Darlene Hill: Olympic sleeper?

Darlene Hill deserves a lot more recognition than she’s getting.

Third at the U.S. Classic in July and ninth at Nationals in August, the 18-year-old Mt. Laurel, N.J. native seems to have come from out of nowhere and should be on Martha Karolyi’s short list of gymnasts slated for international exposure. Except for a 12.85 on balance beam during prelims at the U.S. Championships, she could have been a contender to make the world team. (She got a 13.95 on day two.)

The South Jersey Courier Post ran a nice article on Hill a few days ago. According to the story, Hill not only trains, she spends her evenings coaching, something few elite gymnasts have time for.

“I love teaching little kids,” she said. “They are so determined and they look up to you.”

Gymnastics Coaching has it exactly right:

Darlene Hill would be a starter on the National Team for any country in the World — except the USA. She’ll have to stay healthy and be very consistent in training camps to be chosen for the Olympics.

Hill might just be the most underappreciated gymnast of the quad. Or she could turn out to be an Olympic sleeper.

Darlene Hill on Floor Exercise at the 2007 U.S. Championships (9.0 B panel score!):

(via Gymnastics Coaching)

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21 Responses to “Darlene Hill: Olympic sleeper?”

  1. Gymnastics Coaching » Blog Archive » gymnast Darlene Hill has a shot at Olympics Says:

    […] Darlene Hill: Olympic sleeper? – more on the […]

  2. firedannyainge Says:

    IMO opinion no she isn’t. She is not consistant enough with the big point total.

  3. firedannyainge Says:

    I also want to point out she is not appreciated because she has never proven anything. She has done nothing to merit the credit you want to give her.

  4. steven Says:

    she not under-appreciated!shes just come onto the scene so obviously she aint guna be the star right now….people like shawn have been making marks since junior events.darlenes goin to glasgow next week so at least shes getting experience.i really think shes good but will be stronger to the team after the olympics i think

  5. Just a gymnast Says:

    Ok, not to get on a soap box, but you are all forgetting the big picture. No matter who the gymnast is, we forget what dedication they have and what they give up. We are so easy to criticize. If your aren’t winning gold, your not good enough, NOT!!!! These girls give there life to gym. Whether a level 8 or elite, it is supposed to be about a little girl with a love for the sport. With out them, there would be no champions. Give the girl a chance! Darlene, GO FOR IT!!! Especially for us gymnasts who are trying and giving our best. I am proud of all you do and so should everyone else!!!

  6. NCAA Gymnastics: 2009 letters of intent « The Gymblog Says:

    […] That’s it for now. As Rick at Gymnastics Coaching pointed out earlier today, the top five college-eligible elites in the nation (ranked by GymGemz, a site focusing on college gymnastics) are 2007 U.S. Championships runner-up Shayla Worley, recently retired elite Bianca Flohr, WOGA’s Christa Tanella, tumbling ace Randy Stageberg and Olympic sleeper Darlene Hill. […]

  7. Luke Barrington Says:

    i think you all are crazy. she is not appreciated enough at all. everybody’s a critic arent they! i agree with just a gymnast! these gymnast work their bodies to the bone. darlene has to work through so much just to compete. darlene has had plenty of injuries, at least that i herad of! they try so very hard to compete. have some sympathy for crying out loud!

  8. Antinette Roberts Says:

    i strongly agree with the person that says darlene hill (darling ) is a sleeper. just because she only became a national team member last year. the fact is that she is there and highly qualified to land herself on the olylmpic team in 2008. darlene accpmplisments are well documented check them out. http://www.will-moor.com.

  9. SamanthaBu Says:

    It’s easy to see that Darlene has the HEART of a WINNER!!! I’d be proud to have her represent the U.S.A!!! Go for it Darlene!

  10. Tamara Says:

    Darlene can easily set herself up to be a specialist for the US team at the Olympics. She has strong floor and vault routines. If she can take her beam and bars sets up a notch she can be in striking distance as an all arounder. Don’t sleep on Darlene. Hey, do we not remember Tatiana Gutsu? She came from behind to take the overall crown. She wasn’t even considered a real contender for a spot on the Unified Team.

  11. Tamara Says:

    Darlene proved herself this weekend with a win at the Pacific Rim Championships. Kudos to her!

  12. Darlene Hill: Olympic sleeper now? « The Gymblog Says:

    […] Hill: Olympic sleeper now? No post on this blog has had as many comments as one written in October about 18-year-old Darlene Hill, who trains at the Will-Moor School of Gymnastics in Mt. Laurel, […]

  13. Aleksander Says:

    Tamara, I hate to point this out to you but Tatiana Gutsu was ALWAYS on top of competitions. Gutsu was doing some the biggest skills during her time. Her winning the AA in Barcelona wasn’t something anyone would have not guessed or seen coming. She took a fall in team but still could and did win the AA.

    Darlene Hill maybe a sleeper in the eyes of many but let’s remember something with the number of world team medalists/champs to choose from I don’t see Marta and Co. picking someone who cannot grab those kind of scores in Beijing. It’s going to be a dog fight and Marta will want people who have proven themselves in the big meets.

  14. More of Darlene Hill’s story « The Gymblog Says:

    […] South Jersey Courier Post, which ran an initial article on Hill back in October, figured her win merited another one. It’s here that we actually […]

  15. Darlene Hill Says:

    Hi Darlene, We always knew you would be famous ! We’re wishing you the best and have tickets for Trials in Philly. You are truly blessed. Go bless and take care. Love, Polly and Christine Logan

  16. Polly Logan/Christine Says:

    Hi Darlene, We always knew you were /are talented! you are truly blessed. We have our tickets for Trials and we’ll be screaming your name.God bless and take care. Love, Polly and Christine

  17. T. L. Kelly Says:

    The reason Darlene has not received the kudos and appreciation she most highly deserve, is due to racist attitudes in the sport. LET BE FOR REAL

  18. T. L. Kelly Says:

    The reason Darlene has not received the kudos and appreciation she most highly deserve, is due to racist attitudes in the sport. LET”S BE FOR REAL

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