American Gold ‘n’ Motion: Flips, Twists and Splits Fill Scheels Arena

American Gold Gymnasts showed off flips, twists and splits to a crowded Scheels Arena.
For most of those gymnasts, flipping comes almost as natural as walking.

Many have been doing gymnastics for as long as 14 years putting in 20 hours a week at the gym.

It’s become a home away from home, but following their biggest performance of the year they’ll soon be saying bye for good.

Olivia has been flipping before some toddlers can walk.
“We started when we were 16 months old and started in the Acro program when we were four so all those years add up to being a senior and having it be bitter sweet,” says FM Acro Team Senior, Olivia Hammerschmidt.
Bittersweet for the seniors and even more so for the coaches.
“It’s so sad to lose them just because they’re such a big part of our life. We spend 20 hours a week with them it’s like losing a family member a little bit,” says Girl’s Team Head Coach, Whitney Beck.
And while most of the seniors will be dusting off the chalk for good, one senior is going on. After graduation Leah will continue to compete in college.
“You spend 20 plus hours in the gym with your team mates and they become your family and your coaches become your second parents,” says Gold-N-Motion Gymnast, Leah Messelt.
It’s a sport that not everyone can do and that’s why Leah loves it so much.
“Not a lot of people do it so it’s cool when people ask you what sports do you do the first thing people always ask you can you do a back flip,” says Messelt.
But for a few girls the flipping and twisting isn’t over yet as some prepare for the next step: nationals.
“A little bit of a breather and something totally different for the kids to experience just a breath of fresh air,” says Beck.
And while a breather isn’t what most would call this, to be a gymnast takes a special someone.
“We’ve spent so many hours on this team traveling together so this is the ending of a big chapter of your life,” says Hammerschmidt.

Leah will be continuing her gymnastics career at Winona State University where she will compete as a proud Wazoo.

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