I never would have thought that I’d flip for gymnastics

Published 5:27 am Friday, April 26, 2013

While growing up in central Alabama, it never crossed my mind that I would ever give more than a passing thought to gymnastics. The days of my youth consisted of playing football, playing baseball, and catching crawdads in the creek.
I guess the only thought I gave gymnastics was when Mary Lou Retton captured the attention of most young male teenagers during the 1984 Olympic Games.
Well, time has certainly changed me. Time, and my sweet daughter, McKenzie, has changed my outlook on gymnastics and now I can even name some of the stunts and “tricks” required to participate in competitive gymnastics.
This weekend is the culmination of several years of work for a bunch of persistent folks. The State of Georgia AAU Level 2 and 3 gymnastics championships are being held at the gymnasium at Bainbridge High School. This is big deal, folks.
A group of mothers with daughters on the local competitive team, The Gymnast-A-Cats, and coach Lindy Murkerson, worked hard to just get the committee to choose Bainbridge to host this event. Little did they know that the work had just begun when the news came that they were successful in their bid.
This group has worked extremely hard for almost a year to make this event successful. With more than 650 competitors from all corners of the state, along with the accompanying famlily members, coming to town for two days, the preparation was long, tedious, and sometimes frustrating.
To that group of people, I offer my congratulations. Great job. On a personal note, I am very proud of my wife, Stephanie, for taking a leading role in this effort. By no means did she do it alone, but I have seen the many hours she spent on the preparation needed to make the event successful.
As someone who is almost always advocating for growth, prosperity, and a quality lifestyle for our community, I am proud at the way she stepped up and helped to make this event happen.
In addition to the Gymnast-A-Cats Booster Club, many other groups and organizations pitched in to make this a quality and successful event. The Decatur County School System, the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce all had huge roles leading up to this weekend. Thanks to you all.
And, the business community, as usual, stepped up when needed. Many businesses in town bought sponsor packages and participated on the pages of the event’s official program. As I write this on Friday afternoon, I have seen at least a half-dozen signs at local businesses welcoming the visiting gymnasts to Bainbridge.
And, to those visiting gymnasts and their families, welcome to our community. Welcome to Bainbridge. We hope you enjoy yourselves while hear, and hope that you find a reason to come back.
Good luck to all the competing gymnasts this weekend. I know how hard these girls work all year and hope that they all perform well and score high. A special good luck wish to the Gymnast-A-Cats competing this weekend. Let’s keep some of those first place medals in Bainbridge.

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