The Olympia Gymnastics Academy in Shelby Township has 25-thousand square feet inside this facility and for the past five months, they’ve done nothing but walk through it.
The Governor's executive order is effecting all types of gyms and fitness centers, but for specialty gym’s like Olympia, they feel like they they are now in a fight for the future of their sport.
“We’re the only state that hasn’t been able to do gymnastics the entire time,” Olympia owner Lori Koch said.
Olympia Gymnastics Academy owner Loir Koch is doing her best to keep the 1,000 kids at various levels of gymnastics engaged.
They’ve shifted out doors for the younger athletes, but five months later, it’s becoming unsustainable.
“Gymnastics is different because we can’t really train outside, we can do physical fitness outside, but they can’t do uneven bars and balance beam, and their high level tricks outside, they need their matting and proper equipment inside,” Koch added.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer was asked about boutique gyms today, as this facility is large enough and specific enough, that there’s more than enough room for social distancing and safety.
“We are trying to figure out a way to get our gyms open in some capacity. To do it safely, and right now the safest place to be, and always the safest place to be is outside but we want people to be healthy,” Whitmer said.
“I think as long as you put thought into it, it can be done safely,” gymnast Tara Walsh said.
Tara Walsh is a freshman at Auburn University, but spent the last three years at Olympia. She told me there’s no way she wouldn’t be where she is today without here training here, and she hopes that the girls she trained with will be able to get back to work soon.
“We want the governor, the administration to see what a gymnastics training center looks like, so they’ll understand that ten girls in this big space is nothing and they could easily do what they need to do,” Rebecca Walsh said.
“We’ve been moving backwards, these kids not only haven’t been able to move forward or standing still, they’re losing everything that they’ve worked for for the last 15 years of their lives,” Koch added.
23 different schools have recruited gymnasts from this gym alone, and there are countless other facilities around the state facing these challenges. They hope that these gymnasts can get back into this facility in hopes to continue on with chasing their dreams.