BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Last season the girls at Flipstarz Gymnastics in Beckley had the chance to host the state championship for the first time since 2016. Until the event was cancelled, leaving them heartbroken.
“We felt like our season was stolen, we prepared so hard, so many hours in the gym,” said Wendy Openlander, a coach for the Flipstarz and the mother of a senior on the team.
Openlander was afraid she watched her daughters’ last performance without even knowing. After months of virtual performances, the girls at Flipstarz got the chance to host the first and only in person competition of the season
“Usually it takes a good six to eight weeks to kinda plan everything, and get things situated and we threw everything together in about three weeks,” said Chelsi Webb, a coach for Flipstarz.
Gymnasts, coaches, and parents came from across the state for the championship.
“So it is huge for hotels and restaurants and bringing people down to the southern part of the state,” said Openlander.
As a coach, Webb said she cannot describe how good it feels seeing her girl’s eyes light up as they perform in front of a crowd, some for the first time ever.
“So I competed for 17 years of my life and getting to pass the torch to these babies is a super proud coach moment,” said Webb.
As a mother, Openlander said the last week and the upcoming days are emotional and bittersweet, but she would not trade them for anything.
“From 18 months to 18 years it’s a long time and it’s a passion that we share and a bond we will always have and the fact that we can do it in Raleigh county, in Beckley means a lot,” said Openlander.
The state championship continues Saturday Apr. 10 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday Apr. 11 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Limited tickets are available.