January 14, 2009

Jade Barbosa Rules Out Return to Competition in 2009

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...

(photo: Reuters)

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.


  1. I don't want to sound harsh. But if Barbosa's injury is so serious to cause her to sit out the entire 2009 season, then her gymnastic career is effectively over. She will be 19 in 2010. She will not get back into top form.

  2. I have forwarded this story, on to Larry Nassar in USA. I am hoping he will be able to offer medical assistance. If you are not familiar with Dr. Nassar, he is the TEAM USA's womens Gymnastics Team Trainer.

    Let all hope Barbosa's injury can be treated, quickly, and correctly.

  3. Nastia Liukin was out for almost a year before the 2008 season, although I can't directly compare the severities of their injuries. There still has not been any consensus on how to tackle this.

  4. Anonymous, the problem with Barbosa's injury is precisely that it may not be treatable. She's suffering from osteonecrosis which has eroded part of a small bone in her hand. She may be beyond treatment. But thanks all the same. :)

  5. I have learned more about this gymnast's history, and have been informed that she has won prize money in the million's of dollars for medals won at the international competitions. The Brazilian government has compensated her. My question is what happened to all of her money. She should easily be able to pay any travel and medical expenses? What is going with her money, and why has the National team, turned their back on her?

  6. Eu sinceramente nao acredito que a Jade Barbosa possa voltar a competir. A gravidade da lesao em sua mao, se todos as declaracoes médicas estao corretas, ela tem necrose de um osso situado na parte central da mao pode por fim a sua bela carreira esportiva. Quanto aos milhoes aquí ditos que ela ganhou das competicoes internacionais, eu nao acredito que ela tenha ficado milhonária. Milhonária esta a Nastia Luikin.

  7. Anonymous, we don't really believe Jade will make a comeback either. We don't even really believe she'll be able to compete beam only, as she seems to be planning at the moment. Her injury sounds too grave for that.

    We don't think Jade is a millionaire either. Few gymnasts outside the US are.

    Incidentally, we very much prefer comments in English on this blog. Only one of our crew can read Portuguese and we suspect the majority of our readers won't understand a word of your comment. :)

  8. HI My name is Lourenco and I'm Brazilian but I live in USA... I'm just writting to offer some hel with translation from portuguese to English if necessary, so that everyone can enjoy reading and writting here...
    Send me an e-mail : lourenco_dasilva@yahoo.com
    And let me know if I can be of any assistance to you ...

    About Jade... Her case is very complicated, I agree, but there hasn't been any indication so far of how advanced is the osteonecrosis on her Wrist ( I belive it is on her Capitate or Lunate bone). It doesn't look like very promissing at this point which is very sad... but there has been so many case of recovery in the history of mankind that I dont doubt that she will be back sooner than we think...I'm sure not only the Brazilian people hope that but every person that like this sport wishes the same. Let's just keep our faith, and hope for the best.And about the fortune that was mensioned... she has not kept that money... I have a lot of contacts from people surrounding her stating that she never got any of that... Otherwise she would not being trading autographs for medication or medical services.... it should explain a lot...