The coaches, staff, and students at Everest Gymnastics have a new reason to celebrate 2019. Coaches Qi Han and Yiwen Chen recently received notice from Lauren Stevens of Chalk Warriors that two of the school’s students are slated for recognition at the National Gymnastics Awards Banquet & Celebration, scheduled for February 9. Here, the girls’ coaches open up about their excitement and share information on these young athletes.
Q: Why is it such an honor to be invited to the National Gymnastics Awards Banquet?
Everest Gymnastics: This is the only event of its kind in the United States specifically to honor and recognize talented gymnasts on a national level. Gymnasts from all over the country will come together for a special night of camaraderie and to celebrate the most outstanding achievements of the 2018 season.
Q: Is it a private event?
Everest Gymnastics: The banquet and celebration are open to the public. However, out of the hundreds of thousands of gymnasts in the states, only a handful are selected for official recognition.
Q: What is the HOPES Qualifier?
Everest Gymnastics: The HOPES program is geared specifically toward students between the ages of 10 and 12. HOPES athletes have proven their skill and dedication to the sport, but are not quite ready for the full Elite Program through USA Gymnastics. HOPES, which was officially launched in the 2006 season, is an opportunity for these talented young men and women to get their foot in the proverbial door.
Q: What are some of Amber’s achievements?
Everest Gymnastics: Amber has placed well in many competitions, with 2018 being an exceptional year for the young lady. In December, she received an impressive 9.25 on the bars at the Myrtle Beach Gymnastics Cup, which is a consistent score and a fair measure of her abilities. Amber shines, however, on the beam and recently scored a 9.55 at the Atlanta Crown where she was also named best all-around.
Q: And Savannah?
Everest Gymnastics: Savannah is an equally impressive athlete and also competed in Myrtle Beach in the elite compulsory and level 10 events. Earlier in the year, Savanna qualified for the HOPES Championship after placing fourth on bars at the HOPES Classic in Salt Lake City.
Q: How much training is required to come this far at such a young age?
Everest Gymnastics: It is not uncommon to see either girl at the gym for 20 to 30 hours each week.
Q: Do these athletes have what it takes to qualify for the Olympics?
Everest Gymnastics: Absolutely. Although they are both young and not yet ready for international competition, they are two of the most promising young athletes we’ve seen.
Q: Have other students of Everest Gymnastics been invited to the banquet?
Everest Gymnastics: We are pleased to say that our HOPES qualifiers are not the only students who will represent Everest Gymnastics in Las Vegas. Savanna and Amber join Haleigh Bryant and Anna Flynn Cashion, two of our more experienced athletes at level 10 and level 8 respectively.