Gymnastics is a sport that requires balance, strength, flexibility, agility and endurance. Gymnasts spend countless hours perfecting their technique and make many sacrifices along the way. Eleven-year old Christian Worley proved that he has what it takes by winning his second title at the Louisiana Men's State Championships that was held in Thibodaux.
The Dutchtown Primary student has been involved in gymnastics since he was three years old, starting out in recreational classes and moving his way up to a competitive team.
"My parents told me that I liked to climb on things and they put me in a recreational class when I was three years old and I started doing a lot of those until I was seven," Worley said. "The recreational teachers told me that I needed to go to a competitive gym."
Now the fifth grader trains at C.G.'s Gymnastics in Baton Rouge where he has been for the past five years. He practices five days, 16 hours a week on various skills and techniques that he performs during his events on floors, pommel horse, still rings, vault and bars.
During this year's competition, which was held in March, Worley competed against nine other gymnasts in his Level 6 division, made up of other 11 year olds. His father Brandon said next year he is likely to skip a level and go straight to Level 8.
"It feels good [to win] because I worked hard to accomplish beating the other kids in this competition," Christian added.
Brandon said helping Christian pursue his gymnastics goal is a huge commitment, financially and time wise, but it is all worth it when he sees the enjoyment his son gets out of it.
"It's overwhelming at times, but when you see him put all the work that he puts into it and you see the results that he is getting and how much enjoyment he gets out of it it doesn't seem like a chore or task at all," he proudly said.
Christian said he wants to continue gymnastics into the collegiate level, if given the opportunity, and see where else it may take him.