Douglas, 18, of Tracy, and her teammates from West Coast Training Center in Livermore just focused on doing their best, which was good enough to win them three gold medals at the International Acro Cub in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 9 to 11, hosted by the Federation International de Gymastique (FIG).
“We just wanted to go and show ourselves, what we can do. We planned on hitting all of our routines clean,” Douglas said. “It was a complete shock to get every gold medal.”
Douglas, Nicole Potepa, 17, of Danville, and Ashley Porter, 12, of Livermore, got the top scores in their balance and dynamic routines and then finished with the top score in their combined routine.
“When we came off the floor, we knew it was a really good routine,” Douglas said. “We weren’t thinking about placing or medals, but I really felt confident.”
They finished as the best out of 10 teams with a score of 81.100. It’s a combination of scores from their three routines, each with a possible maximum score of 30.
They competed against teams from Europe and the U.S. in the women’s junior division for ages 10 to 18.
Douglas is a recent graduate of Kimball High School, and has been into acrobatic gymnastics since she was 6 years old.
The competition is like the floor exercise of artistic gymnastics, but the added dimension of teammates enables participants to mix stunts and balance exercises into their choreographed routines.
Douglas described a dynamic routine in which she and Potepa as the base enable Porter, the top, to perform double back flips, full twisting flips and flips where she lands in a handstand. Stunts are combined in a 2.5-minute routine.
The trio trained up to four hours a day, five days a week, to prepare for competition. Douglas and her teammates earned a spot on the USA Gymnastics Acrobatic World Developmental Squad with their third-place finish at the USA Gymnastics Acro Cup in Kearny, Mo., in March.
They went on to finish ahead of the two other USA Gymnastics national teams at the Bulgaria event and now prepare for the FIG World Championships in May 2014 in Publier, France.
Douglas, who has been to three international events so far, said the competition she saw at the Bulgaria event showed that the 2014 world championships will be her toughest competition yet.
“It’s definitely a learning experience, because even though we did good, when we go to world championships it’s going to be a lot harder. We saw our competition for next year and how good they’re already doing.”
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.