AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — When it comes to gymnastics, you have to have discipline, dedication, and precision, and two Amarillo sisters are proving just that by competing at a national level, and one was even selected to compete on the world stage.
Chandler and Blake Graham are only 13 and 15, but they are already making moves in the world of tumbling & trampoline discipline of gymnastics.
“If you stick with it, I mean look at where I’m at now, it’s amazing!” said Chandler Graham.
“I didn’t know I would stick with it this long, but I’m glad I did. There are so many cool skills you learn and it’s so awesome to do all these skills and I love it,” said Blake Graham.
Chandler was recently selected to represent USA Gymnastics on the 2022 World Age Group Competition Team, where she will be one of four 13-year-olds representing the United States.
Blake was recently selected to the USA Gymnastics Junior National Team and was selected as an “elite specialist” in the Double Mini Trampoline category.
“Blake, by representing the Junior National Team her first step will to attend several training camps with the National Team coaches and the other athletes across the country representing Team USA. Later, she may have the opportunity to have international assignments. Chandler has already received an international assignment,” said Jamie Graham, Blake and Chandler’s mom.
That World Age Group Competition will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria and a GoFundMe has been started to help raise funds to get chandler the 6,500 miles to Europe.
Courtesy: Jamie Graham
“It’s crazy to me! It’s so exciting to me! I mean, Bulgaria. I mean, just saying that oh my gosh! I’m going there. It really means a lot to have the support and I really appreciate all these people and it’s incredible and I can’t thank these people enough,” said Chandler.
Both Blake and Chandler train two hours a day Monday through Thursday and Blake said you have to be committed to the sport.
“If you don’t have a good attitude or if you don’t have good mental health, then it’s really hard to stick with it, so having a good attitude about it and wanting to come here and loving what you do is very important about it,” said Blake.
Their coach, Tim Hall at All American Gymnastics said the sisters are a joy to train.
“They walk through the door, they have a smile on their face, they have a natural leadership quality about them. So, when they walk through the door, the other kids look up to them because they are giving them a push or helping hand or ‘you can do it!'” said, Hall.
Courtesy: Jamie Graham
Chandler said Blake inspires her and others and pushes her to get better.
“She is definitely the person I look up to the most. The most thing is when I’m struggling or when I’m down on myself she is always there, she is my biggest supporter. I love her so much. She is always there for me, said Chandler.
On top of being great athletes, the sisters are also fantastic students at Austin Middle and Tascosa High School as well as competing in sports their as well.
Jamie Graham said it all comes down to discipline.
“It’s part of the gymnastics. It’s taught them discipline, it’s taught them commitment,” said Jamie.