Bringing home a medal for Team USA
By Bill Ausen
Scripps Ranch resident Sydney Dorais and her teammate Molly Fox earned the bronze medal while representing the United States at the Flanders International Acro Cup 2023 in Puurs, Belgium.
Dorais – a three time U.S. National Team member – and Fox, a two time National Team member, are the reigning 2022 U.S. National Champions in the Junior Elite Women’s Pair category for acrobatic gymnastics.
The pair was in a fierce competition with teams from all over the world, coming in behind Austria, which took first, and Ukraine, coming in second, with only 3/10ths of a point separating the medalists.
Achieving bronze was a great victory, especially considering that Fox suffered a broken foot while training in October 2022. The long recovery time set the pair back several months in training and the two had limited time to prepare for their international assignment.
Last year, Dorais and Fox took home a silver medal for Team USA in another international competition in Portugal, and earned a gold medal in all three events at the U.S. National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
In order to achieve such a high level of success, they train year-round, five days per week. Success in this sport comes from commitment, dedication, love of the sport and teamwork. Dorais and Fox have proven to have all of those skills and see many athletes in their gym on the path to the same success. They train at SoCal TTC in Poway under the close supervision of coach Patricia Nobre, a successful past competitor herself from Portugal.
Dorais’ and Fox’s parents couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments and overcoming the challenges they faced.
Acrobatic gymnastics is a competitive discipline in which pairs of gymnasts work together and perform routines. There are three types of routines: a “balance” routine in which the focus is on strength and flexibility; a “dynamic” routine which includes throws and catches; and a “combined” routine which includes elements from both the balance and dynamic routines. Routines are scored by a panel of judges based on the level of difficulty, skill execution and artistry.
Upcoming competitions include a State Competition April 28-30 in Huntington Beach; a Regional Competition May 19-21 in Livermore, Calif.; and National Championships June 20-24 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dorais and Fox will compete at Nationals to qualify for the U.S. National Team for another year.
Dorais and Fox hope that their achievements and love of the sport will inspire boys and girls to join acrobatic gymnastics and grow the sport even more in the U.S. Through their career together, they have been able to travel the world with USA Gymnastics (USAG) and make friendships with many athletes from not only all over the United States, but also around the world.
To learn more about this sport, visit USAG.org or inquire at SoCal TTC in Poway (socalttc.net).