by Anna Rose Johnson
It’s been 10 years now since Jordyn Wieber’s first-ever American Cup win, Bridget Sloan’s all-around gold in London, Nastia Liukin’s comeback after Beijing, and other amazing moments. Join us as we look back at some of the greatest performances from the memorable 2009 elite season!
Photo by Grace Chiu
Jordyn Wieber’s breakout competition was the 2009 American Cup, where she won the all-around gold medal by 0.60 ahead of 2008 Olympic silver medalist Bridget Sloan. Then just 13 years old, Wieber impressed everyone with her confidence and power.
In addition to Bridget Sloan, two other members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic women’s team returned to gymnastics following their amazing experiences in Beijing—Nastia Liukin and Samantha Peszek.
Liukin made her comeback at the CoverGirl Classic, performing an elegant beam routine. While cutting back her difficulty significantly, Liukin’s trademark grace and poise elated audiences who were eager to see her compete for the first time since Beijing.
Peszek also competed on beam at Classics, but added vault into the mix as well. Even more rock-solid on beam than during the lead-up to the Olympics, Peszek’s solid beam routines at the 2009 U.S. Championships stand out in our memories.
The year of remarkable post-Olympic performances culminated in a thrilling World Championships in London. First-year senior Rebecca Bross rose to prominence after a season plagued with injuries and inconsistency, finishing just 0.05 behind Bridget Sloan in the all-around final after a fall on her last floor pass. Bross’s magnificent beam routine in the all-around remains a favorite of ours!
Sloan’s steady vault and bars routines contributed hugely to her World all-around victory. Although she had competed in the all-around during the 2008 Olympic qualifications, Sloan performed a specialist role in the team final with her double-twisting yurchenko. In London 2009, Sloan was able to showcase her strength as an all-arounder in brilliant fashion.
He Kexin, who won the 2008 Olympic uneven bars final following a controversial tiebreaker, swung a breathtaking routine at Worlds to win the gold once again. Her fabulous release connections will never be forgotten!
Beth Tweddle’s unexpected floor exercise gold—won in front of a home crowd—is another fantastic moment from 2009. Primarily known for her breathtaking uneven bars, Tweddle proved that she could win gold on another apparatus, too!
What are some of your favorite moments from the elite scene ten years ago?
Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com