Ebony shoots for the ‘Starz’ Stateside

Ebony Crumley shoots for the ‘Starz’ Stateside

WHILE the rest of us were still coming to terms with the excesses of Christmas in early January, one Strabane Academy pupil was undertaking an adventure of a lifetime that saw her compete in an international  gymnastics meet in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Year eight pupil Ebony Crumley was among a fifteen-strong team from Derry’s Shooting Starz Gymnastics Club who made the journey across the Atlantic to compete in the CGA Coaches’ Spectactular, which was a qualifier for the ninth annual Nastia Liuken Cup.
The Natsia Liuken Cup started in 2009 when USA Gymnastics and Nastia Liukin, who jointly holds the US record for the most medals (5) won at one Olympics Games (Beijing, 2008), announced a partnership to create the event, which would provide a competitive opportunity for the country’s top Junior Olympic gymnasts. Proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup go into the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund within the National Gymnastics Foundation.
The sizeable invitational team from Derry departed on January 8 to compete in the Ohio-based qualifying event between January 12 and 14, but they immediately encountered problems due to the horrendous wintry conditions affecting the eastern seaboard of the USA at that time, but thankfully a warm welcome awaited them upon their eventual arrival in Cincinnati.
“We travelled from Dublin to New York but missed our connecting flight to Cicinnati due to the weather,” explained Ebony. “So we decided to take a bus to Newark where we got to stay the night in the Hilton Hotel. In the morning we went swimming before continuing on our journey.
“When I got off the plane [in Cincinnati] I was met by my lovely host family Monica and Tim Peppard, along with their four kids Kailey, Megan, Ryan and Jenna. My teammate Ruby and I went back to their home where we were shown to our room for the duration of our stay.
“The Peppards were very good to us, they took us shopping, ice skating, out for meals, to and from gymnastics and even a day at school with Megan. They lived in a big house with a hot tub and we got to go in it when it was snowing on top of us. It was so much fun!”

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