Olympics Inspire Young Kennewick AthletesPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The Beijing Olympics have been on for more than a week now. Thursday night was the Women's All-Around Gymnastics Individual Competition.
Thursday night American gymnasts took the gold and silver medals in that competition, which inspired local gymnasts even more.
Gymnast at Garland's Gymnastics, Kiya Bjorge, says, "It makes me work harder." Her gymnastics coaches can tell that she and the other girls have stepped it up since the summer games started. Coach and owner Wendy Garland says, "They certainly come in totally jazzed and ready to go. [They're] a little stronger, a little cleaner. You can tell they're trying to emulate the things they see on TV."
Garland has also been using the Olympics as a teaching tool. "I'll say don't forget to watch the Chinese on how their arms are getting closer to the floor, or watch how Nastia Liukin is shifting her weight."
The young athletes at the gym are all very inspired by the U.S. Olympic team. Kiya Bjorge says, "I just think [Liukin's] a really good gymnast and she inspires me to do new skills."
Carly Garland says, "I look up to Nastia Liukin. She motivates me a lot do to my gymnastics."
"I like Shawn Johnson's first tumbling pass on beam. It's just amazing. Nastia Liukin's dismount on bars, that's cool too," says Wynne Hartelius.
Wendy Garland and her husband have owned the gym for 13 years. Garland says she typically sees a surge in the number of people signing up for gymnastics after the Olympics.