A new thought from Bruno Grandi

Bruno Grandi, President of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique.FIG President Bruno Grandi  is saying he doesn’t want gymnasts competing internationally until age 16. Period.

China’s Xinhua news service reported today that Grandi, on hand for the Good Luck Beijing International Invitational, told a reporter he was pondering raising the age limit for all international competitions to 16 after 2008.

“Sports like gymnastics should not be there for kids,” said Grandi. “Gymnasts should only be allowed to compete in international stage when they are mature physically and mentally.”

A gymnast must already be 16 at the end of an Olympic year to be eligible to represent his or her country at the games. At the 2007 World Championships, several 14-year-olds, including the USA’s Ivana Hong, France’s Marine Petit and Japan’s Koko Tsurumi were allowed in because each be 16 by the end of 2008. The number of 15-year-olds who make an impact at international meets every year is beyond counting.

Junior international meets, while not necessarily indicative of who will be good once they reach the senior level, allow gymnasts to gain experience competing under pressure. Not only that, they get exposed themselves to international customs and friendships. Why Grandi would want to ban something so obviously beneficial seems extremely strange.

Grandi is already controversial for his outspoken stance on the current code of points. He was adament about shelving the perfect 10 system that was used before 2005 and still speaks favorably of the new system that seems to give difficulty an edge over execution.

“Gymnastics should not be framed by ‘a set mark ‘. The new scoring code is a way of encouraging athletes to challenge their courage and high-point.

“The increase of routine difficulty is a trend inevitable. This trend won’t change after the Beijing Olympics, but gymnastics is not acrobatics and keeps the traits of art and beauty in additional to competition,” commented Grandi, adding FIG won’t neglect the attraction of expressive force in the sport on its pursuit of difficulty.”

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3 Responses to “A new thought from Bruno Grandi”

  1. Katrina Says:

    I understand them not wanting competing so young but I think junior meets are a good idea… It gives them international experience and lets judges see them. Its the same in figure skating world

  2. Rondeen Says:

    i sorta agree with it.

  3. TCO Says:

    Girls are better at gymnastics than women.

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