Many of the area's top gymnasts gathered at Win-Win gymnastics in Odenton on Saturday to prepare for their upcoming season. Having recently wrapped up a very successful 2011 campaign, the Win-Win gym held a mock meet as the girls tried out their skills in preparation for the new season.
With all eyes focused on the large blue floor mat in the center of this warehouse-turned-gym, each gymnast practiced and performed their new skills with strength, balance and grace.
Last season, 30 girls from Win-Win won state championships within their respective levels. Four girls: Maggie Musselman, Katie "Peanut" Ours, Beira Ho and Brooke Johnson earned the title of national champion as well.
"We believe that every kid can reach their potential and every kid can be successful where they are at," coach Mary Thompson.
Thompson put an emphasis on the quality of their teaching that is given to the girls.
"I like the coaches," said Noelle DeCesare, Win-Win's only level 10 gymnast. DeCesare says the floor is her favorite event when competing.
At the 2011 USAG junior Olympics, Win-Win captured the level 8 team state championship. Most of the teams that Win-Win competed against competed with upwards of 10 or more girls on a team. Win-Win took home the title with a 3-man team, Musselman, Emily Krohn and Emma Spindler.
"I want to go to the Olympics," Musselman said plainly.
Win-Win technique director Dai Wei believes that Musselman will be competing at an international level in the next three years.
Dai Wei trained Chinese gymnast Ling Jie to a silver medal on the uneven bars in the 2000 Sydney summer Olympics.
It's about more than just gymnastic awards and trophies though. "There's life after gymnastics. So we're giving them the skills that they need to be successful in life," Thompson said.
Those teachings carry down from Win-Win owner Chan Wang.
"We are building the kids up [for] not only gymnastics," Wang said. "Gymnastics are a short life."
Having opened in 2008 with a little more than 20 gymnasts, Win-Win now proudly hosts over 200 gymnasts as it prepares for the new season in October.
Wang believes the cast of coaches that have been assembled are great blend of abilities to help the girls progress.
"We are here with all different backgrounds [and] put together it's very good," Wang said. "I don't think you have too many gyms like us."