Mexican star Elsa Garcia of Mexico told IG she is "fully operational" following hand surgery last December, and is primed for a solid performance at next month's world championships in Tokyo.
Eight-time World Cup medalist Elsa Garcia of Mexico told IG she is "fully operational" following hand surgery last December, and is primed for a solid performance at next month's world championships in Tokyo.
The popular 21-year-old Garcia, who had surgery to remove a synovial cyst from her left hand, has regained her form and added skills to her routines with the hope of making one or more finals in Tokyo. She also wants to help Mexico qualify a team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The top eight teams in Tokyo will qualify for the Games, and four additional teams will earn berths at an Olympic test event in January.
IG recently spoke with Garcia, who shared her thoughts on recovering from injury and working towards the 2012 Olympics.
IG: How close to completely healed is your hand?
EG: It was a rough and slow beginning this year because of the operation; but my hand has been fully operational since May, so I've had the chance to slowly regain and really train all the apparatuses and skills. The only times it hurts a bit is when there is a change of climate or when I do lots of vaults, but nothing serious.
IG: Between spring and now, what kind of progress have you made, in terms of strengthening not only your hand, but all of your routines?
EG: After my hand operation, it took me a lot of out-of-the-gym training to regain all of my body strength. I did a lot of cardiovascular training and weight lifting, and went back to the basics in gymnastics. The skills I do were in my mind, and my body knew how to do them. I just had to regain control of my body.
Talking about my routines, my vault is the same, my bars are the same, and on beam I added a round-off, double pike dismount. And on floor I have four (tumbling) pass lines again because for two years I did three pass lines. I think my routines have reached a consistent level, and in this time we have left until worlds, I am focusing on perfecting the details.
IG: What are your specific plans for Tokyo?
EG: I will be competing all-around. I am really excited that this year's worlds are in Tokyo. I've never been to Asia, and I admire the Japanese sense of perfection. I plan to inspire myself on this country's culture and perform at my best.
IG: On which apparatus or apparatuses do you think you will have your best chances in Tokyo, and why?
EG: I am really looking forward to the all-around final, because I know I can be in it. I just have to perform the routines that I train every day. I hope I can be on a vault and/or floor final - that has always been my dream. For bars and beam, it would be to place the best I can. But I especially have my eyes set on the qualification for London 2012.
IG: Earlier this year, you said you thought Mexico could place among the top 18 in Tokyo. What are your hopes and expectations for the team now, only a month away from Tokyo?
EG: Well, the Mexican team has come a long way since (2000 Olympic vault finalist) Denisse Lopez and (2002 world floor exercise finalist) Brenda Magaña or even me. We know have a team - a team that has good difficulty on most of our routines, and is growing in consistency and the art of making the routines to be pleasant and joyful to look at. We have four girls on our team with past worlds experience and two others that have junior international experience. So I think that, if all goes well, we can place and fight for our spot in the pre-Olympic test event next year. I have faith in our team.
Elsa Garcia is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:
April 2010 – 2010 American Cup coverage, 10 Questions with Antonio Barraza (Garcia's coach)
May 2007 – Garcia on cover, Garcia interview
April 2007 – 2007 American Cup coverage
May 2006 – Garcia profile
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