With summer coming up, the time for TOPs testing is here! TOPs, which stands for Talent Opportunity Program, is a program for girls between the ages of 7 and 11 that tests them on different aspects of gymnastics.
These TOPs athletes are assigned different types of physical abilities and event skills according to their age categories. Over 3,000 athletes tested last summer within their states for a chance to be invited to test nationally! Only about 300 were invited to test nationally, and out of those 300 only about 75 of them are invited to be on the TOPs National Team. (For the past 2 years, Gymnastics Elite, under the direction of our general manager Chris Holder, has had a qualifying athlete on the national teams!)
Many famous gymnasts were brought up, in their gymnastics careers, through the TOPs program. Gymnasts such as Gabby Douglas (2012 All-Around Olympic Champion), Makayla Maroney (2012 Olympic Champion), and Shawn Johnson (2008 Silver Medalist) were all products of the TOPs program under the watchful eye of Marta Karolyi.
Athletes that make it onto the National Team are encouraged to attend a training camp that is directed by Developmental Coordinator Valeri Liukin, owner of WOGA and father to 2008 Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin, and are guided through their gymnastics career with the help of the National Staff.
Gabby Douglas…back and trying for the 2016 Olympics!?!
USA Gymnastics has reported that Gabby Douglas has attended her first National Team camp at the Karolyi ranch in Huntsville, TX since before the Olympics in 2012. Since the Olympics, the gold medalist has been very busy with appearances, TV interviews, and had even switched gyms from Iowa to California. This was a shocker to her fans, since she had attended and been successful at the Olympics while under the training of Liang Chow (owner of Chow’s gymnastics).
Gabby Douglas has since then returned to Chow’s gymnastics (she was reported to have return to Chow 2 months ago). Receiving an invite to a National Team camp is not a given, even for a member of the Fierce Five and THE Olympic champ. This invitation indicates that Gabby has shown great improvement in the gym, enough improvement to warrant the attention of Marta Karolyi (our US Women’s Team Director).
We here at Gymnastics Elite are great Gabby Douglas fans! And are very excited to see what she has in store for us in her training! Athletes that are on the national team have one thing in mind right now, and that is the Olympic Games of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro! Seeing Gabby Douglas have a chance to defend her title as Gold Medal All-Around Olympic Champion would be EPIC!