Jade Barbosa has yet to hear back from the American specialist she consulted a week ago, but she is already ruling out a comeback in 2009. The bronze medalist of the 2007 Worlds told Globoesporte that she does not expect to be back until 2010. Amazingly enough, she sounds remarkably upbeat about the whole thing. Here's the Globoesporte story...
Without CBG and Flamengo support, Jade Barbosa signs autographs in exchange for medication
Gymnast believes she will not return to top-level competition until 2010
Due to the lack of financial support for the treatment of the serious injury in her right hand, Jade Barbosa is now looking for help from her fans so as to be able to go through with the therapy she needs. In addition to the restitution of expenses offered by a São Paulo entrepreneur whose daughter is a great gymnastics fan, the athlete is counting on the solidarity of pharmacists and even of her doctor.
"My father wants the CBG (Brazilian Gymnastics Federation) to pay for the therapy, which is very expensive. At the moment, I am treating myself because people are helping me. I went to buy medicines at a pharmacy, and they gave them to me in exchange for an autographed shirt. We were paying the doctor, but he has decided to help me [for free] from now on," explained Jade, who returned from her vacation on Monday.
While waiting for an American specialist's assessment, to know whether she will have to travel to that country for treatment, Jade is doing whatever she can to return to her old training level. However, she is certain of one thing. She will not return to top-level competition until 2010.
"I'm here (at Flamengo) watching the girls, trying to be close to them and to do something whenever I can. I keep asking the doctor when things will return to normal, but I know it will take a long time for me to get back to 100 percent. I won't be able to do well in competitions until next year," the athlete said with regret.
The revelation of the gravity of Jade's injury came as a surprise to the gymnast's coach, who was hoping Jade would be able to compete on the Grand Prix circuit and especially in the World Championships in London, held in October.
"I had already begun our preparations for the World Championships and the Grand Prix competitions, but now it's difficult to make any forecasts. I'm not even thinking of competitions anymore; I just want her to be in the right head space to train," said Ricardo Pereira.
Despite her problems, Jade, who hasn't received her wages from Flamengo for six months now, promises that she has no intention of retiring from the sport.
"I like gymnastics too much to quit like this, so suddenly. I think that if I couldn't do gymnastics anymore, I'd attend workouts just for fun," she said laughing.