Carmel Valley teen earns ‘Elite’ title at 2012 USA Gymnastics Championships
Carmel Valley resident and Canyon Crest Academy freshman Andria Gao has just joined the rank of the “National Elite Rhythmic Gymnasts.”
At the 2012 USA Gymnastics Championship held in San Jose at the end of June, Andria finished in 12th place all around in the junior level. Her SoCal rhythmic club is now among the top five clubs in the U.S.
This has been an unusual comeback for Andria who had suffered a back injury a while ago. Working closely with her coach and her sports doctor, Andria has gradually recovered. She eventually returned back to her regular 15-hour weekly training schedule. She also took additional ballet practice at a local studio to improve her dance movement and music coordination.
At the beginning of this competition season, Andria wasn’t doing well. Her routine elements were not completed successfully, her rhythm had been off and the movements that used to be easy were now difficult. Nevertheless, Andria persevered, fending off frustrations and discouragement. As the season progressed, her performance gradually picked up and improved.
Towards the end of the season, she was able to best her own record and ranked 13th place in Level 10 junior at the 2012 Junior Olympic and National Qualifier for USA Rhythmic Gymnastics in Orlando, Florida, in early June.
Being part of the Elite team is a dream come true for Andria, who started training for rhythmic gymnastics at age 5. Now that the 2012 season is over, Andria is taking a well-deserved break and at the same time, she is looking forward to starting the new season in September with her teammates in the SoCal Rhythmics club, which has offered her friendship and many encouragements throughout the years.
Rhythmic gymnastics is an Olympic sport that incorporates the best of dance, ballet, and gymnastics. It is the perfect blend of art and athleticism, which encourages creativity and flexibility. The SoCal Rhythmics club has recreational program in addition to the competitive team and is always looking for enthusiastic new gymnasts. Students will improve physical fitness, coordination, strength, balance, and concentration and will develop positive self-esteem. No experience needed. Classes for beginners are on Mondays and Fridays from 4 to 5 p.m. at Magdalena Ecke YMCA in Encinitas. Summer camp is available.
Visit www.socalrhythmics.com for more information.