Too young for the
U.S. junior champion
As the afternoon practice begins,
a giant mirror stretched along the western wall
Katelyn Ohashi can’t
reflects the action at World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, Texas. Gymnasts
wait for 2013
shuffle in, dropping bookbags and outerwear before heading to stretch.
A tiny, dark-haired gymnast is already planted in front of that mirror, quietly
watching herself as she spins full turns with her leg horizontal. With her coach, Valeri
By Amanda Turner
Liukin, scheduled to take the day off, she appears to work alone unnoticed, watching
and evaluating each turn by herself. Though the pirouette is one of the easiest moves
in her considerable repertoire, it’s captivating nevertheless. The combination of the
extended leg, pointed foot and balletic arms is one of pure beauty that strikes joy in
the heart of every fan of artistic gymnastics. The simple move, along with the gymnast herself, offers something seen so rarely in elite gymnastics today: perfection.