Chances are on most weekends throughout the school year, I am judging a gymnastics meet. It is the dream college student job; I get paid and fed. To keep my judges certification, I am required to do a certain number of continuing education hours. Some of these can be met by in-gym observation, but a certain number designated as “clinic hours” can only be earned through attendance at National Congress. Lucky for me, National Congress coincided with the US Olympic Trials, and was only a short trip away in San Jose. During the day I attended what essentially is gymnastics school. I listened to the updates for the 2013 season and watched some of the greatest coaches lecture on technique and drills. At night, I attended the competition.
Olympic Trials have to be one of the most exciting competitions- only five people out of the tens of thousands of gymnasts can make the team. This year was particularly heartbreaking as veterans including the 2008 Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin failed to make the team. I was really excited to watch one of our former Bruins, Anna Li, sneak onto the team in the alternate spot. Her bar routine is one of the most difficult in the world.