(Bay City) 16 year old Evvie Shapiro is practicing hard for next week’s Olympic Qualifiers to be held in Paramount City, Missouri. Evvie won a gold medal in Vault at the Junior Olympics two years ago, only to suffer a broken pelvis and other injuries when the city bus she was riding was T-boned by an SUV that ran a red light. Emily ‘Emma’ Earhart, Oceanside University’s Assistant Gymnastics Coach and Bronze Medal winner at the Lake Eola games, trains Evvie right alongside the champuon Oceanside Gymnastics Team. Earhart says that Evvie was still determined to go to New Zealand after the accident, no matter how hard she had to work to get there. This is Evvie’s first year of eligibility for the Games as an Elite Gymnast.
Even before her injury Evvie sacrificed much for her Olympic Dream. Evvie started training for the Olympics at four years of age, with her regimen taking anywhere from thirty-two to thirty-six hours a week since beginning to work with Earhart. Before that, she trained with Iosef Albescu, a Romanian gymnastics coach who was part of three gold medal Romanian Olympics teams. Albescu would often have her train sixty hours a week or more, which Earhart says was far too rigorous. "There’s only so many hours a day you can push the prosahuman body," Earhart says. "After you hit that point, you injure yourself and weaken instead of getting stronger."
Albescu’s strict requirements also made even a modified traditional school schedule impossible for Evvie. To accommodate her training, Evvie was homeschooled primarily by her father Evan. On her sixteenth birthday, Evvie was granted an age waiver to take the High School General Equivalency Diploma exam, scoring a brilliant 187 out of 200 and receiving her GED.
Evvie is excited for the chance to qualify for the United States team. She tells us that she intends to not only go to the New Zealand games, but the Kenya games four years from now. Her other goals include college. After college, she hopes to become a writer.
All of Bay City and the Greater Brick Area can’t wait to see Evvie in New Zealand!