Maybe it’s something in the water; Steven Legendre is the third Oklahoma Sooner (or former Sooner, as be the case with Jonathan Horton) to make this year’s World squad. During the 2009 Nationals broadcast, Tim Daggett described Steven as a kid who never really reached far in the junior ranks until a switch in gyms. (Perhaps you’ve heard of the gym he went to; WOGA.)
Although he competes all-around, Steven is known predominately for his power. In 2006, Steven took third in the senior division on vault. A year later, he finished second on vault and seventh on floor. Last year he finished first* on floor exercise and tied for fifth on vault. His finishes for 2009 were seventh in the all-around, first on floor and third for vault. Also thrown in are six NCAA titles, including the 2009 All-Around title.
At Worlds, Steven will only compete floor exercise. An article by Inside Gymnastics written before this year’s Nationals focused on his efforts and plans for the future.
“We all want to go to Worlds, but I think I also need to prove myself as an all-arounder. This year works well for me because it’s an individual event Worlds and my all-around isn’t as important this year as it will be in upcoming years. [To make Worlds,] I think I definitely need to be able to hit my floor routine cleanly and distinguish myself as one of the top guys in the country, and show I can compete with some of the better guys in the world.
“I still understand my strengths are floor and vault,” he concludes, “but I have been really trying to improve on the other four. I think in the new format it will be extremely important to be a good all-around gymnast if you want to make World and Olympic teams in the future.”
The following videos are all from the 2009 National Championships coverage.
Vault Number One (I’m sorry, but it’s just sick how easy it seems for him): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSx6tcJy3nU
High Bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpBKNeGl9Fg
Floor Exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hGxiQGiL7Y
Tomorrow’s meet-n-greet with focus on the youngest member of team USA, Danell Leyva.
* Steven Legendre originally finished second on floor at the 2009 National Championships, yet due to an issue involving National Champion Morgan Hamm, his standing was boosted to first.