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Two Gymnasts Prepare for 2008 Olympics

Posted - Jul. 9, 2004 at 3:59 p.m.



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Sam Penrod ReportingIt's 35 days and counting until the start of the Summer Olympics in Athens. But for two Utah gymnasts, their countdown clock says 35 days and four years. These hopefuls are preparing for the Olympics in 2008.

Inside of a gym in Nephi is where Kalon Ludvigson and Amy McDonald spend most of their time. These Utah athletes were just named to the USA Gymnastics Senior National Team, a high honor for both of them who have been in gymnastics before they ever went to kindergarten.

Amy is twenty-years old; Kalon is sixteen. Being on the USA team requires a huge time commitment.

Kalon Ludvigson: “Some days if my training's not good, some days I have to think about it. But when we get to meets and I do my passes it's rewarding."

An old ware house was turned into a gymnasium for Kalon and Amy. That’s where they spend about 48 hours a week training for competition.

Justen Millerbernd: "We're here pretty much eight hours a day, between four hours in the morning and four hours at night, just training, all day getting ready for the international competition."

Amy and Kalon compete in both trampoline and tumbling. Tumbling becomes an official Olympic sport in 2008 and they are both hoping to make the US team.

Amy McDonald: “I've been in this sport a long time; and the Olympics, ever since I was little, was my goal. If it comes around I'd love to do it; I have to take it one step at a time."

Justen Millerbernd: "These two have a really good shot at making the Olympic team. We have world championships next year, and world championship 2007 and from there 2008 not that far; it's only four years; it’s right around the corner for us.

And it's that dream of being an Olympic Gymnast that helps to drive these two athletes to train day and night, hoping for the chance to win gold for their country.

Both Kalon and Amy are leaving tomorrow for two international meets -- the Indo-Pacific games in Canada, followed by the Pan American Championships in Florida.

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