The subsequent time you need to be ok with the world, click on over to Chellsie Memmel’s YouTube page, the place she is documenting her return to gymnastics. At 32, she is a mom of two who competed within the 2008 Olympics, retired again in 2012, and realized final 12 months that her physique had not shriveled up and decayed in a approach that precludes launching into the air at excessive speeds.
Her videos track her comeback, like this one documenting Week 16, and her first full beam routine. They’re so enjoyable to observe! In contrast to watching worldwide gymnastics competitions, the place you have to ignore the sinking suspicion that some underage ladies on display screen are caught in athletic abuse that they gained’t absolutely perceive till their 30s, Memmel’s videos are pure pleasure. She jokes together with her dad, who can be her coach, and clearly not in cost. She chats up just about everybody within the health club. Typically her toddler trains too. And she or he hurls her physique into rotations off of vaults, the ground, and a four-foot-wide stability beam, many dozens of occasions a day.
You would name this Absolutely Consensual Gymnastics.
Consent is more and more in in gymnastics, which has been roiled by years of abuse allegations. Final week, the German girls’s gymnastics workforce launched their plans to desert leotards in favor of unitards, to cease the sexualisierung of the game. Everyone has an opinion on this. You’ll word that Memmel wears pants, at all times.
This week The New York Occasions wrote about her comeback. She’s internationally aggressive although an underdog for an Olympic workforce slot. (America is by far probably the most aggressive pool on the earth, the place components of U.S. Olympic Trials will be extra aggressive that then Olympics.) Although if we’re all watching her now, advertisers probably are too: Memmel’s run is certain to be profitable. We’ll be watching.