Harmes to Olympics, van der Leur done

Suzanne Harmes

While the U.S. Olympic Trials were happening, across the world the Dutch were quietly determining their own women’s Olympic team at the Dutch Open.

They might have called it the Russian Open instead. Russia sent what may well be its Olympic team — Anna Pavlova, Ksenia Semenova, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Svetlana Kluykina, Yulia Lozhechko and Ekaterina Kramarenko to Amsterdam with the expectation that they would dominate, and they did.

The Netherlands’ one-woman squad will apparently consist of new mom Suzanne Harmes, the only Dutch gymnast to meet the selection committee’s standards, which are still a bit unclear.

Harmes was seen to be in contention for the berth with longtime Dutch great Verona van der Leur and former Dutch champion Lichelle Wong. Harmes, who missed the 2007 World Championships due to pregnancy, placed third on floor at the 2005 Worlds.

Harmes looked OK but not great at the 2008 European Championships. It’s a sad ending for Van der Leur, the first woman to perform a one-armed Onodi at a World Championships (she fell, so the skill isn’t named for her) who truly deserved to see an Olympics, albeit after her prime.

Suzanne Harmes, 2008 European Championships Team Finals, Balance Beam:

Other mothers besides Oksana Chusovitina to compete in an Olympic Games since Agnes Keleti did it during the 1950s? Leyanet Gonzales, maybe? Anyone else?

(via International Gymnast Magazine, Difficulty plus Execution)

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5 Responses to “Harmes to Olympics, van der Leur done”

  1. kittosuni Says:

    i was very impressed with the russians here especially kramarenko who has a more improved fx. i mean big time! right now she holds the second spot for russia in UB. kyulkina was also impressive. she has now a beautiful DTY and a great floor routine. she can be used in beijing for vault and Ub and can be a alternate in bb abd fx.she is also very consistent. lozhecko was also great with a very difficult pass like that with produnova.or perhaps she will also do the produnova vault.yay. the russians are really looking strong right now. and im so sad about van deleur

  2. Duder Says:

    Wikipedia says that Soviet Larissa Latynina (1956-1964) also returned to competition after becoming a mother.

  3. shergymrag Says:

    Another mother. Esther Ovary. (sp) Hungary. Not really sure.

  4. bettycoltrane Says:

    I couldn’t find a vid of her one-armed onodi on youtube. Could you help me locate it? Would love to see that skill.

  5. EL Says:

    I think Charlotte Mackie does it too.

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