The World Stage

I’m not quite sure where to begin. I’ve talked a bit about how this whole journey has been rather unexpected. To be honest, I can pinpoint exactly where it all started. We were watching the 2008 Olympics in our living room in Fleming Island, FL and my mom pointed out Shawn Johnson and said, “You know she’s the best in the world, right?” I didn’t. I had NO clue. And to be frank, I was appalled that my mother knew more about gymnastics than I did. And so I poured over hours and hours of gymnastics coverage. I learned about the new code and the old code. I watched the same meets with coverage from NBC and then would watch the BBC version, and so I fell in love with elite gymnastics. I was never an elite, not even close, but I have had the opportunity to work with the best in the world. I really only knew about women’s elite and for the longest time thought men’s was SO boring.

But then I moved to Michigan, and met one of my now really good friends, Michael Strathern. He was injured my first season with the team. He was on the sideline always and I specifically remember Stacey doing a P Bars set and I thought a skill was so cool. I marched myself over to Strathern and said, “What was that, that was so cool.” And he replied somewhat snarkily, “That’s only a B… it’s called a peach basket.” (For those of you who don’t know, gymnastics skills are valued A – H, A being the easiest and H meaning only a few in the world can do it.)We laughed and from there we have been friends ever since. Even to this day we exchange commentary about the sport. There was a skill thrown at this championships that I didn’t know and I was able to message him and he helped me out! THANKS FOR THAT!

So from there, I slowly learned the world of men’s gym and step-by-step have been able to build a repertoire worthy of some of the best in the business. (NOTE: I’m still learning.) But, last night, I was invited to participate in a live podcast from the #1 gymnastics podcast in the world, Gymcastic. It’s been on my bucket list for a while. I met the producer, who is now a good friend – the lovely, Jess O’Beirne, at the 2014 P&G National Championships and we have stayed in touch ever since. I got some good feedback and am eager to hear the final show – again, something I never really thought would happen!

On the TEAM USA front, The women won gold as expected and really have been so dominant here. This is their 3rd consecutive team title (4th if you count the 2012 London Olympics,) and tonight we have the All Arround final where American, Simone Biles, is expected to win her 3rd consecutive crown. Barring disaster, there is no one even close to her league. Last night the men took 5th in the world. It’s an accomplishment for sure, but they were hoping to repeat last year’s results and end up on the medal stand. There was quite a bit of drama in the men’s team final though, as Japan knocked China off their 6 time reign as World Champion. Great Britain pulled a surprise 2nd place, and the Chinese took 3rd.

My friend Tristian Perez, who competes for Puerto Rico internationally and Michigan (NCAA,) was here competing and I got to catch up with him a bit! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Michigan was not what I expected but gave me opportunities I never believed possible! I am so thankful for their team, their coaches, and the administration who made this all possible!

I have yet to be able to explore because of my schedule, but am hoping to at least get to see Loch Lomond in the next few days. I return back to Germany on November 1st and then mom follows about 2 weeks after! It’s an exciting time!

2015-10-22 16.59.50 2015-10-22 21.17.45 2015-10-23 22.42.26 2015-10-24 18.32.25-1 2015-10-26 15.18.03-1 2015-10-27 21.45.09

Blessings as always!

Kens

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