Posts tagged "Emily Barker"

Video: Jaycie Phelps still uses gold for new goals

With the world stage for gymnastics nearing in London, BSU at the Games features 1996 Olympic gold medalist Jaycie Phelps and how she continues to use her Olympic experience to drive her new goals.

Emily Barker, Andrew Mishler and Alex Kartman have the story.

Follow BSU at the Games on Twitter @bsuatthegames and like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Get a behind-the-scenes look as U.S. gymnasts prep for the Visa Championships

By Emily Barker  |  BSU at the Games

Watch this video for a behind-the-scenes look at the best U.S. gymnasts on the road to London at the Visa Championship podium training the day before the women’s competition began. Podium training is an official practice session before the start of a gymnastics competition during which gymnasts have a chance to do their routines on the competition equipment and in the competition arena.

The Visa Championship was the last stop for U.S. gymnasts before the Olympic trials began. After this two-day St. Louis competition—which ended June 10—approximately 15 men and 20 women were chosen to move on to the Olympic Trials. From there, only five men and five women will claim a spot on the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team for London 2012.

Information provided by Team USA.

Emily Barker is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Emily and the BSU team @EmPBarker@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

 

Tumbling down memory lane

Today I made the trip to St. Louis, Mo., with USA Gymnastics for the Visa Championships. It is such a great opportunity, and I am looking forward to all that is to come over the course of my trip. I was presented with this opportunity while in Dallas for the Team USA Media Summit. Many thanks go out to Chris Taylor, for it was his connections with the media that made it possible for me to be here, and I am extremely grateful.

For the next week, I will be doing video work for USA Gymnastics. This includes conducting interviews as well as videoing routines during the women’s junior competition and the men’s first day of competition. As Chris put it, I am in my element.

Many people do not know about my past with gymnastics, but for 16 years I ate, drank and slept the sport. I was never at the level of the athletes competing this weekend, but I have always heavily followed USA Gymnastics, and it is special to me that I get to be part of the action at this year’s Visa Championships.

In 2005, the Visa Championships were held in Indianapolis. I remember watching from the stands and hoping that one day I would get the chance to be a part of this event, even if I was not competing. Seven years later, here I am.

Monday and Tuesday are registration days for the athletes. Competition begins on Thursday and will continue through Sunday. This is the last stop for gymnasts before the Olympic Trials on July 1, where the team for London will be selected.

Emily Barker |  Sports Reporter
@EmPBarker

 

Olympic medalist announces retirement from competitive gymnastics

By Emily Barker  |  BSU at the Games

Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson, 20, announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics Sunday due to a knee injury from a ski accident in 2010. An athlete with a promising career, Johnson left the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with four medals, the most won by any Team USA member after Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin and Natalie Coughlin.

Four-time Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson will retire from gymnastics before the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete and help the USA team at the London Olympics,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer. All I can do now is gracefully retire and thank everyone who has believed in me and my journey.”

Johnson is retiring days before the Visa Championships, which will be held June 7 through 10 in St. Louis, and the Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif. on July 1.

“I am announcing this now so that the focus for the next three weeks will be on the incredibly talented gymnasts who are trying to make our 2012 Olympic Team,” Johnson said. “I have had the honor to train and compete with them, and I am excited to join the gymnastics family and fans in cheering them on to victory. I will be there with every ounce of pride and energy to cheer on my girls and Team USA.”

Several strong contenders compete for the five spots on the Olympic team, including 2008 team members Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacramone and Bridget Sloan, as well as Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglass and Rebecca Bross.

 

Information provided by the Associated Press.

Emily Barker is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Emily and the BSU team @EmPBarker@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Former tumbler in awe of Olympic gymnasts

As a former gymnast myself, I was most excited about having the opportunity to talk to some of the U.S.’s top gymnasts at the Media Summit in Dallas. Even though we had been waking up early the past few days, I felt full of energy because the atmosphere was so exciting.

Having the chance to talk to Olympians Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson and Jonathan Horton was a dream come true. In 2008 I watched them compete in Beijing and saw them win their medals, so it was an honor to be in the same room with them. At first talking to them was extremely intimidating because they are such a big deal to me, but after a few minutes they just felt like regular people.

When I was watching the 2008 Olympic Games, I was 16 years old, the age of many of the contenders for a spot on the 2012 team. They are only in high school, and yet they have the chance to represent the United States in the biggest athletic event in the world. That blows my mind.

Jordyn Wieber, 16, said the pressure doesn’t really get to her because she competes all the time and she is ready for the trials. This was the case with several of the athletes; they handle their nerves like veterans, yet they are only teenagers.

Dallas has been such an amazing experience for me and I am even more excited about getting to London in July.

Emily Barker  |  Sports Reporter

@empbarker

Olympian Jaycie Phelps hasn’t stopped with gold

By Emily Barker | BSU at the Games

Here’s a preview of our story, coming soon, on 1996 Olympic gold medalist Jaycie Phelps and how she continues to use her Olympic experience to drive her new goals.

 

 

Emily Barker is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Emily and the BSU team @EmPBarker, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.