West Tulsa Gymnasts Rescued From Rubble Compete In State Competition
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - Days after the Aim High Academy was leveled by a tornado, the gymnastics team was still strong. The team participated in its first competition after the storm.
Looking at the Aim High girls you wouldn't know that just days ago they were waiting out a deadly Sand Springs storm with water up to their knees in a basement.
3/25/2015 Related Story: Tornado Destroys Sand Springs Gymnastics Studio
Friday, the scenario was flipped as they aimed high for victory.
Don't be confused by the turquoise leotards; even off the uneven bars the girls know what being tough is all about.
"It was tough but we were tougher," Aim High Academy gymnast, Jamarie Wilson said.
The girls competed in a state gymnastics competition Friday, but nearly three days ago there were no cheering crowds or bright lights; instead there was the roar of a storm, darkness and rain.
The team took shelter in a basement and when they came out their gym had crumbled, but not their spirits.
3/26/2015 Related Story: West Tulsa Gymnastics Academy Owner Thanks God For Protection
"Because God didn't send us this far to give up," Jamarie said.
Judi Wilson is Jamarie's mom; she said despite the chaos going on around that night in the darkness, the team decided they would compete.
"So they are doing a great job," Judi said.
She said the ability to push forward, despite the challenges, is overwhelming. So if the little girls can have a can-do spirit, the parents have to back them.
"If they want to do it we want to do it, and I mean we need to get back to normal, so this is normal for them," said Judi.
Deciding to participate in the three day competition at the Adams Building in Bartlesville was an easy one to make.
"All I could do was give it my all," Jamarie said.
Showing that the building may be gone, but the team is very much intact.
Aim High Academy Go Fund Me
Judi said, "We have a lot of people calling in saying ‘your gym is a total loss' and I tell them ‘no it's not a total loss, the building housed Aim High Academy, we're the parents, the coaches, the girls, the team; we're the gym.'"
Friday was the first part of the state meet competition, it will continue until Sunday.
Since the Aim High gymnasium was destroyed, it's not clear where the girls will practice.