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Mexico's Lago Celebrates Comeback, New Line of Leotards
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Nearly a year after tearing her ACL, Pan American floor exercise champion Ana Lago (Mexico) is recovered and excited about returning to major competition.

Nearly a year after tearing her ACL, Pan American floor exercise champion Ana Lago (Mexico) is recovered and excited about returning to major competition.

Lago, 18, tore her anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee 11 months ago on a double-twisting Yurchenko vault. But she has been slowly returning to full strength, including adding new skills and combinations on several events.

"Now my knee is strong and I especially feel the confidence to make my upgrades," Lago told IG. "I feel very strong and very happy to continue doing what I love."

Lago, a native of Monterrey, Nuevo León, trains under coach Antonio Barraza at the same gym that produced Olympian Elsa García. In 2010, as just a junior, Lago won the silver medal on floor and gold with the team at the Central American and Caribbean Games. At the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, she won the gold medal on floor exercise and bronze with the team. In 2012, she was named Athlete of the Year for Nuevo León.


Lago celebrates winning floor exercise at the 2011 Pan American Games

Lago participated in two exhibitions last fall and a few weeks ago competed at the qualifier in Cancun for the upcoming Mexican National Olympiad. The National Olympiad, which features dozens of Olympic sports, takes place in May and June with multiple events around Mexico. The gymnastics portion will be held May 15-21 in Veracruz.

"[I feel] good about the Mexican Olympiad," she said. "I understand that the only gymnast who is invited (without qualification required) is Elsa García, so I wish her well."

In Cancun, Lago played it safe on vault to protect her knee, but said she plans to show upgrades soon.

"So far I'm doing a Yurchenko full, but my plan is to do my Yurchenko double full, and on other events I'm upgrading toward increased difficulty," she said.

Lago said one benefit of being sidelined with a knee injury was the extra time it gave her to work on bars, which she had called her least favorite event.

"Indeed bars is my weakest apparatus, but with my injury I was able to gradually increase the degree of difficulty, and I am much better on the event," she said.

After the Mexican Olympiad, Lago will head back to the gym to prepare for the Mexican championships and ultimately the world championships in Nanning, China.

"My goals are clear: to be as best prepared as I can be for the world championships, give my best and do a good job," said Lago, who turns 19 on Sept. 25. "Mainly [my goal is] to qualify into any final — I'd be competing for a place in any event."

Lago said that, like millions of others, she will celebrate the public holiday of Cinco de Mayo on Monday, but is uniquely celebrating releasing her own leotard line last week.

"I recently signed with Gilling, a Mexican leotard company, to do my own line of leotards," she told IG. "[We] just released a design and I'm now waiting for a few others, but I am very happy to see girls of all ages wear my line."

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