WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — The center of the gymnastic world in the United States is Texas, but at the 5280 Gym in Wheat Ridge, coach and 2008 Olympic medalist Sasha Artemev said Colorado is starting to give Texas a run for their money.
"Normally, Texas is known as the center for gymnastics,” said Artemev. “Hopefully Colorado is not too far behind.”
This gym is home to three generations of Olympians including one in Tokyo now, 25-year-old Yul Moldauer, who is part of Team USA.
“I still remember when I was a little kid, dreaming about being in this position," said Moldauer. “Now that I’m in this position, it’s been unreal.”
Often on the floor training with Yul is his coach, Artemev, who was part of the 2008 U.S. men’s team that won bronze in Beijing. The U.S. men's gymnastics team hasn't won a medal since.
“They haven’t medaled since 2008, so I think this would be their Olympics and possibly brings some medals,” Armetev said.
Then there’s Sasha’s dad, Vladimir Artemev, who coaches at 5280, as well. Decades ago, he was also a gymnast representing the Soviet Union. He was set to go to the Olympics in 1984 until his country boycotted those games.
“I was gymnast a long time ago -- National Team Soviet Union, long time,” he said. "Gymnastics need love. Gymnastics, it's a risk. Gymnastics is hard work."
While it’s not Texas, there are many people with a lot of Olympic experience under one roof at 5280 Gym in Colorado.
“Must be something in the water, as they say. I don’t know, I think we have a good system here,” said Sasha Armetev.
5280 has become a popular spot during the Olympics with events and watch parties for all the people who might want to be in Tokyo but can't because of the pandemic and the ban on foreign fans.
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