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Veterans Johnson, Memmel and Sacramone Set to Compete at the 2011 Covergirl Classic

I don’t know if you are feeling it yet, but I sure have a case of pre-Olympic fever starting to brew! The 2011 Covergirl Classic which is taking place in Chicago this weekend and the audience is in for a treat! The 2011 CoverGirl Classic is the final qualifying event for the 2011 Visa Championships, which is USA Gymnastics’ national championship scheduled for Aug. 17-20 in Saint Paul, Minn.

Shawn Johnson during podium training at the Covergirl Classic. Photo by Greg Long from the Examiner

One of the most well known gymnasts in recent history, 19 year old Shawn Johnson, has decided that she is not ready to call it quits, rather she would like to compete in another Olympics. She will be competing for the first time since the 2008 Olympics in hopes of qualifying to the Visa Championships in August, gaining a spot on the World Championships Team and ultimately representing the USA at the 2012 Games. Johnson is not alone, however! Her Beijing teammate Alicia Sacramone (23), who came out of retirement earlier and won the World Championship Vault title last year, will also be competing three events (Vault, Beam and Floor – Bars is just not Alicia’s favorite event!) and Chellsie Memmel (Two-time World Champion in 2003 at the age of 15) who is also making her comeback at age 23.

While these three rock stars of the gymnastics world will be garnering some serious media attention, senior superstars like Jordyn Wieber, Rebecca Bross, and Aly Raismann will be vying for their time in the spotlight, too. Adding to the excitement will be some new talent on the senior scene like Gabrielle Douglas, who moved from Virginia Beach, VA to Iowa to train at Chow’s side-by-side with Shawn Johnson; McKayla Maroney, and my favorite from last year’s junior division, Sabrina Vega.

There is already some excellent coverage and commentary on the athletes, podium training and some predictions – I recommend:

So, who do you think will emerge as the champion, the ones to watch as we head into this Olympic year, and who do you think might be over-hyped?

Categories : Gymnastics



[…] last night’s Visa Championships in St. Paul, 2008 Olympian Alicia Sacramone had something a little different about her. Was it confidence that comes from competing in an […]

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