It’s been a month since my last blog and it’s been a busy couple of weeks with my first competition of the year – the Houston National Invitational.
The Invitational is a pretty significant event here in the US but this was actually my first time competing there. As some of you might know, I came away with the win which made it a great weekend of competition. I struggled a little on the pommel horse but otherwise I was pretty happy with the rest of my routines.
I tried out some new aspects of my routines in Houston which was good. I completed a peach to one bar in my parallel bar routine which was new. It might not sound like much but it bumps me from a 16.5 start value to a 16.7 and every fraction of a mark will count when we get to the World Championships in Glasgow this October. It was good to finally get that skill out there and execute well.
The event was a good confidence builder for me, especially as it ended up being a pretty quick weekend. Typically we arrive a few days in advance to train and prepare but I didn’t go down until Friday morning. Competition was Saturday afternoon so it was a very quick turnaround. I was still able to deliver consistently across my routines which is a nice position to be in as I start to bring other new elements to my routines. Plus I got to catch up with my friends from the US Olympic programme which is always fun.
From a Team USA perspective it was a positive start to the season. A lot of people looked good – John Orozco in particular looked really good and Paul Ruggeri really showed up and rolled out good routines.
Next up for me is the Winter Challenge Cup in Las Vegas however I ended up getting sick straight after Houston. That knocked my training out big time and a persistent cough is stopping me getting a good sleep at night. Rest is just as important as training! The competition is shaping up to feature some really great athletes – including the whole Olympic Programme team. Plus my teammate Steve Legendre and Sam Mikulak are probably going to do all-around so that would make for a great competition.
I know Vegas is a place that lots of people love to visit but gymnasts won’t have much time to sightsee during the Winter Cup! Last year I did manage to sneak in a Cirque du Soleil performance which was spectacular.
After Las Vegas I’m really excited to visit Great Britain between the end of February and March. Me and some of my USA teammates will be training with the Great Britain team and running some competitions against them. I am really looking forward to that trip and seeing what shape the home team for the 2022 World Championships are in!
I will speak to you guys again in March!