November 17, 2008

Flamengo Talk

After all that stuff about the DTB Cup and injuries, we feel it's incumbent on us to resume our reporting on the Brazilian team. Because, you know, they have injuries too!

The latter sentence would probably be funny if it weren't so hideously true. But unfortunately it's all too true.

Let's start with Jade Barbosa, shall we? According to Globoesporte, Jade didn't recover from her "renal crisis" (read: kidney stones) last week, so the scheduled MRI of her hand didn't happen. She's now scheduled to have it tomorrow. We hope she can actually undergo the examination this time, and that the results won't be too depressing.

Jade Barbosa (photo: Reuters)

Meanwhile, some rather alarming news has reached us concerning the anti-inflammatory drug with which Jade claims the Federation overdosed her during the Olympics and the preceding months, Prexige. Our reader D informed us that Prexige was banned in Brazil a while ago for causing serious liver damage. So we looked into it, and it turns out it has actually been banned in a lot of places. See, for instance, this notice by the Australian government, released over a year ago (!). It's an urgent medicine recall in which Prexige is listed as a Class I drug, which means that its defects are "potentially life-threatening" or could cause "a serious risk to health." Prexige comes in three formulations: 100mg, 200mg, and 400mg. Jade claims she took two or three 400mg tablets a day for several months. She's obviously still alive, but we shudder to think what damage the medicine might have done to her liver.

Try to put yourself in Jade Barbosa's shoes now. You're suffering from a potentially career-threatening hand injury, a foot injury, and kidney stones, and on top of that you have to wonder whether the pills your team doctor prescribed to you might have damaged your liver...? It's all a bit much, really. We haven't always been fans of Jade, but right now we're sending good vibes her way like you wouldn't believe. She obviously needs them harder than Ksenia Semyonova and Anna Pavlova combined. And we're saying that with all the love in our Ksenia-and-Anna-adoring hearts.

As for the MRI, we'll keep you posted.

Jade Barbosa (photo: Reuters)

Meanwhile, Jade's teammates at Flamengo, Diego and Daniele Hypolito, aren't exactly leading dull lives either. They were at the DTB Cup last weekend, baffling spectators and critics alike by being, well, less than stellar. Heidemarie even gave Diego a tongue-lashing for throwing a simple double twist dismount on floor after a press to handstand had gone awry, thus ruining his chances of a gold medal.

Turns out poor Diego actually had an excuse. He is - you've guessed it - injured. He's suffering a bad backache, and only went to Stuttgart because he wanted to make sure he'd qualify to the World Cup Final. He scored just enough points to do so on both floor and vault, but it wasn't easy. "In my floor exercise I tried to do a compulsory strength and balance element called an 'inverted cross,'" said the 2005 and 2007 world champion. "I didn't manage the first time around because it hurt so much, but my second attempt was successful."

And here we were giving him a hard time for throwing a double twist after that. Our apologies, Diego.

The coolest picture of Diego Hypolito you'll ever find

Meanwhile, Diego's sister Daniele (who just competed in her first individual final since the 2007 Pan-American Games) is busy making plans for the future. Although she's 24, she's by no means ready to retire yet. We're guessing that means that she, for one, is not nursing any serious injuries. Knock on wood.

According to Daniele, she wasn't planning to go to Germany last week, but when the other girls withdrew from the competition, she decided to make it part of her plans for - yes, we're getting to it - London 2012.

"After four years and all the effort I put into going to the Beijing Olympics, I didn't expect to be in great shape now. I decided, pretty much at the last minute, to compete here in Stuttgart to show everyone, especially myself, that I am an active gymnast and that I can still be competitive in the sport."

Daniele Hypolito (photo: Reuters)

She's thinking of changing the way she trains, though. "Until Beijing, I always strove to be a complete gymnast, to do the all-around, to do all four events. Now I believe I'll only be able to do that for one or two more years, tops. For 2012, I'll do my best to become a specialist, to prioritize one or two events."

She's not sure yet what those one or two events will be, but she's sure specializing is the way to go. "I'm old, so I'll have to be very good on one apparatus and secure on another one if I'm to help the team," Daniele said last weekend.

Interestingly, Daniele doesn't seem to be involved in the row that her teammates Jade, Daiane, and Lais are having with the Brazilian Gymnastics Federation. "I'm training with Jade at Flamengo, but I'm staying out of this dispute between the Federation and the girls," Daniele said last weekend. "I don't even want to get involved in the election of the new president of the Federation [in December]. I only want to show people my gymnastics."

According to certain sources, Daniele has actually reprehended her teammate Jade for criticizing the Federation. This is all the more remarkable since Daniele has been reported to have had a few clashes with the Federation herself over the last ten years.

Daniele and Jade at the Beijing Olympics (photo: Reuters)

Next up: a post about the Sao Paulo girls, Daiane dos Santos and Lais Souza. Because they're injured too, and because Daiane's injury is actually kind of interesting. Stay tuned.


  1. Does Daiane have crotch burn or something?

  2. daniele is unfortunate looking

  3. See, we'd rather not receive any comments than receive comments like these. Please cool it, guys. Don't make us start moderating comments.