Voice: Ryan Edmondson

Every issue of our newspaper features a unique student and showcases their experiences through their own words. This issue, we talked to sophomore Ryan Edmondson about his experience as a male gymnast.

Emma Hughes and Kaitlyn Wong

I have been doing competitive gymnastics since I was six and gymnastic classes since I was like two. With the desire to do it, I have reached Level 10.

I’m probably best at floor (the one with tumbling) but we have to do everything at this level, can’t specialize in stuff yet really. Each level has an age requirement and minimum skill requirements, so to be level ten you need to be 15 and be able to do certain skills. You don’t need to be 15, but if you want full credit you do. To get full credit for everything you need a C dismount which is a value of a skill and that’s three-tenths of a point. Levels eight, nine, ten are optional but [in levels] seven and below, the routines are set for you. After ten you usually go to college and from there you’re either NCAA or elite.

I love it all. But we get very little free time, not a lot of time to do school work, so it’s a lot of late nights, sometimes early mornings. We practice five days a week [and] four hours a day at a medium intensity. We warm up for like a half hour, maybe longer, and then we do events for the rest of the time normally. After years of gymnastics, I have only injured my back. One of the pieces of [my] spine isn’t in line; it’s shifted forwards.

One of my best gymnastics experiences was when I went to Arizona, which is the farthest I’ve gone for a competition. I plan on doing gymnastics for as long as I can. I really want to get into college for it and if anything past that works out then that would be great. People who do Olympics have already started working towards it since age eight; they’re crazy. That’s not in my future. My idol is Kóhei Uchimura: [he] is like the best gymnast. I have to look up to him.

Start watching men’s gymnastics, not just women’s gymnastics. Give men’s gymnastics some attention. Gymnastics are hard but, just stick with it. It gets hard at times but you just need to stay with it cause it doesn’t happen in a day.