World Class Gymnastics Academy safely reopening doors for gymnasts

Local Sports

LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — “After 113 days off, we’re pretty excited to be back. Very excited,” Erik Quaal, co-owner of the World Class Gymnastics Academy, said.

The gymnastics training gym has reopened its doors after a four month layoff due to coronavirus, and for many of the gymnasts that frequent the training facility, that’s the longest they’ve ever been away from the mats.

“We did Zoom workouts. Everybody was trying to stay in people’s lives,” Quaal said.

“Some of the girls have a little equipment at home but nothing like this equipment,” Marisa Bednarczyk, a trainer at the WCGA, said.

In order to give the gymnasts a safe environment to train, Quaal and his staff have implemented safety procedures above and beyond state guidelines.

“All the girls are sanitizing and bringing their own sanitizers in their bag,” Bednarczyk said. “And having their own tupperware of chalk so they don’t have to share anything.”

“After each rotation, there’s a whole clean down which everyone is kind of taking part to helping which is good,” Sydney Schumaker said. Schumaker is a 2020 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School who will be competing in gymnastics at SUNY Brockport this upcoming season.

“Taking the temperatures still every single day, writing them down in a binder, making sure that everyone is as safe as they can be coming in here,” Bednarczyk said.

“We have a couple of staff members that were also working as contact tracers which I think really helped us figure out where contact tracers were seeing this disease move through people,” Quaal said.

Both athletes and trainers follow a strict mask policy. Trainers must have them on at all times, while athletes can take them off on the mat, but moving between groups they must put them back on.

“The girls have been so great with the masks and staying social distance,” Bednarczyk said. “I personally think they’ve been champs.”

“These athletes are so disciplined,” Quaal said. “I mean like you come in you give them a hundred rules, like ‘this is how we have to do it now. Ok, this is how we do it now.’ Just do it until we don’t have to anymore.”

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