Montgomery gymnasts look to Olympics for inspiration

Montgomery gymnasts look to Olympics for inspiration
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The countdown is on to the Summer Olympic Games. As the top athletes in the world prepare to put their talent on display, we want to show you some of the incredible talent we have here in the river region in Olympic sports.

Gymnastics is one of the most popular sports in the Summer Games.

"I just love being in the gym, and working hard, and accomplishing new skills, and the feeling of getting to that next level," said Montgomery gymnast Erin Grigsby.

At 12 years old, she's a former state champion and has represented Alabama twice in the regional competition.

"They train 20 hours a week," her coach at United Gymstars, Mike Wheat, explains about what it takes to be a successful gymnast.

"It's a year round sport," BJ Philpot said, the boys' coach at United Gymstars. Philpot believes Men's gymnastics is the most overlooked sport. "The women usually get the spotlight," but male gymnasts in Montgomery have seen tremendous success.

Cole Armagost, 14, has only been involved in gymnastics a few years. He's now a state champion! His favorite events in competition are floor and vault.

"I've always been really natural at flipping, they come easy to me."

The Olympics have a way of increasing awareness about gymnastics. They also have a way of increasing the drive of local gymnasts.

"They really love watching the trials," said Wheat. "It inspires them to train harder."

Training that pays off for more than just gymnastics.

"It translates into so many other sports," said Philpot. "Making you strong and flexible so you'll be good at anything."

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