Government & Politics
 

Let’s hear it for the city’s new champions: our acro-gymnasts

The fast-rising sport combines athleticism with the grace and musicality of dance. photo: Wikipedia

Before I push the corporal punishment issue further with a follow-up to last week’s post, I wanted to update a sports story I’ve been following.

This spring I learned that New Orleans is becoming a leader in acrobatic gymnastics, a rapidly growing sport that features many of the agile maneuvers you’d see at a Cirque du Soleil performance.

Most of the credit goes to Julie Dupree-Desantis and Gawain Dupree, the coaches at Crescent City Gymnastics. (Disclosure: Last year, my youngest daughter took lessons there.) Seemingly out of nowhere, Crescent City’s “acro” students are gaining national and international recognition. Monday, Fox 8 news reported on their school’s most recent success: Crescent City gymnasts Nya Jones, Carol Crochet and Allison MacPhaille won gold medals last week in the women’s group competition at the 2012 “Winti-Cup” competition in Zurich, Switzerland.

That’s simply outstanding!

Their victory comes only a month after the same trio brought home the gold at the National Championships in Detroit. And they weren’t the only Crescent City acro-gymnasts to win big at the Nationals, either. Kenneth Scott-Brown and Allison Hughes took the gold in the mixed pair competition, as did Samantha Conway and Annie Planchet in the women’s pairings. Lexei Schultz and MiaRose King won silver in the women’s pairings, finishing second only to Conway and Planchet.

It’s about time our talented local gymnasts received some media recognition.

Acro-gymnastics is not yet an Olympic sport, but there are petitions circulating to make it one. And why not? In terms of athletic skill, acro-gymnastics would certainly seem to qualify. And NBC’s huge ratings during the women’s (regular) gymnastics finals at the Olympics indicates that there might be a large potential audience for acro-gymnastics as well. Either way, it’s always great fun to cheer fellow New Orleanians as they succeed at high-level competitions.

So take a spare minute, and check out “acro”—you might like it.

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