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Twistars, the gymnastics club that brought home Olympic gold, has been sold

It’s not the end but rather another change for the familiar facility
(WILX)
Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 3:30 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Twistars, a famous Lansing area gymnastics club that helped produce Olympic gold, has officially been sold.

Twistars became famous for producing excellent gymnasts, with alumnus Jordyn Wieber earning a gold medal as a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, dubbed the “Fierce Five.”

It’s not the end, but rather another change for the familiar facility. And possibly one that is long overdue.

Founder John Geddert retired from coaching at Twistars in January 2018 amid controversy relating to Larry Nassar, the disgraced former MSU sports doctor who was convicted of molesting his patients. After being investigated for his relation to Nassar, Geddert transferred the ownership of Twistars to his wife, Kathryn.

Now, Bryon Hough, owner of the newly branded Capital City Flips, has purchased its assets. The sale took place on Dec. 31, and was announced on Facebook Thursday.

Bryon Hough bought the assets of Twistars back in December, closing the deal on the lease agreement without the signature of the Summit. Now, he says he feels blindsided and disappointed in the closure.

“When we are the only paying tenant in that building renting space from you, I would expect some communication,” said Hough. “I’m really surprised and sad to hear that the Summit is closing so I think that just adds another layer of stress for these gymnasts because not only are they changing coaches but they have to wait and find out what facility they’re gonna be at.”

As it pertains to the future, Hough had this to say.

“I am still operating in that space today. We still are in existence there. I don’t know when we are going to have to leave,” said Hough. “We are asking for a certain date. We are hoping to get that date, but we are not sitting around waiting. We are now actively looking for a new space.”

Not everything is going to change. In their farewell Facebook post, Twistars announced that much of the former staff would be staying on. Kathryn Geddert will stay on as an employee for Capital City Flips, doing some coaching until June. 1.

News 10 spoke with former owner John Geddert about the sale.

“It had always been our intention to retire and sell after the 2020 season,” Geddert said. “COVID put that plan on the back burner for a while. We decided to retire the Twistars name although much of the staff remains the same. So there is no plan for a comeback tour.”

Rita Wieber, the mother of Olympic gymnastic champion Jordyn Wieber, says her daughter’s entire career was at that gym.

”I’m happy to know that somebody did acquire the assets so that there is going to be a gym locally for all of the talent here in Lansing,” said Wieber. “Clearly, it’s the end of an era. Twistars has been around for a long time. They had many ups, they also had some downs so there’s a lot of history there.”

Yet, she’s looking forward to the change.

“It’s gonna be exciting to see a fresh set of coaches come in and run a new gym in the area,” she said.

Jamie Boyd Hamilton, the owner and director of Red Cedar Gymnastics, provided the following statement to News 10:

“It is tragic whenever kids lose an opportunity to get involved and participate in sports in a positive way and that is especially true now. According to a study by the Aspen Institute* in September 2020, nearly 3 out of 10 youth who played a sport prior to the coronavirus pandemic are now no longer interested in participating. When youth sports, and in particular gymnastics, are taught by compassionate, knowledgeable coaches and instructors in a child-centered, positive environment, it is an ideal environment for kids to develop and practice the skills they will need to grow into healthy, happy and responsible adults. The demise of a program that provides that kind of service to its participants will always be a tremendous loss to our community.”

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