Elite gymnast Michael Opincar is headed to the 2019 USA Gymnastics Championships to compete in the Trampoline and Tumbling sport.
“It’s one long, straight runway (84ft). They do 8 skill passes. They’re judged on cleanliness, difficulty, style, amplitude, height,” said Kevin Kirkland, Michael’s coach.
Opincar will be facing fierce competitors but he himself is a part of the best of the best in the nation. One of the challenges Opincar has faced during his tumbling career has been not having a place to train. Because there is no gym nearby that offers enough space to tumble, he travels nearly 3 hours to train at a gym in Levelland, TX and only trains 3-4 times a month. Despite training less than the average tumbler, he is still one of the best.
“In my last meet I had the 7th best score in the nation and in my division I placed second,” said Michael Opincar, an elite gymnast competing in the 2019 USA Gymnastics Championships.
He is no stranger to championships. Opincar holds 3 state titles and a couple of records at Central High School, a Texas High School Gymnastics record, and he’s the 3-time Power Tumbling Texas State Champion.
“He’s a natural tumbler. He’s one of the most naturally-gifted young men I’ve been around,” added Kirkland.
Being an elite gymnast is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, passion and balancing your work ethic and time.
“He just has the right mentality for power tumbling. It’s just different. It takes a lot of guts,” explained Kirkland.
In addition to competing, Opincar has been tasked with a special honor.
“USA Gymnastics gave me an email and I was chosen to be the flag-bearer for the opening ceremony on Thursday,” added Opincar.