The only Spanish finalist in the perfect competition analyzes the legend’s position: “We’ve all felt the burden, but if it happens you’re making a fool of yourself…”
“Has this ever happened to all of us? biles. This happened to me today in one of the asymmetric elements: the head is saturated and there is no room for more. It’s like one day you get out of bed and suddenly you forgot to walk, you’re empty. You’ve done it all your life, but now you can’t remember. It is very difficult to explain. If it happens to you in the normal element, like mine was, you still get over it, but if it happens you do one stupid thing to it and then you have to do more stupid things… that’s a lot. is dangerous. In addition to losing a gold, you can break for 20 places. All the gymnasts have understood Biles”, remarks the Spanish. Roxana Popa In the corridors of the Ariack Gymnastics Center, just after the 22nd-place finish of the full competition, and before champion Biles, on Instagram, offered the technical details of his return from previous competitions.
In the team event, in the colt jump, the only element she accomplished, her mind went into the middle of the flight and she was completely paralyzed. That he was not injured, that he still fell on his feet, that it was a miracle that could only be explained thanks to his muscles and the many people that he landed on a mat.
“He felt that feeling we all have at some point or another. After experiencing something like this in a device, for whatever reason, because of competition pressure, because of injury, because of a personal problem, we all wondered. Mune: And now how do I proceed? And she didn’t have it in that moment,” reflects Poppa and recalls the moment she, like Biles, didn’t want to compete anymore. Moreover, when he did not want to know anything about gymnastics.
injury and return
Born in Romania and Madrid when she was six years old, when she moved to the city with her mother, as a child she was the brightest promise in Spanish gymnastics until just before the 2016 Rio Games, she was injured. The cruciate ligaments of the right knee – which is still bandaged – said enough and began a journey through specialists and the operating room that took two years to overcome. When he did, he felt that his sporting life was over. I wanted it more than I thought about it. But his coach Rachel Garcia, from the Los Cantos de Alcorcan club, insisted and insisted until he changed his mind.
Garca herself sums it up: “She didn’t want to know anything about gymnastics, but I couldn’t believe it was all over for her and besides, I’m very stubborn. We have a lot in the club.” There are little girls so I invited her to come with us. First she prepared the choreography, then she took training courses … Anyway, while I was there I invited her to do physical preparation for health, so that He looked better, and one day I told him to try the jump. To my surprise, he accepted. And to everyone’s surprise, the knee began to respond. And from there to the Games, though the road was easier Hasn’t been.”
And it hasn’t happened, not at all. Popa was in full swing at the start of 2020 as he went to the High Performance Center in Madrid to prepare, having already attended a World Cup when the pandemic struck. And applying that brake in the middle of the race made me think he was missing. “She was down. She didn’t look ready to start and she was afraid to injure herself after confinement. I told her to go back to the gym with me, that we go slowly and that’s what she did.” And look, in an Olympic final”, says Garca after that finale. He did this to the disdain of Popa, demanding too much of himself, annoyed by some mistakes that cost him many positions.
“It’s a privilege to be here”
It was before the last, though after the experience, that Anand was to be there, sharing the competition with champions such as gymnastics’ new leader Sunissa Lee. “Obviously it’s a privilege for me to be here. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted and it annoys me, it makes me sad, but as far as possible, I think I should be happy . This season has been difficult for me because there was no competition, because it was hard for me to train, and I ended up mentally. You can be a machine, but when the head doesn’t give …”, ends And in reference to that, again, Biles.
All gymnastics is now attentive to the training it takes in a private gym near the Tokyo Competition Hall and if it will be seen in contention at the equipment final from Sunday. “Hopefully, hopefully I can come back and enjoy these games,” Popa wants.