Should Jordyn Wieber compete at the American Cup?

Jordyn Wieber

Jordyn Wieber

News that the 13-year-old Junior U.S. champion will be making her (two years premature) senior debut at the American Cup next month in Chicago is turning some heads on two popular blogs.

2008 Olympian Bridget Sloan has also been confirmed as a competitor. The other two U.S. positions for the women’s competition have yet to be filled, although according to this article from the Los Angeles Times, the other women’s competitors will be Rebecca Downie (Great Britain), Koko Tsurumi (Japan), Ksenia Afanasyeva (Russia) and Jessica Lopez (Venezula and the University of Denver). That leaves two more (ostensibly U.S.) spots to be named.

Back to Wieber. The debate from commenters at Gymnastics Coaching and Triple Full includes these sentiments:

“I think [Wieber’s coach John Geddert’s] nuts… If she’s not going to be a senior for 2 two more years and he’s pushing her into a senior level comp this early? Nuts.”

“From what I have heard, the National Team Staff select the gymnasts to represent USA at certain meets. They can say no, but if they did they would be at the bottom of the list for a long time. That’s said to be why Melaine Sinclair and Kassi Price never made the teams that mattered.”

“I mean come on.. she can’t even compete as a senior! It’s just ridiculous…”

“Jordyn is one of the best in the US right now. Why shouldn’t she get the opportunity to compete. It’s not like the rules for junior meets are any different than senior meets.”

“USAG need a headliner for this meet. Bridget Sloan doesn’t fill the bill imo. They need to break the “next big thing” to get some attention.”

I’m not liking this. Seems to me that juniors should wait to compete at the AmCup until they get til senior status. I’d like to see Sloan, Lorthrop, Shaprio and Larson at the Cup.

Hmmm. If memory serves, the last super-young gymnast to compete at the American Cup was Kristal Uzelac of Parkette’s in 2001 (she would have been 14 at the time). Bianca Flohr of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy competed in the preliminary round of the 2006 American Cup at 15. Uzelac had certainly proved that she deserved to be there — she was the two-time U.S. junior champion and being talked up as the next big thing.

It wasn’t her greatest competition. Uzelac was good on vault and floor but fell on beam on a Rulfova. Was she pushed into the senior ranks too soon? Maybe. In the long run her career fizzled because of injuries and burnout. Could those have been prevented by not training super difficult things at age 12? Maybe.

Then again, Nadia was at the inaugural American Cup (1976) at 14. And scored a 10 on floor.

Is this a good idea for Wieber? What do you think?

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11 Responses to “Should Jordyn Wieber compete at the American Cup?”

  1. Katrina Says:

    Bad… She needs to stay at junior comps and let actual seniors compete

  2. TCOisbanned? Says:


    men>> boys




  3. itsallaboutme Says:

    amen, let the actual seniors compete, why make a headliner out of someone who isnt gonna be a senior until 2011

  4. Abby Says:

    I do not think Jordyn should compete at all! The American Cup is an event for up and coming senior level gymnast. It should feature America and the world’s best at the moment in time, not in 2 years.

  5. sharon Says:

    hey folks… look at the field of options. Many seniors are either hurt, out of shape or coming off mental or physical problems. Wieber may not be the strongest in the potential field but she has proven to be reliable and consistent. She has earned the spot. Besides where does it state that the American Cup is for seniors????

  6. sp Says:

    Carly Patterson was sent to compete at the Goodwill Games at age 13 against the likes of Khorkina. She was first in the AA after 3 rotations and had a meltdown in the 4th. But as commentator Dominique Dawes said, “She’ll be back.” And it turned out okay for Carly!

  7. AmerGirl Says:

    I would hope that the gymnast who is more likely to win the American Cup, no matter what the age, should complete. Jordyn displayed yesterday at the Tyson Cup that she up for the challenge.

  8. Kylie Says:

    When gymnast are at there prime you can’t deny them the chance to show the world their ability. No one knows if she will still be around by the time she would become a senior. I personally think she is super talanted and probably will be the next big thing, but only time will tell. She proved to everyone that she did deserve to be there considering she won the competition.

  9. Corinne Says:

    honestly, i don’t think its geddart’s fault. I think she’s improve too quickly and he doesn’t know what to do with her! After all, she went from competing as a level 5 in 2004 to a member of the US Junior National Team in 2006.

    I think she might burn out, but right now, she can basically beat every US Senior gymnast competing. [except Nastia, of course]

    i think they just put her in this so she actually had some competition for once! Her AA score was over 60 which is quite crazy for a 13 year old.

    I mean amanar? double double? back full on beam? this is what shawn just got at 15! being 13 and being able to do this stuff is crazy amazing. props to jordy!

    • Blythe Says:

      I was happy to read Geddert saying that Wieber wouldn’t be doing the Amanar for awhile again in the AP report. I imagine she doesn’t throw it on a hard surface very often, and they just decided to go for it at the Cup. I doubt she’ll do it again for awhile.

      I didn’t know she was a level 5 in 2004. Amazing.

  10. hailey Says:

    obviously it was a good idea. i mean she won with a huge score, and beat bridget sloan who ended up being a world champion! shes a senior now and she hasnt burnt out. she got 1st on bars at her first senior competition and is now going to the 2011 american cup i found out today! most people dont expect her to make a dent in womens gymnastics, but trust me she’ll make a huge dent.

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