One month ago today, on March 28th, John competed in his first-ever gymnastics competition. It was the annual state meet which is held in Des Moines. It was fun! John did quite well and he had a good time. He was nervous before it started but once the competition got going he was fine. This has been his first year doing team-level gymnastics. He started in the fall and he really enjoys it. It plays well to his natural athletic strengths and abilities.
John's best and favorite event is rings.
Here he was waiting for the green light to get started on his routine.
(I took videos of him on most of the events so there aren't a lot of pictures.)
I'll include one video in this post; this is John's rings routine from afar.
Getting ready to compete on vault. John is the second one sitting down on the left.
(This photo has a vintage, old-fashioned feel to it that I like.)
His hardest events are pommel horse and mushroom, and floor.
He did okay on them, but there is definitely room for improvement, which I'm sure will come with time and practice.
This is John and his coach Zach and some of the boys on his team.
I like to think that I know my son from any other kid, but these boys look a lot alike! Four blondes all about the same height and size with similar haircuts. It could get confusing when they were competing all the way across the room!
High bar was one of John's best events.
These pictures were taken by a professional photographer who was up nice and close to the athletes.
At the end of these meets, they hand out medals and have a podium and do the national anthem and everything. It's like a mini-Olympics! It's because it's done through USA Gymnastics, which is the official organization that sends gymnasts to the Olympics. (An interesting note; one of the gyms that was competing there was the one from Des Moines that trained gold-medal winners Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas. I thought that was cool!)
John did very well at the competition, especially given that it was his first one ever. He tied for second place in the state in rings and vault for his level and age group, and he got fourth place for high bar and parallel bars. We're very proud of him and his hard work! He was proud of himself too, and happy with the results.
He looks serious and solemn, but he was happy!
We're looking forward to the next meet!
(Which unfortunately won't be until early next year. By then John should be at a higher level and more advanced and improved. Fun times ahead!)