Plum student inspired by meeting with Olympic gymnasts
Maddie Knisely watched in fascination as the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team won gold medals during the summer games in London.
The sport is near and dear to Knisely, 9, a third-grader at Pivik Elementary School.
The youngster has studied gymnastics for four years and is a student at Gymkhana in Monroeville.
Knisely performed in the 2012 Kellogg's Tour of Olympic Champions at the Consol Energy Center earlier this month.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her at 9,” said her mother, Nicole Knisely.
Maddie Knisely describes the experience — in which she met some top athletes — as “fun and exciting.”
“We talked about how tough it was to be in the Olympics and how much practice you needed to do,” she said.
The national tour features Team USA's top performing gymnasts in men's and women's rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling.
Maddie was one of eight gymnasts from the Monroeville Gymkhana randomly selected to participate in the event.
Knisely, whose father, Jason, 39, is the principal at Adlai Stevenson Elementary School, participated in a dance routine during the opening ceremony and remained on stage as the Olympic gymnasts were introduced, said Nicole Knisely, 38.
Maddie met some of the gymnasts including Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney in the locker room prior to the performance.
“They talked about what it was like to be a gymnast, and Maddie got pictures of them,” Nicole Knisely said.
Maddie Knisely participated in one rehearsal earlier on the same day of the Nov. 16 show.
The youngster said she enjoys gymnastics — including the nearly 10 hours of practice each week.
“I like the power you use when you are going into the (moves and routines),” she said.
Knisely said she aspires to be a collegiate gymnast.
In addition to gymnastics classes, she participated in the Panther Gymnastics Camp at the University of Pittsburgh over the summer.
“She is pretty intense about everything she does,” Nicole Knisely said.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Elizabeth Forward wins seesaw battle over Yough
- Pirates say goodbye to veteran leaders Burnett, Ramirez
- Safety of credit cards up to banks
- NFL notebook: Cardinals to stay in W.Va. ahead of Steelers game
- Steelers notebook: Starting DEs not leaving the field
- South Fayette extends winning streak in dominating fashion
- Opposing TEs Miller, Gates took differing paths to greatness
- Gorman: WPIAL must answer with power move
- Roundup: Uncle Charley’s Sausage expands sales to Maryland, Virginia; SABMiller meets with investors amid takeover bid; more
- Feds aim to bring Chinese military leaders to Pittsburgh for trial
- West Mifflin limits chances for Laurel Highlands, wins 28-17