Last week's knee injury has dashed the Olympic dreams of Canadian standout Peng-Peng Lee, the gymnast announced Friday evening.
On May 21, Lee suffered a torn ACL while training a double-twisting Yurchenko vault for the 2012 Canadian Gymnastics Championships in Regina.
Peng-Peng Lee (Canada)
"Due to my knee I've officially withdrawn from the Olympics, but I'm ecstatic to be named Honorary Team Captain for the 2012 Olympic Games," announced Lee, who also goes by her given name Christine.
A junior standout through 2008, the fan favorite made a remarkable comeback after injuries nearly derailed her career in 2009. When long-time coach Carol-Angela Orchard moved to Great Britain after the 2008 Olympics, Lee retooled her gymnastics with coaches Kelly Manjak, Sue Manjak and Lorne Bobkin at Oakville Gymnastics.
Lee, who has signed to compete for the UCLA Bruins, finally made her impact on the senior scene over the past eight months. She helped the Canadian women place 11th at the 2011 Worlds and second at the 2012 Pre-Olympic test event, qualifying a full team to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Lee had continued to improve in the lead-up to the Canadian championships, winning the all-around bronze medal and silvers on balance beam and floor exercise at the Pacific Rim Championships in March. In April, she claimed the gold medal on uneven bars at the FIG Challenger Cup in Osijek.
Choreographed by UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field, Lee's playful tango routine on floor exercise — featuring a double layout-split jump second pass — was a contender for the Olympic final in London.
Lee conceivably could have postponed surgery and tried to compete uneven bars only in London, but she said she did not want to jeopardize her career.
"I have spent a great deal of time consulting with doctors and did a lot of soul searching to determine what was best for me," Lee said. "I do not want to rush into doing gymnastics for the Olympics if my knee could be at a greater risk and possibly affect me in the future."
The Canadian women's team will be decided after a training camp and trial competition, June 24-28 in Gatineau, Que.
"I can't thank everyone enough for all the love and support, and I wish all the best to the 12 girls who are running for the Olympic team," said Lee, who turns 19 on June 27.
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