Ashley Berry- Age 7. Broke her ankle in practice, parents told her sometimes gymnasts get hurt and you have to learn to "suck it up". On the way to a competition (TOPS) while her ankle is swelling she is told again to "suck it up". She is made to compete all events except the sprint and vertical jump. She is given zeros for the two events she could not physically compete on. Is it fair for parents and coaches to make young girls continue through work outs even though they are in physical pain.? Should seven year olds be taught that competition is the most important thing, not health?
What values are we teaching our children by making them work through injuries and telling them to stop complaining when they are ailing? On a larger scale, should gymnasts be told that if they sustain injuries that will not get worse they should continue their sport even though it will cause them physical pain every day they practice/compete?
In my opinion, seven year olds, or any young children for that matter, should not be told to ignore health problems for the possibility of athletic success. All injuries should be taken seriously and not simply "written off". Ashley should have also been able to re-due her TOPS competition due to her injury because making a child compete with a broken ankle is brutal and cruel.