- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:39
- Published on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:39
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King George Patriots attend Olympia Gymnastics Camp
What better way for an aspiring gymnast to reach her goals than to learn from an Olympic legend? From June 27 to July 1, 17 members of the King George Patriots gymnastics team traveled to Unique Sports Academy in Waldorf, Md., to attend the Olympia Gymnastics Camp, founded by one of the greatest gymnasts in Olympic history, Svetlana Boguinskaia.
Nine years ago, Boguinskaia created Olympia Gymnastics Camp — an organization devoted to teaching 6-18 year old gymnasts the proper techniques in the sport that has brought her fame and fortune.
“I established the Olympia Gymnastics Camp in 2000, with the hope that I, as an Olympian, can structure a camp for young athletes,” Boguinskaia said. “During this camp we go from rotation to rotation in all of the events, including dance, flexibility and strength.”
Boguinskaia operates camps at 10 locations throughout the United States. In addition, the following Olympic American stars have partnered with Boguinskaia to share their knowledge and experience as Olympic gymnasts: Kerri Shrug, Oksana Chusovitina, Dominique Moceanu, Samantha Peszek, Chellsie Memmel, Carly Patterson and Anna Hatch. Strug and fellow Olympian, Chusovitina assisted Boguinskaia at the Waldorf location.
With girls traveling from the tri-state region, including North Carolina, OGC has evolved into a popular summer activity for athletes throughout the country.
“Hopefully, these young children will learn from us in the hope of getting to the Olympics, while seeing their goals become possible if you work hard,” Boguinskaia said.
“Working with children was a life-long dream of mine and I want to give them my knowledge of what I learned when I was young. I want to give them the Russian way of coaching gymnastics.”
Like many of the teams and individual gymnasts at the camp, the Patriots continue to benefit from the Olympic camp experience.
“When an Olympian tells them how to correct a skill, it really sticks with them throughout the camp,” said Melisa Hood, King George Patriot head coach.
A true testament to the camp’s influence is the three Patriot gymnasts who recently competed in the State Gymnastics Championships. Learning and improving on techniques such as basic on bars, back hand springs, back hand round up and back hand tucks could mean the difference between a first or second place in a major competition.
Sometime in the month of August, the Patriots will open their doors to the public in the form of a fundraiser to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Throughout Hood’s nine-year involvement, she has seen the King George-based program from its early stages to a new spring floor — located in the old King George Elementary School. Currently the Patriots is supported by a 23-girl roster, with a 20-person waiting list.