Hong dissatisfied with GAGE

Former GAGE gymnast Ivana Hong came oh-so-close to her Olympic dream.

Former GAGE gymnast Ivana Hong came oh-so-close to her Olympic dream.

Ivana Hong is not happy with her GAGE experience.

Hong, who left Al and Armine Fong and apparently showed up at the recent Karolyi camp without either coach or gym, and her family gave interviews to NBC Action News, disclosing that Hong had fractured her right ankle before the Olympic Trials, and Fong, apparently reverting to his less compassionate days, told her to ignore it.

“They kept telling me that nothing was wrong with my foot,” Ivana said. “I knew what was wrong with it, but I wasn’t going to be like ‘I have a fracture in my foot and I’m not gonna train.’”

Fong discouraged Ivana from seeking medical treatment. Against his wishes, Ivana’s mother took her to a doctor, who confirmed she had a fractured ankle.

With the Olympics looming, Ivana thought she had no choice but to trudge on.

Anne Phillips, who linked to this article on Gymnastike, prefaced it by noting “it’s a little dramatic”. It is, a bit — the article’s refernce to Joan Ryan’s book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, which recounts both the stories of Fong’s ill-fated gymnasts Julissa Gomez and Christy Henrich, is what Ivana’s story is made to sound like here. But the book was published 13 years ago and, many would argue, represents a different era in American gymnastics.

Or does it? Hong’s claims that Fong turned away from her are disturbing. Fong didn’t exactly sound enthusiastic about their Olympic Trials preparations either. Instead of denying that he gave up on her, Fong contends Hong “flat-out quit.”

Whether it was her foot injury or not, many may say that Hong, a designated Olympic alternate, was simply the seventh-best gymnast in the U.S. this summer. Despite her third-place finish at the 2007 Pan-American Games, Hong’s routines weren’t received with much enthusiasm at the 2007 World Championships. Even in top form, she was still a bubble gymnast, and it can be argued that there was no place for her in the top five on any event.

While they may regret it, no one forced the Hong family to move from California, especially as there are many top-flight gyms in the state (All-Olympia, home to Mattie Larson and Samantha Shapiro, springs immediately to mind.) Still, if Ivana wasn’t given the training they were promised (and paid for) they certainly should complain.

The article does state that Hong plans to continue toward 2012.

Related: Al Fong’s second chance

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Hong dissatisfied with GAGE”

  1. shergymrag Says:

    Mattie and Samantha weren’t on the radar when the Hongs first moved to GAGE. Meanwhile, Gage had just put two girls on an Olympic team.

  2. Kelly Says:

    anyone catch exactly what she said about the beam incident?

  3. Jessture.com: The official web site of author Jesse Gordon » Drama in the Gym Says:

    […] unlikely heroes. Matters of conflicting opinions rather than simple right vs. wrong. Stories like this one, from the Gymblog site, tend to catch my attention: “They kept telling me that nothing was wrong […]

  4. Ashlyn Says:

    I think Ivana did the right thing,I hope she kicks butt in 2012 and knocks Al’s socks off!

  5. Drama in the Gym | Jesse Gordon—the geek, that is Says:

    […] unlikely heroes. Matters of conflicting opinions rather than simple right vs. wrong. Stories like this one, from the Gymblog site, tend to catch my attention: “They kept telling me that nothing was wrong […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: