|Anna Rodionova of Russia|
GIF by huanghuidan
Memmel is one of the most popular American gymnasts and also one of the most unfortunate ones. She was a very talented and hard working gymnast but injuries always stood in her way of having the career she truly deserves.
But despite that, Memmel managed to become an all around World champion (2005) and a bars World champion (2003). She also managed to make the 2008 Olympic team and won silver in the team competition but did not achieve individual success due to injury.
Injuries prevented her from trying to make the 2004 Olympics and from defending her all around title at 2006 Worlds which she qualified to in first place.
Memmel made a comeback in 2012 in the hopes of making her second Olympics but had two falls on beam at Secret Classics which prevented her from qualifying to the national championships. She petitioned but was very quickly and abruptly denied the chance to compete at the nationals thus ending her dreams of making the Olympic team.
Many people felt that the petition was unfairly rejected by the selection committee. Memmel announced her retirement at the end of 2012.
Was Memmel really the first gymnast to perform it?
Henrietta Onodi of Hungary competed also the turn in 1991.
In order for an original skill to be named after its originator, the originator must compete it at either Worlds or Olympics, and if the originator is a junior, then they can compete it at Youth Olympic games.
Onodi competed the turn at Worlds but did not have it named after her. It could be that she did not submit the skill or she did submit it but did not have it named after her because she failed in completing the second turn. Most likely it is due to the latter.
Gymnasts who have also performed this skill
Valentina Holenkova of Ukraine
Ana Porgras of Romania
Yao Jinnan of China
Written by Gigi Farid