Is Tokyo 2020ne in the future for Chellsie Memmel? The 2005 World All-Around Champion and 2008 Olympian seems to be inching closer and closer to mounting a legit comeback campaign, and we’re here for it!
A little back story: Memmel retired from gymnastics in late 2012 after her campaign to try to make the London Olympic team fell short. In the years since her retirement, Memmel married her now-husband Kory in 2013, had two children, started judging, co-founded My Gym Judge, and currently coaches at her parents’ gym: M&M Gymnastics & Dance. (We’re sure there’s more. The point is, she’s obviously got it going on!)
But, it seems another Olympic push might not be out of the question.
Memmel is well-known for documenting her adventures as a mom, judge, and coach on social media. One look at her Instagram feed, and it’s clear she’s still in great shape and hasn’t lost her zest (or talent) for tumbling.
However, here lately she’s been upping the ante with the skills she’s sharing, including attempting her first dismount off the high beam in eight years.
(Spoiler alert: it looks like she never retired.)
With the 2020 Games being pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Memmel acknowledged in the same post that she’s really considering a return.
“Muscle memory is truly remarkable… It has been 8 years since doing any form of dismount off the beam, and yet, the first time I did felt like no time had passed and my body just took over. I am by NO means committing to training yet, but the seed has been planted.”
Memmel continued, “Thanks to you all for continually telling me that I should train and reminding me I now have another year. Now my family is even saying why not train and see what happens… I thought by saying I needed to see how a dismount went it would be a deterrent. Well, that backfired as this was only my fourth attempt at a double on the first day training them in 8 years. I will continue to play and see what happens.”
When it comes to gymnastics comebacks, age is almost always a part of the conversation. Even with the likes of Oksana Chusovitina, Catalina Ponor, and more helping to redefine the debate of “How old is too old?”, the stigma still remains.
That being said, Memmel will turn 32 on June 23, which means she would be 33 if she were to make the Olympic team and compete in Tokyo. For reference, MyKayla Skinner and Simone Biles are currently the “oldest” athletes on the U.S. women’s national team. Both would be 24 in Tokyo.
Sixteen months of training (when you’re already in solid shape) isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things, and age aside, Memmel could have a solid chance at a spot, especially if she focused her efforts on becoming a beam specialist for the U.S. (The talented uneven bars-worker says she hasn’t [yet] touched that or any other events.)
Keep reading to get a glimpse at what Memmel has been up to in the gym as of late, and let us know in the comments if you think she’s going to push for Tokyo!
- The “it looks like she never retired” dismount
- Full routine? Already [almost] a check!
- FYI, her leaps and jumps look better. than. ever.
- The Arabians… and a more structured training routine… are slowly coming along.
- TBH, that double pike is looking prettyyy close to competition-ready.
- Barani + standing pike connection, anyone?
- Did we mention she is a
momsupermom of two?
- And, no, this isn’t an illusion. Memmel might seriously be coming back! (See what we did there?)