Competition is in the air for all the gymnasts at FHC

A photo of Abby Sutter on the beam

A photo of Abby Sutter on the beam

While tumbling and flipping through the air may be the most prominent features of gymnastics, there’s far more to it than that. Senior Abby Sutter admires not only the athleticism of gymnastics, but also the people she gets to do it with.

“I would definitely say the team aspect of [gymnastics is my favorite part],” Abby said. “[My teammates and I] all compete separately, but we practice together and cheer each other on.

[My teammates and I] all compete separately, but we practice together and cheer each other on.

Although gymnastics is an individual sport for the most part, a large part of every gymnast’s career is their team. Abby is not alone in her thoughts about gymnastics, as junior Bella Scott also finds her team to be her favorite attribute of the sport.

Despite gymnastics not being a team sport, the people are a major facet of it. Bella has made some of her favorite memories through gymnastics, but they aren’t necessarily related to the athletic facets of the sport.

“Making it to Nationals [is one of my favorite memories],” Bella said. “Also meeting a lot of new people and spending a lot of time in New York with some new friends that I made.”

However, even with all the comradery and team spirit associated with gymnastics, there are still struggles and downsides to the sport that aren’t always enjoyable. Gymnastics is a large time commitment, and Abby doesn’t love the intense schedule.

“The amount of time we put into [gymnastics is my least favorite part],” Abby said. “Right now, I practice five days a week for four and a half hours. [Gymnastics] doesn’t leave you time for a lot of other [activities].”

One of the things Abby doesn’t have time for is participating in high school gymnastics. The competition seasons for high school and Junior Olympic gymnastics take place at the same time, meaning gymnasts have to make the decision of which one they want to participate in.

High school and Junior Olympic gymnastics are the same sport, but there are a few key differences between the two. For freshman Rowan Bonsall, the competitive side of gymnastics is the most appealing. This factor is more prominent on the club side of the sport.

“I like more competitive gymnastics and competing with people at my level of gymnastics,” Rowan said. “High school has all kinds [of levels of gymnastics], but I just like a more condensed [system of levels].”

A more competitive atmosphere is not the only benefit of club gymnastics. Junior Olympic gymnastics also helps gymnasts prepare for the possibility of continuing gymnastics into the future.

“Club gymnastics is a lot more competitive,” Abby said. “It puts you more on track [for] college or to go further [in] the sport than high school [gymnastics] does.”

Even though she wants to continue doing gymnastics in college, high school gymnastics isn’t entirely out of the picture for Bella. Doing both club and high school gymnastics would be time-consuming, but it’s an option for her senior year.

Each gymnastics system is different. They have their pros and cons, but each of them allows gymnasts to do the sport they love.

“I want to do college gymnastics in the future,” Bella said, “and I think [high school gymnastics] will take a lot of my time up, especially because I have my own meets on the weekends, but I want to do it senior year because I think that’d be fun.”