South Carolina

16-year-old gymnast is first male to go to nationals from SC gym. Are the Olympics next?

Watch: Teen is first male from S.C. gym to make U.S. National Gymnastic Championship

Zachary English, of Duncan, South Carolina, is heading to the U.S. National Gymnastic Championship — and will be the first male from an S.C. gym to make it to the national competition.
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Zachary English, of Duncan, South Carolina, is heading to the U.S. National Gymnastic Championship — and will be the first male from an S.C. gym to make it to the national competition.

A 16-year-old from South Carolina’s Upstate will be the first male from a gym in the state to go to the U.S. National Gymnastic Championship, according to the Palmetto Gymnastics Academy.

Zachary English, of Duncan, South Carolina, “has been training in gymnastics since the age of 4 and started competing at age 6,” his mother, Kristi English, said on Facebook.

“Zach is now 16 and is a level 10 gymnast with Palmetto Gymnastics Academy in Simpsonville, SC. Horatiu Sana, a former Romanian National Team member, has been Zach’s head coach since he started competing,” she said.

“Gymnastics is pretty much my life. I practice for five hours, six days a week,” Zachary told WSPA.

“I want to be the very best I can possibly be, and I see all of the people that are really good at gymnastics and it motivates me to be better,” he said, according to the television station.

Zachary’s training schedule means he has “missed out on the regular public school experience,” according to the Greenville News.

“I plan on doing it professionally after I get out of high school. A main goal of mine is to make it to the Olympics,” Zachary told the newspaper.

Before going to the 2019 championships in Kansas City, Missouri in August, Zachary will travel to Italy to train with the Italian Junior National Team in July, Fox Carolinas reports.

Zachary came in 16th this month at the Junior Olympic Nationals. In order to make it onto the National Team, according to the Greenville News, “Zachary would have to make it into the top eight at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.”

“I am super proud of my son and he is accomplishing great things,” Zachary’s mom Kristi English said in a message to McClatchy.

“To go to Olympics qualifier he would have to make it on the US National Team,” she said in a Facebook message. “It would be a long shot for him to be able to make it to Olympic Trials but not impossible and then he would be up against people like Sam Mikulak and Yul Moldauer.”

“His vision is more realistically on the 2024 Olympics, but of course he will try to get as far as he can over the next year!” his mother said.

Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.

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