Wieber's Success a Boost to Michigan Gymnastics

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Success stories inspire others and mid-Michigan certainly has a beauty with DeWitt's Jordyn Wieber.

The reigning World Champion now has two consecutive national titles after Sunday's Visa Championships. The competition makes her a near lock for the Olympic gymnastics team and an inspiration to local gymnasts.

During an Olympic year, gymnastics clubs and classes see an average ten to 30 percent gain, according to the sport's governing body, USA Gymnastics. With a local Olympic hopeful, Mid-Michigan could see an even higher spike.

Gyms are already seeing more parents registering their children for classes. Normally that doesn't happen until after the Olympics.

"This is the dream you know, this is what every little girl and boy grows up and says, I want to be in the Olympics, I want to win a gold, I want to do all those things," Brett Wargo, with Twistars Gymnastics said.

You could say Twistars is the nucleus of a sport on fire. Wieber trains and inspires at the Dimondale club.

"She won Worlds and she's really good and she works really hard," young gymnast Savanna Adams said, gushing about her hero.

Wieber's influence is spurring interest in other gyms too.

"Thirty to 40 percent increase over the past six to eight months compared to what it was last year," Chris Meese, with the Oak Park YMCA said. "Kids are always coming in and asking about her, talking about her."

Beginner classes are filling fast at the YMCA.

"It's a rare and wonderful thing to have someone of that caliber of gymnastics come from here," Jamie Boyd-Hamilton, with Red Cedar Gymnastics said. "I mean just to have that drive, the desire, the ability, the parent support and her body stay healthy, it's just like a miracle in our own backyard."

Red Cedar just held its competitive team tryouts. Numbers were much higher that usual and the club points to Wieber, of course the Olympics themselves are helping too.

"You can't help but be drawn into the gymnastics competition and in particular watching Jordyn, she's just amazing," Boyd-Hamilton added.

"To see somebody work as hard as she has worked and to see the time and committment, you hope it gets rewarded," Wargo said.

Wieber will return to Twistars Tuesday. She'll train there until the end of the month. Then she's off to the Olympic Trials in San Jose to continue her bid for a spot on the five-person Olympic team.


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