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Stretching Out: Memorable Quotes from IG in 2013
(13 votes, average 3.54 out of 5)

The dawn of a new year also means the dusk of the current one, which for many people is a time to rewind and reflect. But instead of summarizing the obvious gymnastics highlights of the last 12 months, we've instead selected quotes from the previous 10 issues of International Gymnast. As a collection, they range from candid to controversial, pithy to proverbial, honest to humorous. So as Jan. 1, 2014, nears, we hereby present the following nuggets from the 528 IG pages of 2013.


McKayla Maroney: On not doing an easier second vault in the Olympic final

"[My coach] talked to me about that the day before. He was like, 'Do you want to do the half? You have a broken toe and a fractured shin, and you're going to win the gold medal if you just do the half, and do it the best you can.' I told him, 'No, I want to do the full, the vault that I can do.' That's the vault I was training for. I have no regrets over that. I'm not a watering-down kind of person. I do what I train for."

Donna Strauss: On Elizabeth Price, who had won World Cups in Stuttgart and Glasgow

"It took a while for her to really believe that she was as good as she is."

Mihai Brestyan: On why Aly Raisman did not do her usual punch front after her Arabian double front in the Olympic all-around final (she tied for third but was bumped to fourth in a tie-breaker)

"It's a tactical decision, and you look, 'How much do I get if I do it, how much do I lose if I don't?' And because you are under stress [competing] by yourself, you are under stress in the last event, you take into consideration not to take the risk. Because you can fall from second or third place to 20th place. And I decided not to do it to keep her more mentally calm to finish that routine in the best shape."


Larisa Iordache: On her performance at the Olympics, and if she was frustrated

"I was practically competing on one leg [from injury]. I also ripped my palm during warm-up, right before the competition. How do you think I felt? Frustration is not enough to describe it."

Octavian Bellu: On Iordache

"Larisa went through a maturation phase at the Olympic Games. Despite all of her injuries, she did not give up competing for the team, and individually, as well. From a psychologic point of view, I think this situation toughened her up and prepared her not only for upcoming competitions, but also for life."

Elvira Saadi: On Victoria Moors, after she won the Nadia Comaneci International

"After the Olympics she [took] time off, her back was sore, and now she's slowly coming back. I want to see her hungry again."


Simone Biles: On her planned floor tumbling for 2013

"I have to get my endurance up, but hopefully by worlds, my first pass will still be a double-double, and then a double lay full-out, a full and a half to full-in, and then a double piked Arabian."

Bruno Grandi: On the integrity of judging

"The individuals cheating have yet to grasp the fact that they are sabotaging their own sport. Theirs is a blatant lack of vision and the repercussions are enormous, especially with regard to public opinion. The public won't be taken for fools."

Eddie Van Hoof, (British men's national coach): On the success of the British men's program

"There could be no passengers on our journey. Complacency was not acceptable. We were now expecting results, not hoping for them."


Gene Wettstone: (former Penn State coach) During an IG interview at age 99

"I'm so glad to be able to talk to you, because this may be the last interview of my life [laughs softly]." (He died on July 30, 15 days after his 100th birthday.)

Randy Jepson, Penn State coach: On NCAA team finals

"It's the worst day to have your worst day ... And we did."

Rhonda Faehn, Florida coach: After Florida won its first NCAA team title

"It has been tough the last few years because there has been a lot of scrutiny in the media why ... we haven't won. This year we shut down everything, shut down Twitter and all the social media [so we could] just focus on what our goal is ... and just quiet the outside."

Bailie Key: On her Texas Dreams coaches

"Chris (Burdette) is really funny; he's a big jokester. Kim (Zmeskal-Burdette) is funny too, but she means business."


Lyubov Burda: In her International Gymnastics Hall of Fame acceptance speech

"Gymnastics was always an essential part of my life. For 50 years we have been walking hand-in-hand together through life."

Yuri Korolyov: On his expectations for the 1985 worlds after defending champion Dmitry Bilozerchev broke his leg prior to the competition

"Before he got injured he wasn't even on the team that would compete at the world championships. He was an alternate."

Brinn Bevan, British junior: In a "Shooting Star" profile

"Gymnastics is my life. I believe that is what I was born to do. I love it. It's a good party trick."


Sam Mikulak: On why he did not do the post-Olympic tour

"If we had won the team gold medal, it might have been worth it to take the money ... One of my goals here at Michigan [was] to win a team championship ... I would have felt badly if I left them before we reached that goal."

David Belyavsky: On his potential

"I think there is no limit to my possibilities. Time will tell!"

Ellie Black: On tumbling

"When I was younger I had trouble controlling my power ... Now I prefer to tumble from a hurdle rather than a big run. That is also why I have many combinations ... in my routines. But for vault, I like going fast!"


Simone Biles: On hearing from Marta Karolyi by phone her after her poor performance at the U.S. Classic

"I was freaking out at first and was so scared. I thought, Am I in trouble?"

Kurt Golder, Michigan coach: On Sam Mikulak in practice

"He has the perfect balance. He has the right level of intensity; he knows when to turn it on and how to turn it on. But he's just what you see out in competition, where he's having fun."

Naoya Tsukahara: On advice from his parents as he competes for Australia at age 36

"The main advice I continue to receive from my mother and father is to have fun!"


Kyle Shewfelt: On his role at the new gym he opened in Calgary

"I will be owner, manager and chief high-fiver!"

Maggie Haney: On her gymnasts' excellent presentation on floor exercise

"A floor routine is supposed to be entertainment. Gymnasts are not allowed to relax in the middle of their bar routines or beam routines, so they shouldn't be able to relax in the middle of their floor routines, either."

Lauren Hernandez: On whether her strong dance is natural or trained

"I think it's natural, but I'm Puerto Rican, so I love to dance! Which doesn't mean anybody else doesn't want to dance, but c'mon, guys [giggles]."


Aimee Boorman: On coaching Simone Biles

"It has really taken some nurturing of her emotionally to get her to realize that she is great."

Fabian Hambüchen: On placing second on high bar to Epke Zonderland at worlds

"I think the difficulty and the spectacular style is always very impressive for the judges. I think this is the big problem in gymnastics, or in sports in general. They want you to take more risk ... but how you do it is not that important ... I was very happy when Epke said that they should have put both of us in first place!"


Vanessa Ferrari: On the balance beam final at worlds

"I think that the D-scores were a little bit strict for all the gymnasts; I had 0.3 lower than expected, for example. After the inquiries of the U.S. gymnasts were accepted, I think that my D-score should also have been re-evaluated if we wanted to be correct."

Steve Hug, 1968 and ’72 U.S. Olympian: On competing

"It wasn't about beating the other guy; it was about a great performance."

Fred Turoff: On what he's most proud of coaching at Temple University

"Countering the attempt to drop our program [in 1994] is certainly a source of pride, but more so it's having success team-wise plus graduating the great majority of gymnasts who joined my program. Seeing them become successful tells me we did well by them here. I'm fortunate that I've been able to work at something I greatly enjoy, and have never felt I didn't want to go into the gym." (Shortly after this interview, Turoff learned that men's gymnastics and six other Temple sports would be dropped after the 2014 season.)

Comments (1)add comment

Hammy said:

Vanessa's whining
Why didn't she have her federation inquire about her D score then if she didn't like it?
January 02, 2014
Votes: +4

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