:06:52

Yy to rugby. In a previous life i lived in a country where rugby is a bit of a religion and worked as an a&e nurse there. Awful injuries.

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Tue 09-Aug-16 22:06:55

At least it isn't the 70's 80's anymore when the girls regularly had puberty delayed and put on unbelievely restricted diets to keep them tiny (as the USSR did, not sure about other countries)

WorraLiberty Tue 09-Aug-16 22:07:49

My DS's girlfriend does gymnastics and he said the other week that he was utterly shocked at some of the tiny kids, crying in pain as their coaches stretched them.

Nothing really gets to him but he said he had to walk out.

redhat Tue 09-Aug-16 22:08:06

why do you think they had little choice OP? confused. I'm not sure why you think it is different from any other sport. And of course there are thousands who don't make it for the few that do. That again is the same as any other sport.

It is the case that forty odd years ago there were certainly dodgy practices in Eastern Europe though...

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Tue 09-Aug-16 22:08:24

Unbelievably even

GandalfsWrinklyHat Tue 09-Aug-16 22:09:35

I think many are kind of forced to compete. But yes. Huge dedication and dicipline. I could not to that.

Redhat ouch!!

SkydivingFerret Tue 09-Aug-16 22:10:34

Do the Chinese girls get a choice? I saw something on the news about how tiny children are forced to train for up to 10 hours a day...that doesn't seem like they have much of a childhood

WildwestWind Tue 09-Aug-16 22:10:54

I'm just in awe of their capability, especially how high they get when tumbling, and I like their team spirit - they seem to be really supportive of each other.

Rainbunny Tue 09-Aug-16 22:11:00

I think the Team USA women are having a great time!

Lorelei76 Tue 09-Aug-16 22:12:25

I was wondering, are they more or less injury prone as they become adults?

I normally think of myself as being flexible but not compared to this lot!!

redhat Tue 09-Aug-16 22:13:36

Gymnastics isn't great for your body in the long term. Lots of knee issues and back issues.

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