Yao Jinnan Facing Surgery, Out for 2015


Yao Jinnan, who earned her first World Championships gold medal with her uneven bars title in 2014, is reportedly dealing with an injury that will keep her out of the sport for the next year.

According to QQ Sports, Yao will go to the United States for surgery after an old shoulder injury began causing so much pain, Yao was unable to make it through training without crying.

After trying acupuncture, cortisone shots, and Chinese suction cups, she and coach Wang Qunce decided surgery would be her only option if she wanted to be healthy for the Olympic Games in 2016.

Members of the Chinese national team administration have spoken to specialists in the United States, who have advised that the procedure will take about two weeks followed by six weeks of recovery. Though she could conceivably be healthy in time for the 2015 World Championships, she and her coach don’t want to push it, choosing to take the year off as Rio is the ultimate goal.

“Right now, an Olympic medal is the only medal I lack,” Yao told the press. “As long as I am in good condition next year, I will be able to challenge for Rio.”

Unfortunately, Yao is being held back by red tape and visa issues, according to coach Wang, who took to Weibo to thank fans for their support.

“We thought the process of Yao going overseas for surgery would be simple,” Wang said. “But after two months of trying to get approval, we are still anxiously waiting.”

Yao is currently one of the best gymnasts on China’s national team and if fully healthy, should be a top contender in 2016. After winning gold on bars and leading her team to a second place finish in 2014, her portrait was finally added to the wall of champions at the national training center, and she is currently up for a CCTV Sports Personality “Best Female Athlete” award, with the winner to be named February 1.

We wish Yao the best of luck with her surgery and recovery! The Chinese team truly won’t be the same without her.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

17 thoughts on “Yao Jinnan Facing Surgery, Out for 2015

  1. So nice to see the Chinese doing right by their gymnast and their country by not pushing the return. Pretty stark contrast to the way we’ve seen injuries dealt with in Russia. Best of luck to Yao, and well done to the Chinese Federation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I’m thrilled to see this is how they’re handling things. There is absolutely no need to compete while injured, even if it means the team won’t be in top form. It will be worth it in the long run!


  2. I don’t think the chinese will suffer this year and should still be able to medal without Yao. the main problem for china last year was VT and FX, but with Wang Yan and Deng Yalan turning senior this year, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore, both girls can vault double twisting Tsuks and Rudis and both have great tumbling on FX. Fan Yilin is also a new senior and can contribute greatly to the team on ub/bb, she missed the entire 2014 due to recurring injury, but seems to be back on track. We also have girls with like Hong Ke who is great on bb and fx and can compliment someone like Tan Jiaxin who is a VT/UB girl


    • China’s problem is consistency, in the TF they had more devastating mistakes on bars then the other events. Unfortunately Yao is one of the more consistent gymnasts on the national team.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love watching the videos of Chinese training and seeing the close-knit, family-like relationships between the gymnasts and their coaches. Hopefully, the old days of sacrificing whatever it takes to win a medal are over, and that the athlete’s health is a top priority.


  4. How are people so rational and reasonably optimistic when it comes to Yao taking time off and not Maroney (the latter having taken the lesser important year off at that!)? All this doubt and doomsday speculation over one when they both are doing the same thing [and the right thing]. Inconceivable.

    Good luck to Yao, I worked in a Senator’s office, I know all about that red tape.


    • I think the difference is how much competition Maroney faces domestically. The US is so strong and she is limited in what she can contribute. Her vaults are amazing and her floor is decent, but both Simone and Skinner are better on floor and are exceptional vaulters as well. With injury on top of needing to prove her worth and earn her spot, Maroney’s future is more in question than Yao’s. Yao is the top AA gymnast in China and is also a UB/BB specialist. Not to mention, Yao has a decent vault and floor, which is where China is weak. Even with stronger vaulters coming up, Yao could still be the lead off in TF for final, and likely will stay in the floor lineup too. The team needs her and will still need her in 2016. The US doesn’t need Maroney.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I like Maroney, but she is essentially a one-event gymnast and always has been. Our strength on that event is already very, very high. Therefore she is a one-event gymnast fighting to compete on an event on which she isn’t truly needed. If her strength was bars or beam, it might be a different story.


  5. So sad to hear about her injury and that she will be out for 2015. Hope she is able to get the surgery in the US like she plans. Smart to not push for Worlds! Will be excited to see her get that Olympic medal she is dreaming of!!


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  7. Good luck for Yao Jinnan on her shoulder injury this year 2015.
    I had the same feeling as her, One time I had a eye operation, it took me days to take of my cattaracs of my eyes. I hope she’s going to be fine after the operation. IMY so bad Yao Jinnan 🙂 (I’m sweet…right…? ) jk


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