11 Year Old Gymnast Among Nation’s Best

By Ian Hest

Heart. Dedication. Determination.

At just 11 years old, gymnast Jordan Bowers needs all of them to reach her goal.

“I would like to make it to the Olympics,” Bowers said. “But [also] I’d like to make it to the National Team.”

Believe it or not, the Lincoln 6th Grader is well on her way.

In May, she was selected to US Gymnastics’ “Hope” program, which scouts close to 45 young gymnasts from across the country.

She’s the 1st Nebraskan to make it in 20 years.

On August 1st, she’ll travel to Chicago to compete in the US Classics, her first major event.

“I think it’s fun to just be competitive with each other,” she said. “I don’t know, just do all sorts of new skills and just getting it is a really happy feeling.”

Jordan‘s not eligible to compete in the Olympics until the 2020 games in Tokyo, Japan. In the meantime, she’s focused on improving to hopefully springboard herself toward Olympic glory.

Don’t think of this as a hobby for your average middle schooler, more like a full time job. Jordan trains up to 34 hours a week.

“When I started being really involved and just put a lot of hours into it, I was having a lot of fun.”

Her next goal is to qualify for the “Junior Elite” program in 2015, the next step towards making the National Team.

And who knows, when the stars and stripes head to the Far East in six years…Jordan Bowers could be representing some Cornhusker power.

“It makes me feel pretty cool to just be like ‘I’m that good.’”