Monday, January 26, 2009

Hong Heads to WOGA

Couldn't have seen this one coming from a mile away! Here's the article from IG;

World gold medalist Ivana Hong will make the move to Plano, Texas-based WOGA to train under Valeri Liukin as soon as her right ankle heals enough to resume training, she told Inside Gymnastics earlier this week.

In the past few months, Hong, who turned 16 in December, has sampled several clubs across the U.S., but settled on the WOGA, home of the last two Olympic all-around champions, after a successful trial run in early January.

“You know, four years ago when we were looking for a gym it was GAGE and WOGA, and it was really close between them,” Hong revealed. “[This time,] I tried some other gyms too and [picked] WOGA [because of] their training schedule and Valeri is just a wonderful coach, and Nastia is there—we all know each other so well. I just thought that was a really good fit.”

After Hong moves to Texas she plans to live, at least at first, with another WOGA gym family, so that her oldest sister, Isabelle, a high school senior, can graduate with her class in Blue Springs, Mo. Whether her mother and younger siblings join her in Texas at some point is yet to be determined. “Right now we’re not too sure where everyone is going to be,” Hong said of her close-knit family, which will soon be spread over three states.

Hong, an alternate for the 2008 Games, plans to make the move to Texas “in the next month or two,” perhaps following the February National Team training camp, or even sooner if she gets the all clear from her doctors.
“We’re planning on it soon, because I have to start training—actual training,” Hong said of her timeline.

Hong said she first fractured her tibia in December 2007 but a premature return to the gym as part of her efforts to make the U.S. Beijing Olympic team, kept the injury from ever healing fully and, by the time Hong competed at last summer’s U.S. Championships and Trials, she says she was in constant pain.

Now, Hong is working with doctors to make sure she’s fully healed before getting back in the gym. Surgery was scheduled last October, but later canceled when the injury finally began to respond to treatment, which includes daily electric stimulation. (A scan in mid-January revealed the fracture was still there, but healing.)


Doublebanker said...

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