Indiana Township gymnast set to compete in Maccabiah Games
By Karen Kadilak
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Shani Caplan Chernoff is working twice as hard as she prepares for her first international competition as a rhythmic gymnast at the 19th Maccabiah Games, to be held July 17 to 30 in Israel.
Chernoff, 16, of Indiana Township was one of two girls named to an open team that will represent America.
Leora Feldman of Los Angeles also will compete.
Held every four years, the Games draw top Jewish athletes from around the world.
Competitors have included Olympic gymnasts Mitch Gaylord and Kerri Strug.
In rhythmic gymnastics, athletes perform jumps, leaps and tosses and other moves with different forms of equipment, including hoops, clubs, ribbons and balls. Competitors are judged on coordination, dance ability and grace.
By adding morning workouts, Chernoff, a veteran of junior competitions, doubled the number of hours she practices to 30 a week.
A sophomore and former Fox Chapel student, she enrolled in a cyber school to accommodate the expanded schedule.
Jewart's Gymnastics, where she trains, donated workout space.
“Expecting her to be nervous, we're having her repeat a lot so everything will be correct, and she will know what to do,” said Kamelia Dunlevy, head coach and program director for Jewart's, noting that Chernoff sometimes spends more than seven hours a day practicing.
Born in Jerusalem and the daughter of an Israeli immigrant, Chernoff looks forward to competing.
“I've always dreamt of going to the Olympics,” she said. “This is just as good.”
A website, www.navachernoff.com/shani, has been set up by her mother to raise funds.
Nava Chernoff coaches her daughter when Dunlevy is not available.
Dunlevy admires Shani Chernoff's dedication.
“(Rhythmic gymnastics) is a demanding sport; you can't take days off,” Dunlevy said. “It's an accomplishment that Shani has done it so long.”
Possessing great physical flexibility, Shani Chernoff said she was steered into rhythmic while taking gymnastics instruction when she was 9.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.
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.
- Pirates seek to tap Alvarez’s remaining upside
- Steelers restructure Brown’s contract to become salary cap compliant
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Pitt’s oldest known living football letterman turns 100
- Loss to Pitt propelled Clemson
- North Allegheny girls enjoy ‘bounce back’ win over WPIAL champion Penn-Trafford
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Pirates notebook: Closer Grilli sharp in brief outing
- Ex-tow truck operator says Pittsburgh officer, city put him out of business
- Hitler & Cold War II
- Connellsville boys tennis team has optimistic expectations