HOLLAND, Mich. — Indoor fitness classes can once again resume, which is an announcement bringing relief for elite gymnasts eager to have a more regular training schedule.
Holland-based Champion Gymnastics USA has been managing the on-again-off-again practice sessions through the last several months. Under Governor Whitmer's orders, indoor fitness came to a halt and resumed for private instruction.
Monday marks the first day that indoor fitness classes can resume, allowing Champion Gymnastics USA to operate at 25% capacity for group sessions.
During the summer months, the gym held outdoor sessions for elite gymnasts eager to maintain their fitness level. While many were able to increase their skills, many weren't able to progress during the summer months as much as they normally would prior to the competition season.
"It’s been really hard, mostly because I haven’t been with my teammates, and we really push each other to be better," said Genna Lebster, a Level-10 gymnast who will compete at Michigan State University next academic year. "It’s just hard not to be able to do the normal skills that we have been able to do and keep upgrading instead of downgrading to easier skills."
Gymnasts like Lebster have been able to practice roughly for about two hours three days a week. Under the new change, the gymnasts will be able to resume a more regular schedule of four-hour sessions for roughly five days a week.
"I’m really excited to be able to get back to the four hours and be able to work on skills instead of trying to rush to get our assignments done," Lebster said. "Instead, we have time to work on each skill and get better."
The new increase in training hours comes before the team's first competition in Illinois.
"We have been doing really well, and we were super excited, and the girls were super excited, and everyone was messaging us, saying 'Yay, we are open.' It’s exciting for them," said Champion Gymnastics USA head coach Tami Schaafsma. "They have waited a long time, and it’s just nice to be able to get them back in."
Besides the change to indoor fitness classes starting back up, non-contact sports are also allowed to resume under the newest announcement.