Vanessa Ferrari and Lisa Top are an example for many young Italian and Dutch gymnasts. They both choose to inspire the next generation. Top after she ended her elite carreer late last year. Ferrari gaining coaching experience while she is recovering from her achilles injury and trying to make it to Tokyo 2020 herself.
Vanessa Ferrari is currently recovering from her achilles injury. For the first time in her gymnastics carreer she has ‘time’ to recover. “"In september I underwent surgury on my achilles tendon. The rehabilitation is going step by step and I am very well aware of the fact that I need to take it slow. I am not in a rush and I’m nog sure of what the future holds, so that’s okay for now.
A quick return in competition is not on her to do list. In morning training she is building her gymnastics back, while in the afternoon she is coaching the younger ones. That is why she is coaching the juniors in Lido di Jesolo during the annual Trofeo Citta di Jesolo right now. ““I like the coaching very much. It’s not that different from being a gymnast actually. I love helping out the girls and they trust me because they know me very well. That feels good. I'm not sure if I'd like to be a coach after I retire, but it is a possibility”
The 2006 (!) World all around champion has no intention to quit though. The Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 is something she might be aiming for, but she does not want to decide anything right now: “If I go for the Olympics in Tokyo, I only want to do it if I have a real chance for a medal. It’s way too early to talk about that, but it’s all or nothing.”
In the Netherlands several (former) elites like Julia Bombach and Lieke Wevers are also trying to help the new generation of gymnasts. Lisa Top ended her elite gymnastics carreer late 2016, while rehabilitating from her ACL injury. But she was still involved in gymnastics after that, coaching during some workshops at her former gymnastics club and some others. Top: “I really love to inspire the new generation and share my knowledge. With the workshops I hope I can help the new talented kids to a higher level.”
She is also taking care of her own future, studying to be a elementary school teacher. “I love the workshops, but I study tob e a teacher and that is very fun too. I cannot tell you what the future looks like, but at this moment I am focussing on being a teacher. It is very different from my elite gymnastics carreer, but I am really happy I found my way around without gymnastics now.”
Photo Vanessa Ferrari © Filippo Tomasi
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