CHAMPLIN, Minn. - Talent is recognized early at Twin City Twisters in Champlin.
"With the little ones, it is easier to tell if they have that quick twitch muscle, if they are flexible, because all of that combines into a really good gymnast," says coach and former University of Minnesota gymnast Amber Hammerschmidt. "You can always tell how flexible they are, how strong they are, how quick they can be."
Coaches like Hammerschmidt say it's never just talent that makes an elite gymnast. Mental drive and hard work can also take an athlete to the top.
That's the philosophy at Acceleration North in Arden Hills, also.
"What you're born with can only take you so far," athletic trainer Jamie Bartlett says. "I do believe that you need to work to get to that next level. You know, talent can't beat hard work when talent doesn't work hard."
The coaches agree; Olympic athletes are a balance.
"Hard work can obviously get you to that next level, but in order to get to that elite status, which is the Olympics, those athletes are born with the capability to get to that next level," Bartlett believes.
That capability comes down to how your body learns.
"Just the ability to learn quickly, when it comes to specific movements and areas of training," he explained.
"We always look for that perfect line or pointed feet," Hammerschmidt said.
Intangibles that make some athletes Olympians.
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