There Is No Parallel

There Is No Parallel

Amad Brayboy, Staff Writer

Imagine if getting out of your last class didn’t mean the end of your day, but instead marked only a halfway point. For some of ODA’s most competitive athletes, this is a reality.

Nicole Vitiello was four years old when she started as a recreational gymnast. By the time she was seven years old, she was good enough to become a competitive gymnast. Her specialty is the parallel bars, an element known for artistic gymnastics that highlight gymnast’s skills in 30-90 second routines.

The competition that she recently participated in was The Dolphin Classic. It was at Universal in the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. She placed third in her age group all around, 5th out of 25 people. She also placed second on bars in her age group also.

Because of the team’s successes, they placed second in the Junior Olympics, level eight. That is impressive, because there are only 10 levels in the Junior Olympics. This competition was to see if she could qualify into the state competition, which she did.

“It was so cool to see gymnasts from all over the country come together to compete,” says former ODA student and friend, Annabelle Candlish.

But a gymnast’s life is not all about victories. Many gymnasts suffer injuries as a result of long hours of practice and grueling competition. Luckily, Nicole has only had minor injuries like a sprained wrist. In addition to the risk of injuries, serious athletes like Nicole must sacrifice a lot.

To be as competitive as she is, Nicole has practice every night (except Wednesdays) for three and a half hours. On weekends, she has to devote an additional four hours on Saturday mornings.

“I wish it wasn’t so all consuming. It’s really difficult to manage my time with homework and trying to get good grades,” says Nicole.

IMG_0938In college, Nicole plans on continuing competitive gymnastics. She has learned a lot from the sport. It has made her more motivated to get things done and accomplish her goals. Additionally, her team, who she’s been with for 10 years, has become her second family.

Most recently, Nicole competed in the Pikes Peak Cup in Colorado Springs. The Colorado Springs was just a out of state meet. There were two age groups, so it was hard to place. But Nicole set a personal best of the parallel bars 9.05.

Her next big event is on Saturday February 27th in Saint Pete. This important event establishes who will compete at the state level. During our mid winter break, she will be training every day. until that Saturday.