It was business as usual Monday for 13-year-old Jackie Cassello of Silver Spring after an upset victory to win a gold medal in gymnastics Saturday in the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Cassello didn't take any time off to celebrate after returning to the United States Sunday afternoon. She began preparing yesterday at the MG Gymnastic facility of invitational meets in Colorado Springs and Japan later this summer.
Her winning the gold medal in the vault was called an upset because the Cubans were expected to dominate the Pan Am gymnastic events. There wasn't even a publicity sheet on the U.S. women's gymnastics team in the press packet.
"That's because the U.S. Gymnastics Federation didn't know until late May whether or not a team was going to the Games to represent the country," said Margie Weiss, who with her husband Greg runs the MG facility from their Silver Spring home.
"It wasn't an upset to me," said Weiss, who watched Cassello's performance on television. "It was great, but we knew she could win all along. Jackie is already one of the best vaulters in the world."
Cassello, who recently won two events in an international meet in Bulgaria, said she wasn't nervous after her first vault but was not pleased with the judges' scoring.
"The scoring wasn't too fair. The Puerto Rican girls got too many points a lot of times. But you can't do anything about that," Cassello said.
She will compete in the World Championships of gymnastics in December and is now working on a vault routine that's never been done.
"To establish her as world champ, we have to develop some new tricks," said Weiss, who tutored 1976 Olympic Leslie Wolfsberger.