Kount on Kindness traveled to Guatemala City, Guatemala to attend the Copa Quetzal Gimnasia Olympika gymnastics competition hosted by Olympika Gymnastics. Leotards donated through the Project Leotard Campaign were distributed to participants who could not afford a practice leotard of their own. Most of these gymnasts attend free gymnastics lessons at their home clubs.
The meet director, Raul Molina, was kind enough to have a conversation with each coach to select the gymnasts who take free classes and/or are aided by the Federation to take classes and attend meets. Longtime friend of International Gymnastics Camp and 3 time Olympic Gold Medalist, Svetlana Boguinskaia, helped hand out the leotards.
Frita and Francisca
Frita (7) and Francisca (6) are from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. They received two of the many Snowflake Designs leotards. Their coach is a Physical Education instructor in school. Their gymnastics training and meet fees are covered by the Federation.
The Copa Quetzal Gimnasia Olympika competition has been held annually for several years. Owner of Olympika Gymnastics and director of this competition, Jorge Raul Molina, has an amazing gymnastics background, as well as a strong connection with IGC and its director, Brent Klaus. Raul was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States when he was three years old.
During Raul’s competitive years in J.O.s, NCAA, Pan American Games and World University Games he competed against the then International Gymnastics Team where he met Brent Klaus and became a good friend. Raul was also a camper at International Gymnastics Camp between 1985 and 1988.
After college Raul moved back to Guatemala and was motivated to start a strong gymnastics presence. Raul opened Olympika Gymnastics in 2007, and it has been growing as a club ever since. He believes that there should be an equal opportunity for all who would like to be a part of the fun and competitive sport of gymnastics.
The Guatemalan gymnasts were enthusiastic in their love of gymnastics. Here are just a few of the amazing thoughts:
- “I love gymnastics because it is a beautiful sport and it is healthy for your body.” – Hemena, age 6
- “I like gymnastics because it is elegant and you can express yourself.”- Henessis, age 7
- “I like gymnastics because of the exciting nature of the competitions.” – Monica, age 13
- “I love gymnastics because it is very fun to do!” – Katherina, age 9
We would like to thank our partners, Snowflake Designs and Dreamlight Activewear for designing some of the beautiful leotards that were donated! The recipients were extremely grateful for all of your kindness and generosity.