Jesse Glenn of SCATS to Represent the USA at Youth Olympic Games
The inaugural Youth Olympics games will kick off this August right after the US Championships and USAG has selected Jesse Glenn to represent the US men. Jesse trains at SCATS in Southern California under Coach Grigor Chalikyan. SCATS was the top team at this year's Junior Olympic Nationals. They consistently produce National team members including recent JO National Champion Sam Mikulak and current Cal gymnast and Senior National team member Glen Ishino.
Here's an excerpt from the USAG press release:
The 2009 Visa Championships junior 14-15 vault champion, Jesse Glenn, who trains at SCATS, finished first in the all-around at the 2010 Youth Olympic Team Trial, held on June 15 as part of the 2010 Junior National Team Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. To be considered for the Youth Olympic Games, U.S. male gymnasts had to meet one of the following criteria: be a member of the Junior National or Junior Elite Team at the time of the Youth Olympic Games Trial, or have placed in the top three all-around in either the Level 10 14-to-15 or 16-to-18 age division at the 2010 Junior Olympic National Championships, conducted May 5-9 in Knoxville, Tenn. The Youth Olympic Games age requirement mandates artistic gymnasts must be born between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 1994.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will send a team of nearly 80 athletes to the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, which begins with the Opening Ceremony on August 14 in Singapore.
The Youth Olympic Games have faced some criticism lately and will likely be lacking some top level competition due to their decision to only allow credentials for ONE coach per discipline for each nationality. This means that each artistic gymnastics team is only allowed one coach for men AND women. In the case of the USA, and likely many other nations, that just won't work.
Jordyn Wieber of Gedderts Twistars was the front runner to represent the US at the inaugural Games and likely would have won the whole thing, but this cost-cutting measure has pushed them to decline. Her coach, John Geddert, seems like a cautious coach and made the decision not to go. Glenn will be the only American artistic gymnast in attendance.
Aside from the lack of coaches ordeal, it sounds like a cool event. It'll bring together 3,600 athletes (ages 14 through 18) from all 205 National Olympic Committees to compete in the 26 sports of the 2012 Olympic Games. This will surely be a great experience for Jesse and hopefully the event will be more accommodating to coaching needs in the future.
I visited the SCATS guys in March of 2009 and featured them in Workout Wednesday. They are a fun group of guys with great coaches. Here's a look back at the workout with Jesse and the current top ranked team in JO boys gymnastics: