By Nafisa Hossain
The world of gymnastics is full of high flying action, amazing leaps, and spectacular handsprings. Sophomore Kathyrn Chamberlain is familiar with the atmosphere of competitive gymnastics due to her participation in tournaments like the Junior Olympics.
Chamberlain started practicing gymnastics at the age of two when her mom signed her up for classes. From then on, she took progressively more difficult gymnastic classes and participated in tournaments, truly devoting herself to the sport of gymnastics.
Chamberlain started professional gymnastics at the age of seven, taking on at least five competitions every sports season since then. Now, Chamberlain is a member of Paramount Elite Gymnastics located in Van Nuys. She has been a part of this club for over three years.
The club has about 100 members, and Chamberlain is one of the shining athletes. With the club divided into ten levels based on skill difficulty, and technical ranges, she is in the most advanced level: level 10.
As a club member, Chamberlain usually performs in several qualifier meets to determine if she will advance onto the next level to eventually compete as a representative of her club at local, regional, and state competitions like the Region 1 Championships and SoCal State Championships for different levels.
This spring, Chamberlain qualified to go on to the Women’s Junior Olympics National Championship. She was one of eight athletes to make the cut. This does not come as a surprise because Chamberlain is known for high overall scores like 37.875 out of 40.000 at the end of all her events. At the Nationals this year, Chamberlain received ninth place on the uneven parallel bars event and tenth place on the vault. Her favorite event, however, is the balance beam.
“I love the balance beam because of the danger involved when doing the event. You are standing on a platform that is 16 feet long but it’s four feet up and only four inches wide. You have to be very careful and have very good balance. Being on the balance beam gives me a sense of exhilaration. Leaping and jumping while doing turns and a perfect dismount is very difficult, but if you manage to pull it off you get the best feeling in the world,” Chamberlain said.
Even though gymnastics is a major part of Chamberlain’s life, she realizes the importance of school. To make sure she is never overworking herself she only works out an average of 35 hours a week, leaving plenty of time for school and homework.
Additionally, Chamberlain wants to continue performing gymnastics in colleges and has already been researching and visiting colleges that have been recruiting her to do gymnastics at their schools. She hopes to commit to a college by spring next year.
*Previously, we put 35 hours but it has been misquoted. Chamberlain works out for 25-26 hours.*