• Ethne Tierney


Like in any other activity, gymnastics can lead us to situations where we don't know where to put ourselves. And, let's face it, a competition is a factory of moments where you can't help to cringe, and sometimes even want to disappear for a few minutes at least. Do you feel related? Don't worry, we've all been there! The good thing about embarrassing moments is that even it feels awful when they happen, they become a great story to laugh about with our friends, family and teammates.

We are sharing with you some charmingly embarrassing moments that some gymnasts shared. Hopefully, these stories will remind us that it's okay if things don't go according to plan sometimes, there's always more competitions!

We want to hear about moments that made you feel overwhelmed when they occurred, but that now you laugh about. Are they worse than any of the ones listed? Let us know in the comments.

The Judge Ambusher

I remember it as if it was yesterday, even if more than eight years have gone by. My group and I were rehearsing some hoop collaborations just before competing. I didn't control my strength well enough, and I hit one of the judges, who was walking towards her colleagues in the face. She was wearing glasses and I nearly broke them. Honestly, it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, I apologized a thousand times!

- Olga, 22

Medal to Untimeliness

My first time in an individual national level competition did not go as expected. It was 2013, and the federation borrowed the London Olympic games equipment from the previous year. I never competed in from of a big crowd alone, and I was already intimidated enough. Just before getting out to the mat, I felt a cramp in my stomach. I told myself it must have been the nerves. Little I knew I just got my period. When I realised I already started my routine, so at this point I had to keep going! Thank god, the leotard was red and the stains weren't visible on it, people close to me like coaches and judges definitely noticed. To this day, I still haven't recovered from that horrible routine.

-Enya, 22

Your face when you realize your hormones are about to jeopardise your routine

Pre-competition Amnesia

I'm sure this happened to many people before, but that doesn't make it any less foolish! My teammates always say I'm in the clouds, and I guess they are right because I once travelled to competition 6 hours away from where I live and I forgot to bring my clubs with me. I did not realise until we got to our destination, after a very long journey. My parents weren't driving me, and they weren't happy about it. I was very used to the brand of my own clubs, and I had them decorated to match my leotard, so although I was lucky to be able to use the replacement ones, I wasn't fully comfortable and I'm sure it affected my performance. I ended up placing on the podium anyway, so everything ended up turning out okay, but I definitely a good scare!

-Sofia, 19

Who won, again?

After I compete I always feel a bit tired and distracted. One time, I was so zoned out that during the medal ceremony the commenter called my name to pick up my medal and I didn't notice. I just saw everyone clapping, so I did the same thing without knowing it was me who they clapping for. Nobody got on the podium and everyone in the complex kept waiting or me. It was only when my teammate told me to go that I realised it was me they were waiting on. That was definitely an awkward medal ceremony!

-Margot, 17

Your face waiting to be called out when you should have been on the podium half an hour ago

Graceful Exit

My group and I outdid ourselves in our regionals, and we were very happy with our routine. When the routine ended we were all smiling, knowing we did great. We picked up our apparatuses and proceeded to get out of the mat, looking as elegant as we could. Doing this, I tripped with a tiny Swarovski crystal and I nearly fell on the floor, I also dropped my ball as we were coming out. All our grace was gone with that clumsy walk-out.

We were out of the mat by then and our routine was finished, so our score did not change. We laughed about how silly we looked in that moment for so long!

-Maja, 20

Nothing more gracebul that a clumsy exit

The cheerleader squad

Does anyone else have a family that is way too supportive? Cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents travelled along with my parents to see me every time I competed. They were always notoriously more vocal than anyone else in the complex, and they were cheering me very passionately. Being young, and seeing that nobody else's families did that, it definitely made me a little embarrassed. One time, my grandma printed a t-shirt with a picture of me when I was a little girl. The icing on the cake was when they started to make waves on their sits. I blushed so much my face turned red or the rest of the day. I felt very exposed by what they were doing, but at the end of the day they are my family and I love them. I wouldn't change the support they give me for anything in the world, even if sometimes they can be a little bit extra.

-Sara, 26

A family that goes to competitions together, stays together.


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