(A brief break from the world of politics)
As a former “Gymnastics Dad,” let me explain something
about USA gold medalist Jordyn Wieber to the casual fan who watches gymnasts
compete once every four years. When Wieber was training at the TwiStars gym, just outside
of Lansing, she became a Level 10 at the age of 10.
Here’s why that is such an eye-popping stat. Each level
is nationally (internationally?) recognized as representing certain skills and
routines – based on difficulty. Level 10 is the place where the average college
gymnast stands. Wieber had the skills of an NCAA gymnast as a 10-year-old.
And it’s important to note that this is an
apples-to-apples comparison. This is not Wayne Gretzky scoring six goals a game
against fellow Pee-Wee hockey players. This is not the 12-year-old kid who
dominates in middle school basketball because he’s already 6-foot, 4-inches
tall. In this comparison, there’s not a smaller ball or a smaller field for the
In gymnastics, where size doesn’t matter (in fact, petite
is better) Wieber was already a superstar in elementary school. Imagine the
media reaction to a 10-year-old boy who could already throw a football as well
as the average college quarterback.
That’s Jordyn Wieber.