Have a happy and safe night peeps. You know you are getting old when your idea of celebrating the new year is taking a bubble bath and finishing a book you have been attempting to read for 6 months.
I do however have to make fun of this Inside Gymnastics article that lists Anna Li as one of the ten most Influential US gymnasts of all time
The list seems to be in order of old to new so I won’t fault them for the order of the list but the list itself is a we bit stupid.
I have to say any list that includes 5 gymnasts from 2004-20008 has to have a huge asterisk next to it. To be ” Influential” that means you inspire someone to be like you. Maybe Carly Patterson inspired the 2012 kids while they were growing up but no way in hell anyone got into gymnastics because 4 years before it a gymnast won a medal.
So who did Nastia, Alicia and Shawn influence exactly? If we were about to start the 2024 Olympic cycle I wouldn’t argue with those 3 but it’s way too early to call them Influential.
The one no brainer on this list is Mary Lou Retton. The most ironic thing about her being such an Influence is no one outside the US thinks she deserved to win the gold medal.
Cathy Rigby ( not to be confused with Wayne Rigsby which I keep typing by accident) was one of the first US gymnasts to have success in the world of gymnastics so I am sure she inspired people too so check mark for her..
Kim Zmeskal and Shannon Miller ruled the 90’s at one time or another especially Miller who didn’t lose a competition for 2 straight years so a check mark for them. I personally wouldn’t add Dominique Dawes to any list I was creating because she has to be the most overscored, overrated gymnast of all time. The only reason anyone liked her is because sap stories sell especially in a world ruled by teenage athletes and followed by mom’s and old ladies who think because someones can’t handle the pressure they deserve fame and fortune but whatever. So…
That brings us to Anni Li. I can guarantee you if you took a picture to the streets in any city on any planet including Los Angeles and you showed the picture to 1 million people you would be lucky to find one person who knew who she was. Hell you could go to the UCLA campus during a gymnastics practice and be lucky to find 2 people out of ten who knew who she was.
She’s irrelevant. She’s less than irrelevant. She’s whomever was playing short stop during the exact moment Kirk Gibson hit the walk off homerun to win game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Hell that isn’t even a good analogy she’s like whoever was sitting in section 125, row 92 when it happened.
There are always going to be debates during articles like this but I’m sorry Anna Li is just something no one can debate.
Have a good night:)