Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not Nationals - Media

Nationals, so to speak, are now over. Pre-Olympic assessments of the squad will still be rolling round and round until the final team is named (but let's face it - it was pretty much the top 6 placegetters in the all-around) so for now, we have the National Apparatus Challenge which looks to be a bit of fun, tension-free gymnastics. Well it should, seeing as the scores don't count to anything :P


Many thanks to GGMB-based special agent K who brought to light some new articles on Chloe Sims from her local Toowoomba newspaper. They're quite poignant, and give more insight into the reasons behind her retirement. The articles are not accessible online, and are difficult to be scanned, so K went to the effort of typing them all up. To save on space I will highlight the most crucial parts here. Chloe was brave to come out and admit what she has in the way she has; I'd hate for it to mean she gets distanced from anything GA-related and doesn't get the kind of fun, interactive opportunities that Monette Russo/Karen Nguyen/Allana Slater/Steph Moorhouse got at Nationals this year.

Battling an eating disorder and mental fatigue, [Sims] chose personal happiness over the ultimate prize of a shot at winning gold. It was the most difficult decision of her life, but for Sims it was the only way she could overcome her inner demons. “I was mentally unhealthy. I had a lot of problems. I had an eating disorder and I was under a lot of pressure,” she said. “Every morning I woke up and didn’t want to go to training. It felt like I was wasting my time and other people’s doing something I didn’t want to do.”

“It wasn’t gymnastics that go to me; it was the pressure [...] It was hard knowing that I wouldn’t be able to experience the Olympics, but I don’t regret my decision. I already feel healthier. I guess you could say I’m at peace with myself”...

“I still love gymnastics but I had to stop competing and training at that top level for my own well being. I’m so grateful for the amazing memories the sport has given me. Winning gold at the Commonwealth Games was really special but the best moment was when I got my first Australian tracksuit and leotard. The tracksuit was hideous, but wearing the green and gold had always been a dream of mine and earning that first tracksuit was the pinnacle of my career. The rest was a wonderful bonus.”

Since severing ties with the inner-circle of the Australian gymnastic squad, Sims said she has experienced feelings of social alienation.“It’s hard not to go to the gym every day and see all my beautiful friends. We were very close but it’s hard to maintain that bond outside the sport,” she said. “My parents and my brother and sister are very supportive and have been incredible through all this.”

“I have entered a new stage of my life. Now I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to look a certain way. I can be who I want to be”.

Her aspirations are to take up drumming, skydiving and dance. She's looking at having a go at aerobics (hurray!) and even the US college scene so maybe, just maybe, the NCAA will get another exciting Aussie in the ranks.

Good luck Chloe, in all your pursuits. Your gymnastics fans wish you the best and hope that you still hold on to the good memories you had while in the sport.

1 comment:

mistysakura said...

Thank you for retiring, Chloe. We fans wouldn't have wanted you to continue screwing yourself over. And so brave to speak about it. We associate eating disorders with gymnastics in the communist countries last century; it's a shame to see them still alive and kicking in Australia where athelete welfare is apparently so great. But thanks and good luck with everything.