It is often said that your teammates are the best friends that you will ever have. In the case of the Silver Level Gymnastics Team (approximately level 8) from the United States Gymnastics Development Center in Leonia, NJ, this is certainly true. Most of the girls on the team have been doing gymnastics since they were three or four years old, and they put a tremendous amount of time and effort into the sport. The team consists of six girls from Teaneck and Bergenfield, whose ages range between twelve to seventeen. Although the girls are from different schools, and are different ages, they have formed a very tight bond both when they are competing, and in their free time. The team includes; Amanda Nussbaum and Rebecca Nussbaum of the Frisch School, Shana Adler from Ma’ayanot, Jordana Nussbaum from Moriah, Jenna Besthof from Solomon Shechter of Bergen County, and Marissa Lindis who attends Bergenfield High School.
The team practices about twelve hours a week with the other levels at US Gymnastics. Under the amazing guidance of their coaches, Daniel Miranda and Ana Rita Nuses, the team has had a successful season, winning many of the meets that they entered. Occasionally, the team had to miss meets on Saturday, because five of the six girls are Jewish, but the coaches and gymnastics association are very understanding of this. All of their practicing, however, has been leading up to the big national championship at the end of the year.
At the end of June, the team traveled to Palm Springs, California to compete in the IAIGC (International Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs) National Championship. The meet consisted mostly of teams from all over the United States, but also teams from Canada and Bermuda. The team from US Gymnastics collectively received six gold medals, four silver medals, and two bronze medals, in addition to the team silver medal, for a total of thirteen medals.
The team was certainly shocked, yet elated to have done so well, and are certainly proud of all they have accomplished. The girls are working hard and hope to advance to the next level by the beginning of the school year.