Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AGB Meets Lauren Mitchell




So I got there at 3:30 and was, for once in my life, the tallest person in the room! A queue of a dozen or so VIS gymnasts had already formed (Zoe Lorenzin dutifully taking photos for the HPC website in absence of her lovely mum) for autographs and photos. Lauren was seated at a card table and had a massive stack of glossy posters in front of her, ready for autographs.

Some girls brought their own printed-out photos and home-made posters featuring newspaper cutouts. They were soooooo excited, and I was only too happy to let them go ahead of me in the line. They had coaches waiting, anyway!

I spotted (what I was sure was) Fiona Coley training double pikes on the tumble track and one gymnast (couldn't tell from afar but was possibly a junior or level 10) was training beam with her arm in a sling!

Lauren was very patient with every autograph, asking for name spellings and personalising each one. I had to laugh when Tatiana Barabach leaned over and asked if Loz could sign one "for my office, okeh? One for my office!" Sharp as a tack, Lauren got ready to write on a poster and asked, "Would you like me to sign it, 'To Your Office'?"

The girl is clearly a COMEDIC GENIUS and should be given a nightly open mic slot in a Sydney bar post-haste.

It was finally my turn and I got my usual case of star-struck verbal diarrhoea. She hadn't heard of the blog or the Facebook fan page but was gracious all the same, and impressed to hear there were some 260 people registered as 'fans' of her at last count. She was touched to hear about all the people that followed Worlds live into the wee hours of the morning and did the adorable scrunched-up-nose laugh when I took a stab at humour and said that all the people celebrating her wins late in the night "nearly broke the internet". I thanked her for making the effort to come out to Melbourne, and remarked that with all her media stuff today she "must be exhausted!" but she laughed again and said no, it was all fine. The launch this morning "went really well" and she's having a good time down here. I got a photo and she very kindly signed my copy of The West Australian on whose front page she was featured. I then thanked her for coming to Melbourne (again!!!) and reminded her that there would always be legions of fans at home and around the world behind her. I also gave my best wishes to Dasha, Emily, and everyone at WAIS. I also nervously asked for a high-five, to which she obliged. I'm pretty sure I am now imbued with the power of flight and the ability to cure diseases.

My total lingering time was just under half an hour, I have no idea what that second half hour was like after all the littlies started training. I can only hope more people came along and got their little brush with fame.

Oh yeah, and this happened as well:

Make sure you catch ABC News tonight wherever you are, they mention the PacRim media launch. Just now, I caught the tail end of a clip featuring Prashanth doing pommel circles and Lauren doing a flip on floor in her EF leo, evidently in the VIS gym so it will have been from the launch earlier today.

What a day!


Anonymous said...

Dude that shout out was the coolest thing EVER. Get on FB or MSN now! I need to talk to you!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report! Don't suppose you know how Zoe's knee injury is coming along?

Also, isn't Fiona in London/Paris right now?

Mez said...

It really, really looked like Fi. Maybe they got an express flight back? ;)

Don't know about Zoe's knee but she looked pretty nimble, hopping hither and thither among the queue to get photos. It was so cute, she took a big step back to get a better view in one shot and pointed her toes perfectly as she did so!

nade00 said...

Love the report Mez!

GA just posted a bunch of info about Pacific Rim too. There are 2 sessions for WAG AA/TF on the Friday, 11.00-2.00 and 7.30-10.30, then WAG EF on Sunday 2pm-5pm. $40 adult 'A' reserve. But unfortunately they have blacked out all the good seats in front of the floor and beam for GA members.

shelley said...

You are clearly the coolest person I know (or maybe second to Lauren, but still pretty close!)

Mez said...

No, no, let's not kid around - she is unequivocally the cooler of us two.

And hey, for anyone that didn't make it today (not just those interstate/overseas) please know that I went on behalf of you! I let her know there are lots of fans out there from all over the country - and the world - that admired her performances and were cheering for her all the way.

That shout-out's for you guys!

Anonymous said...

Fiona is still overseas in London/Paris - Mez you should've checked a little bit closer, that was Naomi Russel!

Mez said...

Ohhhh I cannot believe I was so stupid not to think that. Thank you, Anon. Totally need my brain and eyes checked. Of course Fi is in Paris, stupid me!

I went in there hoping to see Naomi and I DON'T EVEN SPOT HER WHEN I'M LOOKING AT HER.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is my hat. Watch me eat it.

shelley said...

Totally understandable.
You were blinded by the sparkle of Lauren after all (and Naomi's hair has changed as well.)

Did Lauren bring her hardware?

Did you get to see the medals?

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear that Naomi is having another crack. I always thought she could have done so much more than she did and because of her injuries didn't get a chance to really show her best before.

Anonymous said...

Folks I am sure you all know at least one registered member who would be prepared to buy tickets on your behalf. The GA member thing is merely a way for GA to offer the best seats in either venue to the real fans of the sport. Member or no member (and they wont be checking who is and who isn't), place your order today to secure the best seats!

Cathy said...

Could you please post in a link to Lauren's fan page on Facebook - I can't find it!

Mez said...

Shelley, she was INNOMEDALS but wearing the blue GA shirt from her tv appearance this morning.

Cathy, it should be here:

Anonymous said...

Coverage of the launch on SBS World News Australia:-