Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Farewell To Champions: Becca Bross

If you asked anyone two years ago, if Becca Bross would be going to London, Becca fan or not, they would've said absolutely.  She just was a star, and used setbacks such as injuries to make her weaknesses her strengths.  She used to be weaker on bars, but after a foot injury, she won a medal on bars at the 2009 World Championships.  Her mental toughness is amazing, and her ability to bounce back from adversity was, and is, second to none.  Her career was full of adversity, but she was always there, with a face, that John Roethlisberger said would be at home in a Terminator movie, which may be the only quote of NBC I ever agree with.

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Early Days
Becca was born in Ann Arbor Michigan, and after her parents sent her to gymnastics camps for two summers, Becca seriously began taking gymnastics classes at Geddert's Twisters, about an hour a way from her home, at the age of seven.  She competed there for a couple of seasons, and when she was a level seven, her parents moved the family 1185 miles to Plano, Texas, too train with Valeri Liukin at WOGA, when she was nine years old.  Success followed her to Texas, because 3 years later in 2005, Becca was competing in her first Elite National Championships.

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Becca wasn't even a elite at the beginning of 2005, placing firts on beam and floor, and fifth all around.  By the time nationals rolled around, Becca had elite scores high enough to qualify to nationals,cracking top 10 on vault (7) and placing 16/28!  Not bad for a first year elite!   The next year, Becca received two international assignments, placing 4th at Junior Pan-Ams, and won vault at Pacific Rim Championships.  Becca put on a better showing in 2006 at nationals, placing 4th all around, making her second consecutive national team!  In 2007, Becca was well traveled yet again, going to Pan Ams again, placing second in the all around behind teammate Shawn Johnson, and winning floor, before traveling to Japan for the Junior Japan International, where she added five medals to her trophy room, all five of them gold!  At nationals, she won her only junior championship title and recorded wins in three of the four events, taking silver on beam.  2008 was a rough year for the champ, she placed 16 all around at Pacific Rims, despite winning three of the events, due to an injury she sustained on bars, causing her to not finish her bar routine, which resulted in scoring a 6.25, in the new code.  But, 2009 was Becca's senior debut, and she wasn't going to let injuries get in the way!
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After sitting out at Covergirl in 2009, National Championships were supposed to be Becca's FIRST crowning moment as a senior.  We were all ready to watch the determined 16 year old rock the nation, but things didn't exactly go her way.   After a disastrous bar set, and sitting her Patterson beam dismount, a dismount she has a very low success rate, determined by Bekah from Get A Grip Gym Blog, took her out of the running for the title.  She placed third all around when all was said and done, and made her first World Championship team!  After qualifications, she ranked first, and was leading up until her last tumbling pass of her last event, floor.  She fell to knees, losing the title by .05 of a point, receiving the silver medal, as well a sharing a bronze on bars.  By 2010, Becca wanted revenge at two competitions, National Championships, and world championships.  But first was a stop to Worcester, Massachusetts, for the American Cup.  She beat teammate Aly Raisman in a dominating fashion, re-establishing herself as a world power.  At National Championships, she won her first, and only, senior title.  Things were looking good for Becca, until she fell from the beam on her standing arabian.  After several mistakes from other competitiors, Becca gave the floor routine of her life to claim the bronze.  This especially amazing, as she was competing on a bad shin and a broken foot.  Becca is so tough, and is hero to many kids like me, including myself, who have a hard time staying out of the orthopedist office, and spend much of their lives in casts, splints, boots, and slings.  Becca is proof you can over-come anything, which she showed over the next two years.  Becca didn't compete much in 2011, as she was dealing with MANY injuries.  She did compete at National Championships, however, and her Patterson dismount really kept her out of the running for a second title.  That, and during the third rotation, Becca competed on vault.  Vault has never been her strongest, it isn't for most WOGAns, and she was competing a DTY.  She was still twisting as she hit the ground, and dislocated her kneecap, resulting in surgery, and missing the rest of the 2011 season.
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Just nine months after surgically repairing her dislocated knee-cap, Becca competed at classics, after a friendly international meet in Italy.  She hit bars wonderfully, and fell on her dismount, but qualified to nationals as a two event specialist.  She, once again, hit bars wonderfully both nights, and sat one Patterson down, while she took a couple of large steps after the other one, she stayed on her feet.  She was moved on to trials, after making her third national team.  At trials, she had a good first day, with the exception of her beam dismount.  You can check out what happens when she does it at Spanny's Patterson breakdown here. On the second day, she fall three times on bars, and stopped after her third fall.  To make matters worse, NBC didn't show her beam, which looked like this! (Sorry for the quality, this was all I could find!)  That beam is how she should've ended her career, but thanks to NBC, all many people see is her bars when they think of her last routine!  I'm going to miss her so much!
As I'm writing this, her birthday is 9 minutes away, so Happy 19th Becca!!

         I wish you the best in everything you do Becca, you have a bright future ahead of you!!

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