Oct. 16, 2010
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -
Stanford junior Nicole Pechanec and freshman Kristina Vaculik are competing at the World Gymnastics Championships Oct. 16-24 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. This is the third World Championships for Pechanec, who competes for the Czech Republic, and the first for Vaculik, of Canada.
Pechanec is writing from Rotterdam, where she offers insights into her preparation and competition.
As I sit and relax the day before the meet, I think back on the many routines we had done, the grueling practices we went through this week, and the 18 years of gymnastics that brought me to this point. For a week, gymnasts from all over the world peacefully practiced in the training halls seeing nothing but those four, or six, apparatuses and each other. Former Olympic gymnasts still involved with the sport often wandered around the training halls as well as photographers and journalists. As I was icing after practice one day, Nastia Liukin walked by me in the highest pair of heels I have ever seen. Now, after that long but memorable week, the first day of competition is finally here.
Fans began to flood the arena and the empty stands turn into seas of orange. The first two days consist of the women's preliminary competition followed by two days of men's prelims. From then on until Sunday, the competition gets even more exciting with team finals and individual event finals.
Saturday morning, after a short practice, we watched a few rotations of the first day the women's prelims. The Italian team was graceful and solid, with 2006 world champ Vanessa Ferrari looking great. The Chinese finished up in the first subdivision, out of twelve. The Japanese had beautiful floor routines and the Russians are in the lead going into the second day of competition.
The Czech team is preparing for its 11 a.m. competition in subdivision 8 along with Austria, Columbia, and Canada!! Personally, it is going to be strange competing without SWG, but I know they are here in spirit from letters they made for Kristina and I to open each day. I am excited and ready to go. It is incredible that after all those hours of training and countless routines, it all comes down to that one routine up on the podium. That's when you have to leave it all out there.
Yeah SWG and Go Kristina!!!!!