Olympic Gymnast Starts Summer Camp

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BeLIeve in Yourself

With an Olympic medal and dozens of other gymnastics honors, Waubonsie Valley grad Anna Li is now sharing her years of experience in the sport.

“So this is our BeLIeve Elite Performance Camp. And ‘believe’ is like my motto I have,” said Li. “I wrote it all over the place when I was competing because I had the ‘li’ bolded because it has my last name in it. People had shirts with it. So that’s something that I want to share with the kids these three days was, if you have a goal and you believe in yourself you can achieve that goal.”

About the Camp

The camp takes place at Li’s family’s gym Legacy Elite Gymnastics in Naperville. She created it this year, as a way to connect aspiring athletes with other Olympic coaches and professionals.

“It’s good to hear everyone’s opinion, especially from different people like outside the gym. We do have regular coaches but sometimes it’s nice to have other opinions too. So that will make us more knowledgeable and possibly help us fix our technique and stuff,” said Gabby, a gymnast at Legacy Elite.

From bars and balance beams to dance and floor routines: The three-day camp gave over 80 gymnasts of all ages the chance to jump right in.

“I really like flipping around,” said 11-year-old gymnast Clancy. “And I think that it’s just something to do after school and to feel accomplished. And it’s really fun.”

“What I like about gymnastics is that I can have fun in different ways and I can get stronger by doing lots of things and I can make new stuff and I can be proud of it,” said 8-year-old gymnast Ivalina.

“I like to get stronger and I like to get a lot of skills,” added 9-year-old gymnast Jacqueline.

More than Physicality

And getting stronger doesn’t just mean physically.

“I have physical therapists here; I have someone who will be coming in to work on the mental game with them,” said Li. “I also have a fun aspect on the last day to have a self-defense class for the girls too. Just being well rounded as a human being. Gymnastics teaches you way more than just the sport of gymnastics. So I wanted to give that opportunity to the girls. My parents were both in the ’84 Olympics and so it runs in our blood that we just want to help each child reach their goals in gymnastics and so this is the place to do it.”

Legacy Elite Gymnastics hopes to host the camp again next summer.

Coaching the next generation of gymnasts one flip at a time.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.