(NEW YORK) — While many fitness centers have closed their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, one gym in the New York City borough of Brooklyn is taking to social media to keep many of their members active at home.
When Gotham Gymnastics, a facility for aspiring young gymnasts, was forced to temporarily close due to government mandates, its CEO and co-founder Daniel Miranda as well as team director and co-founder Ana Nunes came up with the idea to take their workout sessions to Instagram.
“We did this for our girls first,” Miranda told ABC News in an interview on Good Morning America.
“We realized with all the posts out there,” he continued, “all the girls sharing comments of ideas about what to do, we came across the idea of getting other girls from other gyms to join too. And this thing just grew in two days, it was an incredible response.”
Last week, the two coaches launched #Quaranteams, which they’re calling the largest gymnastics web camp in the world to keep athletes motivated.
It was also their way of responding to the many events and meets that were cancelled amid the pandemic which gymnasts had worked hard preparing for.
“When we saw the championships being cancelled, we thought, oh my gosh, these girls worked really hard to be able to go to the championships, and some of them have senior years, some of them are preparing for the Olympics,” Miranda said.
For six days each week, Gotham Gymnastics has scheduled workouts on Instagram live with coaches and professionals who help bring lessons to gymnasts at home. Not only has it sparked interest among gymnasts in Brooklyn, but elsewhere around the world too.
One of the professional gymnasts they asked to join this week’s workouts is star gymnast, Katelyn Ohashi, who last year scored perfect 10s for her energetic, viral floor routine while competing for the University of California, Los Angeles.
“To know that these coaches at Gotham are extremely invested in their gymnasts and support them throughout this pandemic is incredible and super cool to see,” Ohashi told GMA. “The creativity behind it and to know that they’re working on so many different ways to stay involved and to encourage everyone — and it’s not just about their gymnasts, it’s also about the world, so that’s even cooler.”
“There’s just kind of a lot of stuff happening within our world, so we are just trying to be as positive as possible through these times and teach them [gymnasts] as much insight as we can on what to do during our days locked inside the house in quarantine,” she added.
Ohashi’s workout session, which took place Thursday on Instagram, included a variety of lower body workouts and stretches.
On Sunday, Ohashi, Miranda and UCLA head coach and fellow Gotham Advisory Board Member Valorie “Miss Val” Kondos Field took part in a Q&A that was live streamed on Instagram, where they offered tips for gymnasts on how to stay motivated while self-isolating at home.
“Right now, while it’s a stressful time — I feel it myself — we can look at the positive,” Miss Val told GMA, regarding working out at home. “You [young athletes] have a time right now to really work on your strengths, but also your weaknesses.”
Ohashi also shared that even though it is important to stay active, she also advised that this is a time that many should use to rest. During her Q&A on Sunday, she spoke about the importance of the Sabbath and taking the time to reflect.
“Sabbath rest is extremely important just because, it is OK to let down during this time and have a little bit of relaxation and self-reflection and do things that you don’t always get to prioritize,” she said. “Really focusing on what you enjoy outside of the sport right now and the things that you can do at home and getting creative and doing certain things — I just think can help set them up for the future even more so.”
While Gotham Gymnastics is one of many gyms across the country who have been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic of the novel coronavirus, Miranda has made it a point to focus on the positive during this time and he hopes athletes will do the same.
“It’s a big hit for not just athletes, but you know for the economy and everything else,” Miranda said. “But the message is, you’re not alone. We’re together — we’re together in this … instead of the internet being a vehicle of posting hate, we should be using it to bring people together in this moment.”
“This is going to pass,” he added.
You can check out Gotham Gymnastics’ #Quaranteams schedule for the week on their website here.
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