Elevate the Stage on U.S. Olympic Committee's Recent Decision
Elevate the Stage means a lot to me as a gymnast, a working professional and a fan of the sport for many reasons. The event does many things for gymnastics such as:
- brings youth and college gymnastics to cities that wouldn’t traditionally host this caliber of competition
- gives youth competitors experience on a championship-style floor
- prepares collegiate athletes for their conference and national post-season appearances
- provides off-campus, mid-market fans access to see Division I gymnastics live
I don’t think Elevate the Stage solves all of the issues plaguing what is, what was, and what will be gymnastics in the United States. But, I and my team work really hard to make this event a positive atmosphere for all involved, from coaches, athletes, judges, parents, spectators and fans. At this time, our competitions will not be affected by the current circumstances and processes of USAG and the USOC. It is our hope to continue to provide a place for athletes and teams of all levels and ages a place to showcase their hard work.
Right now, every positive touch point matters. If we can help a young gymnast grow more confident in herself, we're going provide her an opportunity to showcase her hard work. If a parent wants his or her daughter to learn the life skills (discipline, dedication, determination, etc.) that this sport CAN breed, we're going to give them a place to cheer her on. If a coach wants his or her athletes to further her athletic career with potential recruitment for their future, I’m going to invite their team to Elevate the Stage. And for every fan, myself included, who wants to cheer, not only for individual athletes but for the red, white and blue leotard that I and so many others wore with pride, we are going to stand strong in our efforts to keep gymnastics relevant and encourage issues to be solved at their core.
Just as my routines were meant to be contributions to the teams I competed with, I want to use my current platform, skills and resources to contribute to gymnastics today. I'm going to continue to work on Elevate the Stage and other competitive opportunities for athletes of all ages and levels to showcase their hard work and love for the sport of gymnastics.