Although a torn ACL will prevent Canadian women's Olympic gymnastics team captain Christine (Peng-Peng) Lee from competing at next month's Games, she told IG she aims to provide leadership, advice and moral support to the team in London.
Lee, who was named Gymnastics Canada's Women's Gymnastics International Athlete of the Year for 2011-2012 on Saturday, injured her knee while training vault at the Canadian championships in May.
Peng-Peng Lee (Canada)
"I am so honored to be team captain and can't wait to be there with the team through their Olympic journey," Lee said. "I want to make sure the team always stays positive and supportive with each other through this process, and that they enjoy the Olympics and stick together as a team. Also, I would like to pass on some of my experiences of being part of a team and handling different pressures that they may come across."
Lee, who led Canada to an Olympic team berth through its performance at the Olympic test event in London in January, said she is eager to resume training after she undergoes knee surgery.
"My knee is doing really well," said Lee, who has committed to compete for UCLA. "I have had lots of treatment on it, and the mobility is coming back much faster than I thought. I'm not quite sure when I will be able to train on it again. I am taking it day by day right now. Once I undergo surgery I will have a better understanding of when I can start training again and what rehab I should be doing."
Lee said she looks forward to joining the Canadian team in London on July 19. Twelve gymnasts are in contention for the five-member squad, which will be decided following this week's Olympic trials camp in Gatineau, Que.
"I will not be training while I am there, but I will be doing some rehab exercises for my knee," she said. "I am staying at the High Performance Center but will be getting day passes to the Olympic Village so I can be with the team."
Although Lee's Olympic participation will be free of the pressure of hitting her own routines, she said her role as team captain will require her to control her nerves in a different but equally challenging capacity.
"My teammates will be looking to me for advice and leadership," she told IG. "As we get closer to the Olympic Games, the athletes and I will get more nervous and trainings will become more intense. I try to stay calm and always try to get everyone to stick together as a team because, during these pressures, having your team support you makes the experience more enjoyable. Everyone on the team is going after the same goals and dreams, and no one should feel isolated, because every member plays a substantial role. By having a positive attitude throughout the process and supporting one another, I think the team will do really well."
External Link: Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique
Lee is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:
April 2011 – Lee interview
June 2006 - "A Passion for Performing" (Lee profile)
To order back issues, click here.