Oct. 8, 2010
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -
Stanford junior Nicole Pechanec and freshman Kristina Vaculik will compete at the World Gymnastics Championships Oct. 17-24 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 training at her old club, Parkettes National Training Center in Allentown, Pa., before leaving for Rotterdam on Saturday. This week and next, she offers insights into her preparation, and then will write a blog throughout the meet, which begins Oct. 17.
Oct. 7, 2010
Preparing for the World Championships used to be a very individual process, at least that's the way it was for me. For Kristina, it was a national team training camp. This time around, however, it is a whole different story for both of us. We're not training alone, or with a national team, but alongside our 13 Stanford teammates that are in it just as much as we are. Through the countless routines, the times we've had to stay late, they've been there.
With Worlds barely two weeks away, Kristina and I have focused on polishing our routines, making any last additions, and just keeping our cardio up with repetition upon repetition. Training alongside Kristina, who recently won two bronze medals and placed fourth at the Pan American Championships, has definitely been motivating. On the other hand, training alongside the girls as they rip through a grueling conditioning circuit or floor assignment, while still cheering us on, has been inspirational.
Last Thursday, Kristina and I went through a game day before she had to head off to Canada on Friday. We started on vault, which was solid. After coming to terms a year ago with never vaulting again, my Yurchenko-layout proved that anything is possible. Moving on to bars, Kristina hit an absolutely stunning set with two huge single bar releases, one being the highest Gienger one has probably ever seen, and solid double front dismount. Beam also went well, each of us showing our long, skill-packed routines. Kristina, again, hit an amazing routine. Floor was a keeper as well.
After months of preparation, it is finally time to head to Holland. If I could take SWG with me, I would, although I am not sure how well our awesome cheering would go over in the austere atmosphere of international gymnastics. Everyone would be jealous, that's for sure. The journey up to this point is coming to a bitter end, but the actual journey to Rotterdam is about to begin.
-- Nicole Pechanec