“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau
This statement has never felt more real than it does today, with all of the opportunities that are now available to our youth today. For my sister the love of gymnastics started at a very young age, probably during one summer watching the Olympics. That was it, she had begged my parents to sign her up and as the years went on her passion and dedication never wavered in fact, it only grew more intense. My sister's commitment to practice, practice and practice some more has left a lasting impression. So today, when I hear about a friend’s child that is part of a gymnastics team, I know firsthand what is required from both the child and the parent. As we eagerly await the Olympic Gymnastics competition, we have some exciting news on the local gymnastics front.
This year it was sun, sand, and surf! The 2016 YMCA National Gymnastics Championships were in Long Beach, California. The North Canton YMCA Gymnastics Team sent 17 girls and 2 boys, and the Louisville Area YMCA Gymnastics Team sent 7 girls to the national competition in late June.
North Canton was well represented competing in 9 different levels of competition. From a performance stand point the athletes did very well. Everyone strived for their personal best and the team was very successful with 3 All-Around National Champions, 3 event champions, and 12 athletes that placed in the top 10 on individual events in their respective divisions.
All 7 girls represented Louisville extremely well, they worked hard to improve their skills and compete at the top of their game. In fact all 7 gymnasts placed in the top 10 on individual events in their age and level. Jessica Rohr went on to compete in the Level 8 finals and placed in the top 10 all round.
The performances are secondary to the relationships and bonds that are created during an event like this. The size and scope of the national competition lends an opportunity for each athlete to create his or her own unique nationals story. Additionally, the opportunity to travel and compete with your team promotes the legacy of “family” that is embodied in our team programs.
The 2016 YMCA National Championships were a wonderful experience for the athletes, coaches, and families. We are looking forward to the 2017 YMCA National Championships in Savanah, Georgia where our gymnasts can realize their dreams!