“When I started cheer, I couldn’t do anything,” Ella says with a laugh. “I didn’t even have a backbend. I couldn’t do anything more than a cartwheel.” Fast forward five years to the present and Ella is now on two competition cheer teams within the All Star Federation, providing a sense of just how far her hard work has carried her.
This new program provides for a structured athlete safety reporting process, a published list of ineligible members, and additional athlete safety information readily available to the entire cheer community.
After almost a decade away from competition, Chellsie Memmel - former Olympian and mother of two - is training for an Olympic comeback.
The 32 year old, crowned world champion in 2005, has leotards older than some of the women she will be training with. Nonetheless, she says her body is “stronger now than it’s ever been”, and she has even managed to impress USA Gymnastics Team Coordinator, Tom Forster.
Gymnastics returns to the national stage after almost a year. This competition weekend marks the start of the international competition season, which includes the Tokyo Olympic Games and Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, as well as the return to competition for Olympian Laurie Hernandez.
A few years ago in Ohio, Ann’s experience at nationals was limited by ongoing wrist issues. Preparing for her solo backstage, she realized the pain she endured for months had escalated to the point that she was unable to do a warmup back-walkover. In the end, Ann was forced to scrap her tumbling-intensive routine to prevent further injury. “One of my friends owned a pair of Tiger Paws and they seemed really cool,” said Ann, who at last found the elusive relief. “Ever since I tried them, I was able to tumble more and my wrists don’t bother me. I’ve even been able to tumble on concrete, which I was never able to do before,” she added.