Morrisville Gymnasts Take Gold  

The youngest national champions in the United States live right here in Morrisville! Just this year, Grace Gymnastics Academy won double gold medals and the US champion title at the USA National Championship for Aesthetic Group Gymnastics (AGG).  

 AGG, a sport that combines elements of rhythmic gymnastics, dance, and acrobatics, is a new but rapidly developing gymnastic discipline. Since its inception in 2016, Grace Gymnastics has developed a gold-medal track record of placing among the nation’s best. Now, two of their teams are preparing to represent the USA at the Salou Invitational in Salou, Spain, on Oct. 28-29 — Team Grace (8–10) and Team Grace Shine (6–8). 

We recently spoke with founder and head coach Olga Bogdan to learn more about Grace Gymnastics and how the community can support them on the international stage. 

When was Grace Gymnastics founded, and what was the inspiration behind its creation?  

 Grace Gymnastics was founded in December of 2016. In September 2016 I arrived in the US, and I was enthusiastic and full of energy about bringing AGG Stateside. I started with the idea of offering new classes to existing gymnastics clubs, and had conversations with owners of different clubs in the area. Most of the clubs said they were interested, but not at the moment. It was a little bit frustrating to realize that people didn’t recognize the opportunity to be pioneers, but I decided not to give up and move forward.  

 I finally realized that maybe it was an opportunity for me to start something from scratch on my own. When I changed my focus from starting a new class in an existing club to starting something completely new, everything changed. I found the space. I shared ads on social media to inform people about the new opportunity for their kids. And basically, that is how the first Aesthetic Group Gymnastics Club of the East Coast was founded. Since then, we have been growing steadily and taking part in different competitions both locally and internationally.   

 Tell us all about Grace’s recent accomplishments! 

 The last season that ended in June 2023 was full of interesting events. We participated in the World Cup tournament in Austria in November of 2022, where we took the 6th place among the world’s leading teams. After that we participated in many local competitions, where girls took all the high-ranking awards. In the spring of 2023, we took part in a big competition in Toronto, Canada — the biggest competition in North America. We had two teams representing the US, and both teams won first place medals and got very high scores for their routines.  

 At the end of the season, we participated in the first ever Aesthetic Group Gymnastics Championship that took place in San Diego, CA, where our girls performed really well and became the first US champions in the two age categories they participated in. It was a great experience and a great accomplishment, but our greatest accomplishment is the family that we built and love here at Grace Gymnastics.  

 How is Aesthetic Group Gymnastics different from regular gymnastics? 

 Let’s start with the latter one. Group gymnastics means that emphasis is made on uniformity, simultaneity. Participants of a team should work together to fully show their representation of the music. Now let’s go back to the first word, aesthetic. This term means that you have an ability to represent the musical character with graceful movements and emotions — a show where you live your music. All of it should look natural: every move, every gymnast, everything.  

 What does winning the US champion title in 2023 mean to you and your girls?  

 It means a lot. It shows that our philosophy of providing our students with an opportunity to develop their potential in a safe, friendly, and professional environment — and shine with grace — works. The girls learned a lot from this experience. They became much more confident. They realized that hard work pays off if you are persistent and goal oriented. One of the most important achievements is the sense of camaraderie. We are like a family, and the family that fights together stays together. 

 Tell us about your fundraiser to go to Spain!   

 We are going to Spain to represent the US on an international stage and also for an elite gymnastics camp. It’s a five-day experience where our kids and coaches can take part in workshops with world-leading coaches and gymnasts. Of course, all of this comes with a price tag. As it usually happens in youth sports, the financial burden lies on the shoulders of parents. Due to different circumstances, not all parents of talented and passionate kids can fully afford this. With the fundraiser we stood up together to help all our gymnasts to make their dreams come true. To donate, click here! 

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