Local gymnasts inspired by Gabby Douglas win

August 3, 2012 3:33:07 PM PDT
Young gymnasts across our area are motivated by the USA women's gymnastics team this year and especially by Gabby Douglas, who won a gold medal in the individual all-around competition.

There are ten YMCA's in the Philadelphia area but Hatboro is the only one that has a full time gymnastics program.

Interest in the sport began to increase just prior to the start of the London games.

"People just stopping in, calling, wanting their kids to be involved - it's nice because it's not just girls. We're getting a lot of calls for the guys as well," said Darlene Malone, gymnastics instructor.

On Friday girls ages 6 to 13, were busy doing floor exercises, testing their skills on the tumble track and balance beam.

Action News asked who on the women's Olympic gymnastics team inspired them the most.

Nearly everyone replied: Gabby Douglas.

Everyone has been working a little harder since watching Team USA and Gabby in London.

"I see that she does it perfectly and it makes me want to do it perfectly," said 13-year-old Aliyah Cowdery.

"I try to get my form up because that's what my coaches are always telling me. That's what I've been trying to work for," said 10-year-old Cassie Curran.

They strive for better scores in some of the same competitions that give Gabby trouble.

"I really want to get higher on doing the beam because that's one of my worst events," said 8-year-old Aliyah Mayo.

Aliyah told her father she wanted to try gymnastics when she was 6-years-old and since watching Gabby, she's been taking it all more seriously.

"She's been training harder, trying to stick that landing extra nicely, putting a little more arch in her back, because that's what Gabby does," said Dwight Mayo.

When asked if they'd be willing to leave home for two years as Gabby did to train, most said they would.

Gabby Douglas is the first African American to win the gold in the all-around.

Her ethnicity wasn't the focus for many of the girls at the Hatboro YMCA, they were all struck by her accomplishment and her journey to the top.


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