--- Shawn Johnson says she may well skip the 2009 season... which we suspect may be a roundabout way of saying, "I'm about to retire."
--- Japanese superstar Hiroyuki Tomita has announced he'll definitely retire after this season, no doubt about it.
--- Xiao Sha is winning beam competitions again, and Jiang Yuyuan is healthy enough to compete on three events again (although she is skipping vault for the time being).
A smile that will be missed if its owner really does decide to take time off or retire altogether.
We're not too happy about the first two things. Hiroyuki Tomita is one of the most colorful figures in men's gymnastics, and both his gymnastics and his general coolness will be missed. As for Shawn Johnson, well, we're not the greatest fans of her gymnastics, but we love the girl and would have liked to see her around for a few more years, to see what she could have developed into (somehow we don't think Shawn has reached her full potential yet). Who knows though? Perhaps a few weeks' rest (Lord knows she hasn't had much of that lately) will give the girl a new perspective on things. We hope so. We think the world is a better place with Shawn vs. Nastia battles in it.
Xiao Sha (photo: Jasmin Schneebeli-Wochner)
As to item No. 3... yes, that does make us happy. We love us some Xiao Sha. We were sorry she didn't make China's Olympic team, although we agreed at the time that Li Shanshan seemed a safer bet. (And boy, did we feel let down when Li screwed up in the beam final. One of us actually screamed out loud when it happened, yelling, "They should have used Xiao Sha instead!") We're glad to see that Xiao is being given an opportunity to shine now, and that Jiang Yuyuan has sufficiently recovered from her elbow injury to compete on three events. Way to go, girls.