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Louisville gym sees uptick in interest around Olympics

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 9:48 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Every time Olympic action returns to the vault, floor, uneven bars and the beam those who teach competitive gymnastics can’t keep up all the requests from kids who are ready to get started!

“Absolutely every 4 years, gymnastics gets a big boom,” optional coach and Kentucky Gymnastics Academy manager Niki Martin said.

A sport that is already popular explodes when a superstar returns for gold.

“Simone Biles has a new vault and it’s her own skill so that’s really exciting,” Assumption high school student Mila Halpin said.

Martin said, “Lots of people are seeing her already and they’re seeing gymnastics on TV more than they would have.”

At Kentucky Gymnastics Academy there’s always an impressive show of young athletes’ strength, flexibility and power. Martin coaches optional, an advanced level with gymnasts as young as 9, like Cameron Bush, who has been in the gym since age 2.

“I just feel happy when I’m flipping around,” Bush said.

It never gets old says Manual High senior Amy Johnson, a longtime fan of Olympic gymnastics.

“I remember watching Jordyn Wieber and Shawn Johnson when I was little and I think the Olympics are really important for young girls entering the sport because it’s inspiring and it gives them someone to look up to,” she said.

She and North Bullitt Senior Brooklyn Hall also appreciate the behind-the-scenes Olympic stories that highlight a gymnasts’ dedication, they put in 20 hours plus every week.

“It does mean a lot, because gymnastics is a pretty intense sport,” North Bullitt High School student Brooklyn Hall said.

“The family has to be really committed as well as the athlete being really committed,” Martin said.

If coach’s like Martin are also committed and the talent is there, the sky’s the limit.

“It is the best thing in the world, I honestly would not change, I wouldn’t change my career path for anything because they light up,” Martin said.

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