Youna Dufournet — now what?

I was horrified to watch Youna Dufournet’s floor exercise from the European Championships, which contained tumbling passes that Youna, who appears to be in the middle of a growth spurt, simply didn’t have the power to do.

Most readers who left comments agree. My question: What should be done? Is there an oversight committee that this can be reported to? Is the country’s gymnastics federation sufficient? If not, are there alternative steps that can be taken? Should there be?

Youna’s coach should be criticized for allowing her to compete those skills. For endangering his gymnast. She shouldn’t be training that double layout on anything resembling a hard surface. Others have commented that her double pike dismount off beam at the American Cup was equally disturbing.

Youna Dufournet, 2009 American Cup, Balance Beam:


11 Responses to “Youna Dufournet — now what?”

  1. Gymnastics Coaching » Blog Archive » Youna Dufournet - dangerous gymnast? Says:

    […] Looks like it may not have been a one time disaster. In podium training and competition at American Cup she was very dangerous on Beam dismount. […]

  2. Becka Says:

    Oh my lord, all I see is just really bad technique. The poor girl looks like her legs are shaking underneath her after her first fall and never really seemed to recover. I know she’s meant to be the second coming for the French, but seriously, I’d rather see compulsory type skills done with technique, control and beauty then a little girl chucking still after skill.

    That coach is either going to burn her out or kill her.

  3. RN2B Says:

    I looked through YouTube for other meets form the past year, I had not found one single safe looking routine on beam, and floor had many falls or near misses as well. Truly disturbing!

  4. Lucy3107 Says:

    What really worries me is the look on her face before the routine even begins. I’ve seen gymnasts look nervous before – that wouldn’t be shocking – but she just looks downright afraid – like she’s dreading the routine.

  5. gymnast46 Says:

    i would be interested to see what her practises look like.. there are several things that could be happening here..
    1)she could be the type of gymnast that can not compete.. ie handle the nerves and freaks out at competition making this dangerous errors
    2) she could have a lack of practise with these skills on hard surfaces, if they are being trained on tumble tracks or softer landings too much .
    3) or it truly is her coach that is pushing her or not preparing her well enough to SAFELY compete this tumbling lines and beam dismounts…

    either way i think some sort of investigation should be made.. for her safety and the future safety of any other athletes being trained with the same regim (sp?)

  6. gymnast46 Says:

    sorry this was suppose to be included in the above post..
    not the first tim eshe has had falls or problems @ a meet from what i have found…

  7. MS Says:

    Nothing was done when Vanessa Atler “lost it” and fell off bars 900000 times and made scary mistakes on the other apparatus. She then became so depressed (after not being named to the Olympic team) and was unable to live her life that was otherwise so promising. Such a sad story.

    It seems to me as if Youna has just become unmotivated at this point…whether it be her coaching or her personal/family life. Someone needs to get her to a sports psychiatrist, though…NOW.

    • Blythe Says:

      True, but Atler was at least physically capable of performing the skills she did. When she fell off bars she was not risking a serious spinal injury the way Youna is. (Sure, you can argue that any time you fall off bars, you’re risking serious injury. But Vanessa never landed those falls on or near her head).

      And yes, you could also point to Atler’s beam dismounts at the 2000 Olympic Trials as dangerous, but I tend to think those falls were the result of her exhausted mental state and being a bit out of shape rather than an inability to perform the skill safely. Youna doesn’t seem to have been taught good or safe technique and has never proven that she can land these skills.

  8. Thoughts about Youna Dufournet « GymNiceTic Says:

    […] about the whole situation and did a little research. As you surely have already read the posts on Gymblog and Gymnastics Coaching, you can see there´s a lot of feedback on Youna´s performances. Some […]

  9. Kayla Says:

    Thank you for this post. I had been wondering what was going on with Youna. I’m not sure which (or maybe it’s something entirely different?) of the scenario that gymnast46 mentioned is the case with her, but yes, it is scary. I definitely gasped quite a little bit during her floor at Euros – I was there in the arena, that is to say. Not a fun routine to watch.

  10. gymnast Says:

    does anybody know what her floor music was for the 2010 gymnastics season?

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