Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cassie Whitcomb Retires From Elite

Cassie Whitcomb is dropping down to level 10 for her final year of high school.  This retirement doesn't come as a complete shock, as she was never favored by Martha Karolyi no matter what skills she was training on bars.  Cassie's start values never got her out of the 'bubble' zone for making World Teams.

Whitcomb has suffered injuries throughout her career (like most elite gymnasts).  Her retirement from elite is great news for UCLA, a team that has always been plagued by beat-up talented elites.  The decision to drop down to level 10 may be the best thing for her elite career.  It also means that she will not defer to try for the 2012 Olympic Team, which she had little shot of making.  Whitcomb will be a strong NCAA gymnast if healthy and is someone who will really help UCLA on bars and floor (and possibly vault.)  Given her utter inconsistency on beam, it is unlikely that she will compete all-around in college.

The official statement from USAG reads:
"INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 5, 2011 – 2010 U.S. uneven bars silver-medalist Cassandra Whitcomb of Colorado Springs, Colo., is officially retiring from elite gymnastics to prepare for her collegiate career by competing as a Level 10 gymnast. Whitcomb, who is coached by Mary Lee Tracy at Cincinnati Gymnastics, spent five years as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team. She is a senior at the Ohio Virtual Academy and has committed to compete for the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins this coming Fall.

Quotes from Cassie Whitcomb and Mary Lee Tracy:

"I have decided that for my last year before college I will be competing (at) Level 10,” said Whitcomb. “I feel that it is better for my mind and body as I prepare for my collegiate career at UCLA. I am thankful for all the opportunities that being an elite gymnast has given me. The lessons that elite has taught me will help me throughout my collegiate career as well as life. I want to thank everybody who has helped me advance my gymnastics and become the gymnast and person that I am today."

“Cassie is an amazing athlete and person,” said Tracy. “I support her decision, and I will help her make this last year at CGA the best year."


  1. Looking forward to seeing her at UCLA next year and I hope she is healthy and becomes a UCLA star!

  2. She should do well competing in college gymnastics. Not sure she had the firepower on any event to be a factor for the US team, but she was pleasant. Didn't she compete this year on a broken leg after having a bad back injury last year? Or am I mixing all the injured CGA gymnasts up? Level 10 will be good for this girl, just to be healthy. I wonder how much coaching MLT actually does for the Level 10s.

    1. I believe it was Amanda Jetter who had thebroken leg but Cassie did have a back injury.

  3. Smart move for Cassie. I'm glad she's realistic and increasing her chances for a healthier NCAA career,

  4. I am fully confident that by taking this one year off, cass will be able to make up for all of the injuries and have a career similar to Jack Johnson. Except that Jacquilne actually made a worlds.

  5. I think Jacq was alternate, so not quite. And I wouldn't say that Jacq Johnson has had the most successful career in NCAA. We've barely seen her up to this point.

  6. Exactly Jacq was injured for two years even after taking one year off from MLT house of hell. I think it is too late for Whitcomb.

  7. Why can't Mary Lee Tracy retire from coaching elite? That would be a headline that makes my day.