By Desiree Williams
At 15, Gloria Davidova has been practicing rhythmic gymnastics for only six years and already has made it to two national competitions. She competed at the Rhythmic National Qualifier in May and placed first in her age group.
“The previous year was my first year to go to the competition, but I did not qualify,” said Davidoa, a Carmel resident. “This year I tried to stay calm, remember all of my corrections and do it my way.”
Because she placed in the top 20, Davidova was able to represent her club, Rhythmic Gymnastics of Indiana, at the USA Gymnastics Championships in July. She placed 15th in the event finals. Julia Workman, coach and owner of RGI, said it was her first time traveling to the championships with an elite level gymnast.
“All my RGI club members were watching and cheering for (Davidova), and they felt proud to hear our club’s name over the loudspeakers, ‘Rhythmic Gymnastics of Indiana,’ at the USA (Championships),” Workman said.
Davidova’s family is from Bulgaria, where rhythmic gymnastics is popular. She started with artistic gymnastics at age 7. Her mother felt it was too dangerous, so Davidova switched to rhythmic gymnastics without knowing she would reach the national level.
“I always do everything with a full heart,” Davidova said. “I always want to do something I enjoy to the best of my capabilities. If I didn’t like it, I would have quit after the first practice. I simply kept working until I reached the national level and didn’t even expect it.”
Davidova said most rhythmic gymnasts quit when they reach high school, but she successfully made it through her freshman year while competing, so she wants to continue for at least three more years.
Workman said their goal is to reach the USA National Team and compete at the World Championships.