COVID-19 hits gymnastics team

Sick coaches delay meets


Zoe Ziessman

Senior Giulia Ruffoli performs her routine during a meet Jan. 25. The gymnastics team was forced to miss practices and meets due to a COVID outbreak.

After weeks of practice and meets, COVID-19 stopped Park gymnasts from competing. Due to three out of four coaches being sick, the Jan. 18 meet was postponed.

Senior Giulia Ruffoli said she feels like she’s not getting the full gymnastics opportunity because the meets are being canceled.

“I’m not getting to experience the entire season at its fullest and since I’m an exchange student I feel like I’m missing out,” Ruffoli said. “(I wish) that meets wouldn’t get canceled and that we could experience a normal season.”

I’m not getting to experience the entire season at its fullest and since I’m an exchange student I feel like I’m missing out.”

— Giulia Ruffoli

Freshman Mireia Finke said COVID-19 precautions have made it tougher to learn and improve her talents.

“(COVID-19) has made it harder for us to really expand on our skills and really learn new skills,” Finke said. “It’s hard to try to get our skills up for upcoming meats and to be prepared for them.”

Along with Finkle, Ruffoli also said it’s been difficult participating in gymnastics with COVID-19.

“It has been hard since the coaches and my teammates are getting sick and missing practices,” Ruffoli said.

Coach Dawn Thielen said the virus struck at an inconvenient time as it is the peak of the season and the girls are struggling with the breaks.

“The hardest part about that was that it occurred at the peak of the season, so after being out for almost two weeks the girls are a little rusty and have very little practice time to prepare as we have many meets coming up,” Thielen said.

Finke said she wishes that the coaches were more strict about COVID-19 regulations at the start of the season.

“I wish there were just more rules in the first place,” Finke said. “We could have been more safe or spread out more in the beginning of the season.”

Motivation is running thin with all of the COVID-19 cases as Finke said she’s afraid of getting COVID-19 and having to stay home.

“It was hard feeling up to go into practice after such a long break. It was hard mentally ‘cause we weren’t fully prepared for our meets and we didn’t feel comfortable, and it was a little scary. Thinking that just like going and practicing, we might not be able to like to go out or do stuff for a couple of weeks if we get Covid,” Finke said.

Next meet will be against Breck at 6 p.m. at Breck School.