Friday, March 19, 2010

Yo You Good Thing

An interesting discovery was made at the Commonwealth Games Swimming Trials this week.


14-year-old Queensland dynamo Yolane Kukla (nickname: YoYo) announced herself on the national stage with a cracking time in the 50m butterfly to qualify for the Aussie team to Delhi, and also earn a spot on the national squad. She is the second youngest swimmer to make the squad, one week shy of a babyfaced Ian Thorpe. She is even hastily being compared to Thorpe, given her unique body type and remarkable rise through the ranks in recent years.

It's been revealed Yolane was a competitive gymnast before turning to the pool. Thanks to special agent A for bringing this article to my attention.

“We’re always trying to find new exercises to challenge her because she adapts so quickly,” Palfery told the Herald Sun. “She probably is 12 months in front simply because of her gymnastics background.”

Best of luck to Yolane this year, we hope she has more success in the years to come.


Anonymous said...

Yolane also won the 50m freestyle tonight. I think I read last year somewhere that she injured her knee badly when she was a gymnast and swimming was part of her rehab but it is believed that her gym background has been of great benefit to her.

Anonymous said...

is there no age limit for swimmers going to comm games?

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is an age limit. I don't know that swimming itself has an age limit because it is rare these days to find a swimmer as young as Yolane competing at a senior level. Swimmers can have long careers, it is quite common for them to go to three olympics. Leisel Jones was a silver medallist at the Sydney Olympics at 15 and still ten years later is one of the best breakstrokers in the world so starting young is not necessarily a problem.

Anonymous said...

also, the training required to become an elite level swimmer is nowhere near as physcially & mentally damaging as gymnastics is, so there's less need to protect the athlete from being exploited.

Step It Up: said...

I wonder what gym she went to? Best of luck to her! Hope she has a ball over at the CWG's. We all know how awesome gymnastics is, this is just another reason why!!

nade00 said...

I am so thankful to my mother for putting me in gymnastics when I was little because it stopped me from being totally unco later on. I am a terrible dancer and that will never change but when it came to learning stuff like triple jump or tumble turns in swimming things were a breeze!

Nik said...

I don't think there is a an age limit for any sport except gymnastics.

Braden said...

Hey guys, thanks for posting a link to my article about Yo-Yo!

I can verify that there is no minimum age limit for swimming.

The age minimum in gymnastics, as I understand it, is to keep young gymnasts from being convinced to do routines that are unnecessarily dangerous, without having the inhibitions to tell their coaches no. In swimming, there's no equivalent to this (although in practical terms, of course training too hard too young can hurt a swimmer). Anyone who makes the time cuts can compete.

I know in the States, there are often 12 year-olds that compete at the Olympic Trials (Dana Vollmer was one of the youngest). None of them make it, but it's simply because they're not fast enough. If they won, they'd be allowed to compete in the Olympics!

Anyways, I know quite a few gymnasts who have been very successful in swimming, so it's definitely a great precursor.