The saying “hard work pays off” certainly explains this spotlight member.  Caroline Braud is a 15-year-old YMCA Competitive Gymnastics team member.   She has been in the YMCA gymnastics program for over eleven years.  She is currently a Level 7 gymnast. Caroline participates in all the gymnastic events, but says the vault is her favorite event.  She’s very modest as we discovered she is exceptional at it.  At the state qualifier, she received a 9.3 on the vault and in regionals (includes five states: Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio & Indiana) she received a 9.2.  That put her at a ranking of 23rd place in vault in the five-state region.

As you can imagine, Caroline is extremely committed to her sport.  She practices five days a week for 31/2 to 4 hours a day. Megan Hart, Caroline’s coach says Caroline is well-liked by the entire coaching staff because of her dedication. Megan says “Caroline is an extremely hard worker.  When we ask her to do something, she never complains and practices it until she has it right.”  In addition to participating on the YMCA gymnastics team, Caroline also is a member of her high school’s track team. She runs the 100 and 200 events.  She says she participates in track because it helps her with her gymnastics.

Caroline also helps coach recreational gymnastics.  YMCA staff love her commitment and expertise she offers to these 3 to 8 year olds.  You can sometimes see Caroline helping with the gymnastics summer camps too.  She truly loves helping the younger kids with a sport she loves.

When Caroline is not at the YMCA practicing or competing in gymnastic meets, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to dinner and playing with her dogs.  When I asked her what advice she would give some of the younger girls regarding gymnastics she said ‘Keep trying, if you don’t get a skill the first time, keep trying.” Then she added “oh, and always listen to your coaches. They know what they are talking about.”

Nice job, Caroline. You make us proud!