Portishead gymnasts off to the United States
COACH Liz Kincaid is taking four elite gymnasts from The Academy in Portishead – including double Olympian Imogen Cairns – to work with United States Gymnastics hall of fame coach Mary Lee Tracy in Ohio.
Tracy, who coached two members of the United States' 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning team – Amanda Borden and Jaycie Phelps – runs the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy.
The gymnasts from Portishead – Cairns, Ruby Harrold, Imogen Chan and Phoebe Turner – will be joined by another double Great Britain Olympian in Beth Tweddle's City of Liverpool team-mate Hannah Whelan on the two-week trip to the States.
The gymnasts depart tomorrow, with Kincaid, who runs The Academy in Portishead, believing such exchanges of information are pivotal to the development of British gymnastics and its emerging and established stars.
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"I might be on my own when I say this, but I do think America is where we need to look, because of how fantastically well they did (in London)," she said.
"Anything the girls can pick up from working in that kind of environment is a bonus – and that's why we're going.
"Mary Lee Tracy is a great lady, and she was one of the coaches in the 1996 Olympic team for the US.
"She had two gymnasts on the team, and that was the first time the US actually won a team gold medal at the Olympics – and the second time was this year."