Stephen Nedoroscik was in the midst of his quest to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when the pandemic upended his hopes and sporting activities throughout the world.
Nedoroscik, a Worcester resident, 2016 Worcester Tech graduate and All-America Penn Point out gymnast, traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan, early last March, and was scheduled to contend in a World Cup celebration in his specialty, the pommel horse. He nailed his warmup regimen and, rightfully, brimmed with self-confidence.
The working day of the function, however, his coach knowledgeable him that he had to get house. It was envisioned the United States would be closing its borders owing to escalating coronavirus threats.
“There was a good deal of confusion likely on at that time,” Nedoroscik recalled for the duration of a cellular phone interview Wednesday morning from Point out School, Pennsylvania. “I needed to continue to be and contend, but it just wasn’t possible.”
The Tokyo Olympics ended up postponed, and Nedoroscik’s dream of representing his state set on keep for a 12 months, but his aspirations have remained as solid ever.
At the U.S. Gymnastics Championships earlier this month in Fort Worthy of, Texas, Nedoroscik captured the pommel horse nationwide title. He was the silver medalist in the function in 2019.
Nedoroscik will future compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials June 24-27 in St. Louis.
Four gymnasts make the U.S. workforce. Nedoroscik and 5 other people will by vying for the “plus one” particular person location selected for a expert.
The Tokyo Olympics are July 23-August 8.
“That purpose was ripped absent from me past 12 months, and I had to remain enthusiastic,” the 22-12 months-aged Nedoroscik, who is training at Penn State’s gymnastics facility, mentioned. “I had to stay on prime of that aspiration of generating it to the Olympics due to the fact there was nonetheless a likelihood for me to go.
“This past yr definitely put me into an attention-grabbing state bodily and mentally,” reported Nedoroscik, who dealt with a wrist injury final summer months. “I can proudly say I’ve pushed forward and have been ready to stay positive through this total experience. I’m truly joyful in which I am.”
Nedoroscik, an electrical engineering main who graduated from Penn State previous fall, was the receiver of the 2020 Nissen-Emery Award, the highest honor in school men’s gymnastics that recognizes excellent athletic achievement, academic excellence and sportsmanship.
On returning to the U.S. past March, Nedoroscik also acquired that the NCAA shut down athletics. He would not get the probability to vie for a 3rd countrywide pommel horse title.
Scrambling, finding resourceful with pandemic
With the campus and fitness centers closed, Nedoroscik had to get creative. In his condominium, Nedoroscik set up a miniature pommel horse drill station that took up substantially of the space in his 20-foot-by-10-foot dwelling place.
Nedoroscik arrived dwelling to Worcester previous summer months to see his very pleased spouse and children, including his dad and mom, Cheryl and John, and hoping to be in a position to teach at a facility. He had been encountering some wrist discomfort, and an MRI discovered bone marrow edema.
Just after a thirty day period of relaxation, he returned to Penn Point out in July and worked out at a club fitness center. Penn State’s facilities re-opened in September.
At the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Nedoroscik scored 15.100 on each individual of his two pommel horse routines. With a combined rating of 30.200, he finished in advance of 2nd-location Alec Yoder (30.050).
“Going into nationals,” Nedoroscik said, “I was a small bumped up two months prior, working with some elbow items and striving to recover and continue to be healthy. When I acquired to competing, I did an easier program since of how inadequately my routines experienced absent.
“Total, I was very glad I was capable to find that Zen point out and obtain peace in competitors,” he extra. “Typically that is the factor that’s actually tricky for gymnasts. I was equipped to discover that zone, and I was ready to strike my routines, which I was actually satisfied about, but they weren’t practically as clean as I’d like them to be. I know I can do a lot improved, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to showcase that up coming week.”
Early start off at Sterling Academy of Gymnastics
Nedoroscik received his start out in the sport at Sterling Academy of Gymnastics, where he found his normal expertise for the pommel horse. He earned gold medals at the state, regional and nationwide concentrations, and was the 2015 and 2016 Junior Olympic national champion in the function.
Nedoroscik reported he is however a small “bumped and bruised,” but feeling a great deal far better bodily than he did two weeks ago as he prepares to declare that “plus one” location for the Summer season Video games.
“I’ll have to exhibit them I have the best medal potential out of any individual,” Nedoroscik reported. “I have to go there and do a definitely great job and exhibit them the things I can do, the things I do each day in workout routines.
“It’s so uncommon to get as shut as I am to the Olympics,” Nedoroscik stated. “Right now, I’m so content wherever I’m at, but I seriously, truly want to make the Olympic group, and I’m likely to do all the things I can.”
—Contact Jennifer Toland at [email protected] Comply with her on Twitter @JenTandG.