East Texas gymnasts chasing an Olympic dream

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - As a country Americans tend to focus our eye on gymnastics only once every four years at the Olympics. But for the athletes in the games, it takes year round dedication.

For one group of hopefuls, the East Texas Twisters, training has started at a very young age. They meet at the Boys and Girls Club of Nacogdoches, which is home to one of the only state of the art facilities in all of East Texas.

The Twisters are made up of girls from ages 6 to 12, and they all say being able to watch the United States win gold in London is great motivation for working harder during every routine.

"It's a lot of fun to watch the gymnastics on TV," said 10-year-old Lorna Curtis. "And it encourages me to work harder so I can go to the Olympics."

I asked 6-year-old Madison Woods why she trains so hard.

"So I can be like Gabby," said Woods.

Little Madison's idol is Gabby Douglass, the American gymnast who has already brought home two gold medals this summer in London.

While these girls in East Texas are far from that level of competition right now, it is important to get an early start in this sport.

"These days gymnasts have to start young if they want to go anywhere in this sport," said Twisters coach April Bullock. "So it is awesome and it is a blast to be able spend time with these young girls and teach them the awesome sport of gymnastics."

The stats back Bullock. The age of the all around champion at the Olympics in 1952 was 30. This year's winner, Douglass, is only 16.

Even the 10-year-old hopefuls in East Texas understand the importance of training hard right now.

"You have to keep up and work extra hard all the time," said Curtis. "Especially when there is a meet season coming up, and meet season is right around the corner."

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