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Larson Out of Visa Championships, Headed to UCLA (updated)
(16 votes, average 4.50 out of 5)

Mattie Larson, the 2010 U.S. all-around silver medalist and floor exercise champion, quietly slipped out of the elite scene in early July. She is keeping her options open for the Olympics next year, however.

"I'm not going to be competing elite this year," Larson told IG. "I decided to start at UCLA this fall … I might go back to elite next summer. Nothing is set in stone as of that, but I just didn't have that passion that I needed for this last kick going into the Olympic year."

Larson, who trained at All Olympia Gymnastics under Galina Marinova and Artur Akopyan, made the 2010 world championships team but performed poorly on her best event, floor exercise. A few months later, she told IG in an exclusive interview that, after speaking with her coaches, she was recommitted to gymnastics and ready to learn from her mistakes.

In that interview, Larson also said that U.S. National Team Coordinator Marta Karolyi had used Alicia Sacramone as an example of how to rebound from mistakes and become a stronger competitor. Sacramone, who fell off balance beam and on floor exercise at the 2008 Olympics, came back and performed extremely well at the 2010 worlds in Rotterdam, where she won the gold on vault.

But Larson felt differently after a national team training camp at the end of June.

"I didn't want to string my family and my coaches along with me and know in my heart that I wasn't giving my all," Larson said. "But I knew I didn't want to stop gymnastics altogether. Maybe I'll find that desire again while I'm in college and come back and kick it up next summer. But as of now, I felt like this was the best decision for me. Happiness is always number one for me."

Comments (18)add comment

Beth Segal said:

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A pity as Larson was one of the most beautiful gymnasts to watch and got a raw deal from USA gymnastics.
 
August 05, 2011
Votes: +6

Ann said:

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Thats sad news for us fans. But good news for college gymnastics.She is one of the most beautiful gymnasts in the world to watch. Hope she returns to elite in the future. She belongs on the international stage.
 
August 05, 2011
Votes: +7

marieke said:

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I thought Larson left her gym after Worlds?
 
August 05, 2011
Votes: +1

Stephanie Schupak said:

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I am sorry to see Mattie out of the championships. However Mattie is a wonderful gymnast. I wish her well at UCLA. I wish her happiness and luck in her life.
 
August 05, 2011
Votes: +4

jollybarb said:

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Why cant USA gymnastics keep its elegant gymnasts interested in Olympic success? I'm so tired of seeing stiff, stocky gymnasts on team USA at the Olympics. Mattie has a 'presence' coupled with beautiful elegant and difficult gymnastics- exactly what team USA needs to win gold in London. I am so disappointed for gymnastics generally but I do wish Mattie well.
 
August 05, 2011
Votes: +5

Anonymous said:

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Mattie is a lovely gymnast, but unfortunately she CHOKED on what is supposed to be her best event, floor. If you're not up to the pressure, you don't belong on the team, PERIOD. As far as the USA having "stocky" gymnasts, it seems to have served us well considering our teams have won gold or been top 3 at Worlds since, let's see, 2002? And our team has medaled in the team event at the Olympics every year since 1996. Oh, and don't forget that the last two Olympic AA champions were Americans. Oh, and don't forget how many world AA and event final champions the U.S. has had in just the last 10 years. Also, I don't seem to remember Nastia being anything close to stocky. Look, if you want more balletic, artistic gymnastics, then take it up with Bruno Grandi. Until the COP is overhauled, it will continue to reward more powerful gymnasts.
 
August 05, 2011
Votes: -4

Anonymous said:

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Unfortunately, the current code works against gymnasts like Mattie. Gymnasts who tend toward the "artistic" side seem to be more prone to injury than the powerful ones. Additionally, they aren't necessarily rewarded for being beautiful, artistic gymnasts, but for having big tricks. Sad, but that's the reality of it.
 
August 06, 2011
Votes: +2

Mattie Rules said:

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Mattie Larson has plenty of power. I don't think her decision has anything to do with her body type, but a negative coaching situation. I hope she gets the confidence she needs at UCLA and tries for the Olympic team. If they would just upgrade her bars to her full potential she could be on that team.
 
August 06, 2011
Votes: +5

Anon said:

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Mattie is NOT known as a "power" gymnast.
 
August 06, 2011
Votes: -1

jollybarb said:

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Now that Russia has had a re-awakening of its successful women's program, Romania has Octavian back at the reigns and China has some real talent on their team, don't be so sure that USA's stiff, stocky gymnasts will be so successful in the future. Having said that, I think Jordyn and Rebecca are wonderful all-rounders with a good mix of both difficulty and 'presence'. To be honest, sometimes I think that stiff, stocky gymnasts are over-scored.
 
August 06, 2011
Votes: +4
..., Low-rated comment [Show]

Anon is an idiot said:

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Komova injured her ankle in the exact same way as David Sender in 2008 - jumping off the bar and rolling her ankle over a mat. She did not spontaneously fall over while walking. Are you calling David Sender a giant klutz too? Grow up Anon. Rah rah Americans like you make me root for Russia even more.
 
August 07, 2011
Votes: +2

Anonymous said:

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WRONG.

Komova tripped while walking through the gym, Rodionenko told a Russian news agency.

"This injury had no relation to training," Rodionenko said. "The gymnast was just moving through the gym."
 
August 08, 2011
Votes: +0

Not Wrong said:

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Rodionenko was not at the gym at the time - Alexandrov was and this is what he said:

"And it happened over nothing, really. Vika ended warm-up on bars and jumped off the lower rail and twisted her ankle."

That doesn't sound like walking through the gym to me, but basically what happened to Sender. So you didn't answer my question - is David Sender a klutz too?

http://www.sportgymrus.ru/press/5451/6389/6390/default.aspx
 
August 08, 2011
Votes: +3

Anonymous said:

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Komova did trip over a mat while walking through the gym. Her own Web site confirms it.
 
August 08, 2011
Votes: -1

Anon Still Is An Idiot said:

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where have you been? all these supposed official websites for the Russians get their news from IG and other news places. the guy who runs them contacts the girls on facebook to ask if he can make websites for them and takes their Facebook photos and puts them on. They hardly have anything from the girls like blogs. And he's trying to sue the Russian federation. This is all been discussed on GGMB and other boards.

For the last time... if Alexander Alexandrov said Komova hurt her ankle that way then I believe him. Anyway why does it even matter how she hurt her ankle? What kind of sick person are you to basically belittle a child for getting hurt? Anyone who can do a layout step out direct to Arabian on balance beam is the opposite of a klutz. Now please go away.

PS If you love Americans so much, why are you trying so hard to embarrass them?
 
August 09, 2011
Votes: +1

Viola Roadkill said:

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http://www.sportgymrus.ru/pres...fault.aspx

"No-one thought that injury was so serious. And it happened over nothing, really. Vika ended warm-up on bars and jumped off the lower rail and twisted her ankle. The doctors made an x-ray and diagnosed a fractured heel, put on a normal cast and said nothing else was necessary. She just needed to keep it calm for a while. We followed those recommendations and even waited longer than the specialists recommended, because there was time for that. We wanted to guarantee that her leg was recovered. And then Vika started training and working out her joint again.
A little discomfort after taking off a cast is normal, and so no-one was worried.
After that, Komova travelled to the Russian Championships to get used to competing again. When she got back to Round Lake, she trained really well for a couple of days and said she did not feel any pain at all. I had left then with Mustafina for a meet in the USA. And while there I learnt that Vika had injured herself again — and on a simple acro skill, she just put her foot down wrong on a landing. "

 
August 12, 2011
Votes: +0

dave harris said:

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good for her I think, considering you dont get paid much if your an olympian unless you get alot of endorements... which tend to only goto the gold winner.

always good to get an education

dave
 
September 20, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

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