Pair gains silver for Team USA
By Bill Ausen
In a true American story of perseverance and victory, Scripps Ranch resident Sydney Dorais and teammate Molly Fox, members of the USA Gymnastics National Team, took silver at the International Acro Gymnastics competition in Maia, Portugal.
Dorais is a two time USA Acrobatic Gymnastics National Team member and Fox is in her first year as a National Team member. The pair went to the Maia International Acro Cup (MIAC) in May and competed against 33 other Junior Elite woman’s pairs from 23 countries.
On their first day, some mistakes in their balance routine left them in 22nd place. It was a humbling experience and seemed as if the competition was over for them. Dorais and Fox refused to give up despite the odds being against them and came back strong on day two with their dynamic routine. In a near perfect routine, their score from this amazing performance – combined with the previous day’s score – were enough to take them from 22nd to 12th place and earn a spot in the semi-finals.
In the semi-finals, they performed their combined routine and blew the judges away, scoring the highest mark in artistry and sending them to finals in second place. The next day in finals, they kept that focus and determination, and delivered another stellar routine to place second, taking home a silver medal for the USA. In the Junior Elite division Team USA also earned second place.
Acrobatic Gymnastics is a discipline that combines strength and flexibility in choreographed routines. The balance routine includes partner skills held in static position. The dynamic routine involves partner skills of throwing and catching, and includes tumbling. The combined routine is used for finals and is a combination of both balance and dynamic skills. Athletes perform their routine in front of a large panel of judges that score the execution of their skills, their artistry and the difficulty of the skills they perform. Both athletes, of SoCal TTC Gym in Poway, train year-round, five days each week, focused and dedicated to this highly competitive sport where there is practically no margin for error at their level.
Dorais and Fox are coached by Patricia Nobre, the head coach of the Acro program at SoCal TTC. Nobre is an expert in the sport and has trained many world champions before moving to the U.S. She is an incredibly dedicated coach putting in countless hours outside of the gym all for the love of the sport and her devotion to all her athletes. She is originally from Portugal and was able to bring the girls to her gym for training while they adjusted to the 8-hour difference in time. The pair were excited to train alongside the 2022 World Champions Rita Teixeira and Rita Ferreira, Senior Woman’s Pair, and make lifelong friendships with athletes around the world.