Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF) – A group of area gymnasts took home a surprising title: first place in the Ladies' Division of the AAU South Carolina State Championship.
"We were a little surprised when a little ten year old said we were wanted on the podium and that we'd won first place," said gymnast Ruth Le May.
The surprise came not because they weren't talented enough. These three ladies each grew up with plenty of gymnastics experience. The surprise was because they were competing against gymnasts half their age.
"They compete with 16 year old girls," said their coach George Videnov, who in the past coached Olympic gymnasts in his native Bulgaria. "They compete with kids. But they looked great."
In gymnastics, the "Ladies" division is anyone 16 years old and up. The three gymnasts who ended up winning are each in their late 20s and early 30s.
They competed in the same events and on the same apparatus as their young competitors. They went through similar training regimens, even if that meant they got a few more bumps and bruises than their teenage counterparts.
"A little more ice, a little more ice is necessary," said gymnast Jessica Kendall.
With their win at the state level, the ladies qualify for the national AAU competition, which will take place in early July in Orlando, Florida.