Merchant of the Week: World Cup Gymnastics, here and at the London Olympics!
July 20, 2012
by Rob Greenstein
I wanted to meet the coach of Olympian John Orozco!
World Cup Gymnastics
170 Hunts Lane
Chappaqua, NY 10514
Jeannine, please tell me about your facility.
World Cup Gymnastics was built in 1989 after former owner Jim Ostrander was approached by a realtor who had a customer looking to rent a world-class gymnastics facility.
An architect was hired and within a year, an 18,000 square foot, modern gymnastics facility was built. The gym features state-of-the art competition and training equipment as well as specialized pre-school equipment. The staff is made up of former competitive gymnasts and award winning, gymnastic coaches who are all USAG and CPR certified. And, as you can see, our training technique and skills instruction have proven results. Not only can we say we have produced Junior Olympic Champions, NYS Champions and National team members, we can now add “Olympian” to the list: John Orozco.
Tell me about your coaches.
We have wonderful coaches. Our girls’ team is headed up by Lazar Gakev who is a former gymnastics champion and was part of the Bulgarian National Gymnastics Team from ‘84 to ‘88. He was also an alternate at the ‘88 Olympics. Lazar has been coaching since 1989 and came to World Cup in 1997 to help improve the girls’ program. He quickly increased the level of competitiveness, brought the program up to Level 10 and has produced regional, state and national champions.
Our boys’ head coach is Jason Hebert who, as you know, was John Orozco’s coach. Jason was also a former gymnast and a 1984 & 1987 Jr. Olympic Champion as well as 1992 NCAA Champion. Jason came to World Cup in 1995 and, along with coach Carl Schrade, built an elite boys gymnastics team. John went on to become an Olympian while many other of the boys are national champions and moved onto to receive college scholarships for gymnastics.
Jason, you must be incredibly proud of John Orozco, an Olympic gymnast and winner of the 2012 USA Championship senior all-around title. How long did you coach him?
I coached John along with Coach Carl Schrade from the day he started World Cup almost 12 years ago. John was learning compulsory routines and I was teaching optional skills. I was John’s primary coach during his last four years at World Cup. During that time he won three consecutive Jr. Olympic Titles. Yes, I am very proud to be a part of his success.
When did you first realize that John Orozco was that incredibly rare kid who could actually make it to the Olympics?
Even before John won his first Jr. Olympic Title he was doing some of the most difficult skills in the Code of Points. At age 13 I knew he had a strong chance to make the Olympics.
Orozco seems like such a mature young man. He’s obviously an incredible athlete, focused and determined. Is it possible to pinpoint one thing that really sets him apart?
John is very humble. Even though people tell him how great he is he doesn’t let it get to his head. He is always looking to improve himself. It’s that determination that has gotten him this far.
What should we look for in the Olympics? What are his best events? Any weaknesses?
Floor and Vault have been painful for John because he has been recovering from a tear in his Achilles’ tendon. After his most recent accomplishments this season it looks like the pain is behind him. John is great on every event and doesn’t really have a weakness. Look for him to be strong in every event.
Will World Cup have a contingency in London?
Unfortunately, USA Gymnastics didn’t invite myself or a representative from World Cup to join them in London, so we’ll be watching on TV from New York. We are planning to show live coverage of the Olympic gymnastics competitions on big screens in the gym.
Jeannine, obviously students like John Orozco don’t come around very often, what are benefits of gymnastics for the typical kid?
We have to get our children moving. Today there are too many kids sitting behind their computers and video games for hours at a time. Physically active children are healthier and more confident. Gymnastics, in particular, is truly a fun way to develop strength, flexibility, and coordination. It is also a great way for children to interact and be social while learning to listen and work towards a goal.
In the end, children gain self-esteem, confidence and enhance their abilities in other activities and sports. Gymnastics is a sport where every child can be a winner regardless of their ability. One child’s double back flip can be another child’s forward roll. We like to say that we help each child find their inner champion.
Tell me about the different programs at World Cup Gymnastics.
From babies to teenagers, we offer great programs to help foster a healthy lifestyle. There are Infant Massage classes, Romperee for Mommy and Me, Preschool Gymnastics, Recreational Gymnastics for elementary and high school students, Tumbling for Cheerleaders and our renowned, competitive Boys and Girls teams. We have even offered adult programs when the schedule permits.
On weekends, not only do we offer the best birthday parties, but we offer “Kids Night Out” on scheduled Saturday evenings throughout the year. Children ages 3-12 can enjoy a night of gymnastics, arts & crafts, pizza, competitions and other exciting activities.
Is it too late to enroll in summer camp?
No, it’s not too late! Our camp runs through August 26 and children can still sign up by week. This summer is especially fun because the campers will be able to watch John compete live during the Olympics. We also offer Open Gym during the summer for moms and children under 4. It runs in the afternoons from 4:00 - 5:00, Monday through Thursday.
Jeannine, I remember when John’s sister, Jessica, used to run my kids’ birthday parties at World Cup, she was great. I used to sneak peeks of John training in the background, and was always amazed. Can you describe a typical birthday party at World Cup?
A World Cup birthday party is like no other. The children can’t wait to hit the gym floor where our staff leads them through obstacle courses using the trampolines, Tumble Trak, foam pits, rings, ropes and even an inflatable airplane. Then the children enjoy food and drinks in their own party room. The best is that the staff takes care of everything so parents can sit back and enjoy.
Jeannine, any special discounts for NewCastleNOW readers who mention this article? I noticed you sometime offer FREE Trial Lessons?
We would love to offer NewCastleNOW readers a free trial class and $25 off any camp week this summer.
Visit NCNOW.org’s Local Merchants Section to see other “Merchant of the Week” pieces by Rob Greenstein. Also see this week’s ChamberChat—with latest business news and some special deals.
There are no comments for this article yet.