AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Olympics are a tough process — both to get into and be a part of — and it starts at a young age.
Young athletes set the bar high when it comes to gymnastics, but many outside the world of gymnastics don’t realize the obstacles they have to overcome to be part of it.
“You have to be very physically fit. You have to have a flexible body. You have to have a strong body. There are mental challenges. It is one of the only sports where fear plays a big part of the sport mentally,” said Ron Ferris, president of the Ohio Gymnastics Institute.
They also deal with constant pressure, from bettering themselves every day to competitions to potentially filling a spot of the Olympic team.
Gymnastics is a team sport, but you do it individually to better your team.
“You actually doing that event or that apparatus, it’s all on you. You’re up to bat, so to speak. If you strike out, nobody’s stepping up to the plate to get a hit after you,” Ferris said.
They give up a regular life to live, eat and breathe the gymn.
Ferris says, for many of them, it’s their second home, and as much as people think they are giving up, they are getting so much back from the sport itself.
“It’s all worth it at the end because of the lessons you learned. The type of person you become through a sport is an incredible thing to watch,” Ferris said.
He says the most important lesson you can learn from these athletes is they keep going no matter how many times they fall.
It takes perseverance, determination and self-motivation to do a sport like this.
If you’re interested in gymnastics, you can visit the Ohio Gymnastics Institute’s website or call them at 330-652-4386.