"If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you"
I came across this quote recently and I think it fits perfectly within the realm of gymnastics. Gymnastics is both a physically and mentally tough sport that relies heavily on the gymnast's sense of self-motivation. It is important in gymnastics to challenge yourself, because without challenging one's fears and limits, one will never progress within the sport. Whether it's the fear of a back handspring or simply a fear of walking on the high beam, it's important to conquer your fears and push yourself to your limits. That's what this sport is all about! The staff here at SGA are here to support and guide our students through this process and help them challenge themselves, build confidence and self-esteem, reach their goals, and of course, enjoy gymnastics!
Speaking of "challenge," the first ever Pro Gymnastics Challenge was televised this week on ESPN2 in three segments. Some of the best gymnasts from the USA and the World went head-to-head in a skill-for-skill challenge, in a way that gymnastics has never been done before. The USA team and the World team competed against each other in 7 events: tumbling, vaulting, parallel bars (men)/uneven bars (women), rings (men)/balance beam (women), rope climb, audience's choice, and high bar. The USA team was victorious, winning 4 of the 7 events. Instead of seeing who could perform the best routine and get the best score, it was more of a test to see who could do a skill higher, faster, and better. It was a refreshing change to see gymnastics being performed this way and I absolutely loved it!
Here were some of my favorite performers:
Chellsie Memmell (USA)
Chellsie is one of my favorite gymnasts of all time! She was a member of the 2008 Olympic Team, and at 24, has incredible longevity within the sport. She competed in the tumbling event, scoring a point for team USA with her HUGE double layout!
Oksana Chusovitnia (World team, Germany)
When speaking of longevity in gymnastics, one cannot ignore Oksana Chusovitnia. She is 37 years old, she's been in 6 Olympic games, and is STILL training for her 7th Olympic Games (2016 in Rio de Janeiro)! The things this amazing woman is able to do at her age is incredible! One of my favorite gymnasts of all time, and a legend in the sport of gymnastics.
Jake Dalton (USA)
Jake Dalton was a member of the 2012 Men's Olympic Team and every time I see him perform, he just gets better and better! He is one of the best vaulters and tumblers on team USA with a large repertoire of huge skills. I would really like to see him compete again for Team USA in 2016!
Marissa King (World team, Great Britain)
Even though Marissa King just finished off a great career for the University of Florida, she's originally from Great Britain and was on GB's 2008 Olympic Team. She is a wonderful performer with an infectious smile and I loved seeing her at this event!
Those are just a few of my favorites, but both the USA and World Team's rosters are full of incredible athletes! The Pro Gym Challenge is definitely worth watching.
Missed it? No problem! You can watch it below.
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
About the Author
Coach Sarah is a former Rhode Island College gymnast, NCGA National qualifier, All-American, current gymnastics coach and judge, and contributor for the gymnastics news source, The Gymternet. Find out what's going on at Spectrum and learn more about the incredible sport of gymnastics!