Elmhurst Gymnast Charlie Cripe Named AAU Champion of the Week
- Name: Charlie Cripe
- Team: Elmhurst Park District Gymnastics Team
- Award: AAU Champion of the Week
Elmhurst gymnast Charlie Cripe was named AAU Champion of the Week, earning seven gold medals out of a possible seven at the AAU National Boys Gymnastics Championships in the Wisconsin Dells last month.
The 11-year-old prodigy has only been practicing the sport for a little over a year, yet took home top honors in pommel horse, high bar, parallel bars, vault, floor exercise, rings and all-around in a field of over 200 gymnasts from all over the country.
Cripe’s secret? Hard work—and a little self-deception. “I started to picture it in my mind as a normal meet,” he said. “So that it wasn’t as big or nerve-wracking.”
The Elmhurst Park District gymnastics coaches played a part in setting the tone, telling the young gymnasts to work hard but above all else, enjoy themselves during the competition. Cripe says they’ve been prepping the boys all season, through encouraging words and perhaps most importantly, actions.
“The coaches are all young, and they practice right alongside us, so they’re able to demonstrate the skills and better relate to us,” he said.
Cripe trains three times per week for 2 1/2 hours at the Wagner Gymnastics Center, perfecting his technique in all skill areas, but especially his favorites, floor and high bar.
“It’s been fun watching those events in the Olympics,” Cripe said.
For more of Cripe in action, check out the Elmhurst Park District Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ElmhurstParkDistrict. For more information on Elmhurst Park District gymnastics, contact Program Manager Annette Nocek at (630) 993-8921 or email email@example.com.