Mixed Pair Boynton, Ward hopeful hard work pays off at Acro Worlds09/07/2014
Full lives and full schedules haven't hindered the preparation of American Mixed Pair Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward for the 2014 World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Levallois (FRA).
|Mixed Pair Ryan Ward and Kiley Boynton (USA) are medal contenders in Mixed Pairs competition in Levallois (FRA).|
As the only pair to have beaten reigning World Games champions Alice Upcott and Dominic Smith (GBR) in World Cup competition this year, Boynton and Ward are cognizant of their position as medal contenders in Levallois. Still, given their recent training schedule -- seven days a week for the past three weeks -- they say they'll be happy just to give a performance that reflects the work they've put in.
"I would say that our goal here is just to show what we've got, to show the skills we've got. Nobody's doing skills like us in the world, so we want to showcase that," said Ward, who trains with Boynton at Realis Gymnastics an hour east of Los Angeles. The pair are coached by Russian Yuri Vorobiev, who has trained numerous World Mixed Pairs champions, including Arthur Davis and Shenea Booth, who became the first Americans to win a World title in Mixed Pairs in 2002. They repeated the feat in 2004.
Acro has been a way of life for Ward, 24, and Boynton, 15, since both were young. Ward did Artistic gymnastics for about six months before noticing the Acro gymnasts training in his gym. The discipline was a revelation, he remembers -- "When I saw it, I was like, 'Wow. That is what I want to do.'" Boynton, who began tumbling classes at age four, was spotted and recruited by Vorobiev shortly after.
The U.S. has not won a medal in Acrobatic Mixed Pairs since 2010, when Michael Rodriguez and Kristin Allen won the World title. To prepare for Worlds, Boynton and Ward have added training hours, which they feel has sharpened their programs. The schedule has not left room for much else.
"We basically do our work when we can," Ward says. "Every moment of the day we're either in the gym or doing something or outside the gym, doing whatever we need to finish up our day so we can go back to the gym and train."
For Ward, an account manager for American cellular provider T-Mobile, that occassionally means multitasking. Between trainings, "I'm even here answering phone calls and doing work on my computer," he notes. "I'll stop now though, because I have to focus."
"I don't have a job," adds Boynton, whose homework is often done during the car ride between home and the gym. "My job is Acro."
(Photos: Scott Bregman/USA Gymnastics)
The World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships get underway Thurday in Levallois with qualifications in all categories. For more, please check out the competition microsite here.
|10/07/2014 12/07/2014||24th Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships 2014||LEVALLOIS (FRA)||ACRO|