The last developmental camp for 2014 took place last week at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, in Huntsville, Texas. Only girls that have shown enough talent through Elite Qualifiers, TOPs testing, or YouTube submissions have the privilege to attend this exclusive training. (FUTURE TEAM USA!)
Forty-three athletes from across the country were invited to this training camp, targeted for gymnast’s 10-13 years old working through the elite developmental pipeline with the national training staff/center, under the direction of a renowned coach and other well-known Team USA Coaching staff.
The camp is under the direction of Valeri Liukin, two-time Olympic champion and coach and father of Nastia Liukin, who won the all-around Olympic gold medal in 2008. Two-a-day training sessions are conducted every day followed by coaches’ lectures from the National coaching staff. The camp is held at Bela Karolyi’s home and ranch, and girls’ stay in the dorm/housing units they have onsite. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is all provided by the National Training Center, to ensure the gymnasts have the proper fuel to get them through those long and strenuous practices.
Physical abilities testing took place the first night of training. Gymnasts are scored on different physical testing and ranked. Morgan Hurd, First State Gymnastics, earned first place in physical abilities, followed by Maile O’Keefe, Academy of Salcianu Gymnastics, and Caitlin Smith of Paramount Elite Gymnastics, placed third.
At every camp, a gymnast is selected by Valeri and his staff as the most improved camper. November’s athlete was Trinity Thomas from Prestige Gymnastics.
Next developmental camp will take place in January 2015.
Majority of the girls in attendance, even the youngest being 9-10 years old, are girls that turn out to be receiving some of the highest scholarships to the top universities, go on to be part of the Olympic Team, World Champions, and so much more! Gymnastics Elite currently has a program that is geared towards getting athletes good enough at gymnastics to be invited to one of these camps.