Winter Sports Spectacular: VT Gymnasts Becoming US Aerial Skiers

Published 02/13 2014 09:29PM

Updated 02/13 2014 10:04PM

Williston, VT -- Most Winter Sports are a little strange to begin with so the way elite athletes get their start in these sports can sometimes be a little strange as well. Like the three Vermont gymnasts who, last Summer, were plucked from the parallel bars and dropped on the slopes.

When we last saw Green Mountain gymnasts Tyra Izor, Kira Tanghe and Megan Nick, they were still gymnasts awaiting news from the US Aerial Ski Team hoping to be chosen to join the development program.

Since that mid-July meeting with FOX 44/ABC 22, their lives have changed dramatically.

"The three of us decided that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we couldn't say no." Tyra Izor said.

"The people I've met and the experience and memories we've made," explained Megan Nick. "I can't imagine what it would've been like to turn down that opportunity."

"Now, I'm focusing on one sport. I moved away for it. So, it's really different but I like it a lot." said Kira Tanghe.

The trio relocated to Lake Placid for a couple weeks at a time to practice at the jump pool for the rest of the Summer and Fall before moving to Park City, UT in November to join the US National Team and apply what they've learned to the snow.

"'ve gotta think about the landing now." said Nick.

So much has changed for these three. They're no longer full-time students at their old high schools. In fact, they've almost become more athlete-students than student-athletes. 

"It's kind of flipped for us. You know, we train for 6 hours a day and then we do 3 hours of school on top of that instead of vice-versa." Izor explained.

It's a new way to learn English and History but they're also learning a whole new language.

"I'm just doing two different jumps. A lay-out and a tuck." Tanghe said. "So, it's just one flip off the smallest kicker."

"Look at our toes pieces. They're like the tips of our bindings. That's kind of a made up word." laughed Nick.

They're also getting one memorable physics lesson.

"If you're going faster, you're going to be going higher." said Kira. "So, you're going to have a harder landing. If it's like windy or if it's snowing, it'll be completely different. Your flip will change. Your landing will change. You have to trust your coaches. When you're in the air they'll give you a call. You have to trust them." 

For them, the best part is that they're doing it together. 

"I've known them for the past 10 years." She continued. "We've been together through it all. Green Mountain Gymnastics has really bonded us over the years."

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