May 5, 2014 1:50 AM by Richie Melby (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Strength, finesse and dedication. The sport of gymnastics is not for everyone. But the girls from Team Dynamics of the Arizona Dynamics Gymnastics program are no ordinary athletes.
"Usually by the time they get to level 9 or 10 they are high achievers in every aspect of life," says Team Dynamics coach Regina Mueller-Martin. "So the strength and finesse and dedication, they have had that their whole life."
"We have been doing this for a long time so we have it down now," added 14-year-old Maddie Mariani.
Maddie has it down all right. The 14-year-old has yet to lose a competition this season. She is also considered the top gymnast in the country at her skill level.
"She has all the right aspects of a champion gymnast. She has won every competition," her coach bragged. "In each competition she has won almost every event, being the vault, bar beams and floor."
Serious about competing at the next level, Maddie has put in her time. In fact, perfecting the sport she loves is a never-ending process.
"Yeah it's definitely year-round and you have to do a lot of routines and a lot of skills over and over again," she said.
But it's not just Maddie shining in this gym. Team Dynamics has dominated meets all year. Even if the specifics are hard to come by.
"Usually I don't even remember what happened at the meet," said Maddie's teammate Kayla Bird. "You just focus on one thing at a time, do your routines like you do every day at practice."
There shouldn't be any struggles reminiscing about their next meet - the USA Gymnastics Western National Championships. It's a meet Team Dynamics enters with lofty goals.
"Definitely to be in the Top 5 and maybe to win an event," said Mariani. "That would be great."
"Yeah Top 5," agreed Bird. "Last year I came close to winning an event so hopefully this year I will maybe."