1. Gymnastics is one of a number of sports that will receive a significant funding boost in the lead-up to the London Olympics (next year! I can't believe it's only NEXT YEAR, people!). Read about it in The Australian here. Lauren Mitchell featured in an accompanying picture.
A $2.5 million war chest has been assembled to help Australian athletes
take medals from their British arch-rivals at next year's London Olympics...
Federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib has redirected the money from the Australian Sports Commission to launch the Green and Gold Project, which will provide extra funding to shore up Australia's position as one of the top five Olympic nations.
The 10 sports which will benefit from the funding are: swimming, cycling, rowing, sailing, canoeing, athletics, diving, gymnastics, triathlon and equestrian.
2. The Victorian Women's High Performance Centre has scheduled an Open Day at training for the 5th of March. Details to follow. Britt Greeley has bounced back, Ash Brennan is still going strong and Mez Monckton has been welcomed with open arms. And one among their ranks has been successfully working a Baitova to crashmats, so keep your eyes out for that on the day as well!
3. Blogger Courtney Fitzgerald forwarded me an interview she conducted with national women's coach Peggy Liddick. Onya, Courtney!
What was it like when you saw Lauren's score in the floor finals and saw she was in first place?
It was so exciting! I knew she had the potential to get the highest score and win the gold medal, but you never know what the judges are going to decide. It was so satisfying to know so much hard work had paid off.
What was it like seeing Lauren standing on the medal podium?
Very emotional. I was so proud of her. Listening to the Australian national anthem for the first time in Women's Artistic Gymnastics at a World Championships was one of the most memorable moments of my time in gymnastics.
Are you looking foward to the 2012 olympics?
London 2012 is going to be a very exciting time for gymnastics. This group of gymnasts that will be eligible for the Olympics this time, I have been working with since I arrived in Australia in 1997. I think they are going to do Australia very proud and it is going to be a very well run and exciting Games! I am very much looking forward to the Games and the process of leading up to them over the next 18 months.
Are there any rising talents that you think the Australian public should keep their eyes on?
We have a lot of talented Junior gymnasts at the moment with a large group of girls on the National Squad. It will be interesting to see over this year who can handle the big stage and compete when it counts. Angela Donald has had some great results over the last year and I am looking forward to seeing what she can do with her gymnastics this year and taking it to the next level.
Who has the funniest personality on the Australian team?
They are all lovely girls on the team. Georgia Bonora and Georgia Wheeler are always making all the girls laugh though.
Was Dehli magical?
Delhi was a great experience. We have such fantastic results which always makes the competition experience a lot more enjoyable. But being a part of a Australian team which involves other sports is such a great experience for the girls. Experiencing the culture of New Delhi was something I hadn’t experienced before so this was also a memorable trip for me.
After the team had a "meltdown" on beam in the Commonwealth Games, did it ever cross your mind that you may have to settle with silver?
Unfortunately, our start on the beam was not the best, but I never think of the results or medals throughout the competition because that is something I cannot control. I just got the girls to re-group and put beam behind them as we still had 3 apparatus left to go. The girls pulled back together as a team really well and I couldn’t be prouder of them.