Olympics leave gymnast determined to succeed

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Freshman Madison Maynard is a level eight gymnast who aspires to compete in the Olympics.

Story by Maggie Coleman, Staff Writer

From a young age, freshman Madison Maynard has wanted to do nothing but gymnastics. The sport has become a part of her and quitting is no where in the near future. She’s come to love everything about it.

“I love the sport. My mom put me in it when I was 3, and I’ve just stuck with it ever since,” Maynard said. “I mean, I just enjoy gymnastics. I like winning.”

Her coach Amy White, who worked for world-renowned coach Bela Karolyi , motivates Maynard to be the best in the sport. She’s pushed each and every day she shows up.

“Amy knows what she’s doing,” Maynard said. “Becoming a level eight gymnast hasn’t been easy by any means, but it’s been worth it. There are so many skills on the beam, floor, uneven bars and vault that have to be acquired to become the higher levels.”

Every major athlete has obstacles that keeps them from progressing in their career. Maynard is not an exception by any means.

“My major issue is just getting confidence,” Maynard said. “I get scared of skills when I overthink them. I do them without hesitation because I don’t think about what my body is actually doing.”

Being out since August because of an injury to the cartilage in her arm has put a damper on Maynard’s career and leaves her fearful of her future in the sport.

“It’s hard to just jump right back to where I was since I haven’t put any pressure on it,” said Maynard. “I can still do front tucks and back tucks and all that as long as I don’t have to put my hands down. It’ll take me some time to get back to where I was.”

Even though Maynard has experienced a minor injury, that doesn’t stop her from pursuing a lifelong dream.

“I still show up to the gym every day,” Maynard said. “I condition and work on flexibility instead of just sitting out and wasting valuable time.”

Watching the Olympics this past summer inspired Maynard to persevere through the challenges of the sport.

“It’s kinda cool knowing that it’s possible for me to go,” Maynard said. “There’s skills that they do that I’m like ‘oh, I can do that.’ I’m closer to going than it seems.”