--- According to Globoesporte, Jade Barbosa is currently in America (supposedly in Miami) for a second opinion on the osteonecrosis in her right hand. "The doctor over there is used to treating elite athletes, and he is studying the problem," said Elisete Chagas, Jade's stepmother and agent. "We hope that she won't have to leave the country for treatment, because that would be very costly."
--- Despite our best efforts, we haven't been able to find any information on the injury that kept Yang Yilin from performing at the World Cup Final, beyond Lu Shanzhen's initial statement that it was a "waist injury" (which may also be translated as "lower back injury"). As far as we can tell, there hasn't been any mention of Yang in the Chinese media recently. If anyone has any information on her situation, do share it - we're intrigued by the Chinese media's silence on the subject!
Sang Lan (photo: Sina)
--- Meanwhile, things are looking up for another Chinese gymnast who sustained a much more serious injury, Sang Lan. Sang, a Chinese national vault champion who got paralyzed when a timer vault went horribly awry at the 1998 Goodwill Games, is probably China's most famous disabled person. Sina reports that she was very busy in 2008, traveling around the world as an ambassador for the Olympics and Paralympics. She also carried the Olympic torch the day before the Games began. Sang recently told Chinese reporters that 2008 was a great year for her and that her main hope for 2009 is to be able to learn how to drive a car. "If it's possible, I'd like to try and drive my own car. That would make me so happy." She went on to explain that being able to leave the house on one's own is a great hope for any disabled person, but conceded that it might be difficult to fulfill her wish, as it's hard for disabled people in China to get an adapted car, or a driver's license for that matter. Yet Sang remains optimistic. "Things can only get better, right? I'm sure a day will come [that I can drive a car]." (Check out this link for a recentish New York Times interview with Sang Lan.)
--- Dutch national team members Suzanne Harmes and Sanne Wevers appear to be recovering well from the injuries that prevented them from shining at the World Cup Final. Both gymnasts performed at the Univé Gym Galas held in three Dutch towns just after the World Cup Final. Their heavily watered-down but none too painful-looking routines can be seen in this ten-minute, high-quality video, which takes a long time to load but does give a good impression of the galas. It also shows a rather heavy Chellsie Memmel performing her bar routine, as well as glimpses of several other performers strutting their stuff.
Yvette Moshage (photo: Iris van den Broek/Gymnasticsphotography)
--- Meanwhile, another Dutch gymnast, promising junior Yvette Moshage, seems to be less lucky. Moshage, second to Jordyn Wieber at Top Gym, twisted her knee on her dismount in the beam final of the Belgian competition. According to her website, Moshage has been diagnosed with a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament, a serious injury which will require a long recovery period. Ouch.
--- Finally, according to a print article we sadly can't reproduce here (L'Equipe, December 17), Russian-born French veteran Dimitri Karbanenko (aged 35!) underwent arthroscopy in Cagnes-sur-Mer on December 17. The article says Karbanenko has had problems with his left meniscus ever since the spring of 2006, but never had time to have it looked at. He wanted to shine one last time at the Beijing Olympics, but just missed out on a spot in the high bar final, and didn't make the all-around final either as he was outscored by his teammates Caranobe and Bouhail. He can't see himself performing at another Olympics. He may stick around for a little while longer to perform on a few events, but not for long, he insists: "I've never been able to do things just for the sake of doing them. I need a motivation, but I don't have one anymore. So I think I'll gradually retire."
Dimitri Karbanenko in Beijing, powerful as ever (photo: Reuters)