Local Gymnast Wins at Regional Championships In Spite of Debilitating Injury

Emeryville, CA, April 20, 2009 - Head Over Heels is pleased to announce Victoria Mar’s exceptional performance at the2009 Level 8-10 Regional 1 Championships this past weekend in Sacramento, CA. This accomplishment is additionally compelling as Victoria was not expected to be able to continue competing due to a major injury.

Executive Director Katreece Roberts, Gymnast Victoria Mar and Head Coach Oleg Kosyak

In January 2008 Victoria tore both her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), her medial collateral ligament (MCL) and her meniscus during a floor exercise pass. The ligaments are two of the four ligaments that are critical to the stability of the knee joint and the meniscus is the hard cartilage on which the bones of the knee rest upon. The reconstructive surgery for the ligaments could not be done until the meniscus rehabilitation time which took three months. After being out of training for only two weeks Victoria came back to the gym and began training as much as she could in a full leg cast. At the time of her injury she was a Level 8 gymnast.

By January 2009 Victoria had gained the skills to move up to a Level 9 gymnast, a huge accomplishment when her time out of training is taken into consideration. “She worked through the pain and frustration”, said HOH Executive Director Katreece Roberts. “At sixteen years old Victoria shows incredible maturity. She is inherently focused and determined. After this performance we anticipate she will be performing as a Level 10 gymnast by the end of this year.”

Head Over Heels’ head coach Oleg Kosyak was a member of the Ukrainian Olympic Gymnastics team that won Bronze at the 1996 Olympic Games and knows what it is to train after an injury. “We are extremely proud of Victoria and her performance. She’s shown courage unmatched by any athlete I have ever coached. Victoria has exceeded all of our expectations for this year. At regional championships she has done what not one of our athletes has ever done before. She took first place on bars, third place all around, and qualified to go to Western Championships. Most importantly, Victoria has done all of this after a career terminating injury only one year ago.”

With an eye on Olympic glory Victoria will next compete in Oklahoma at the Western Championships on May 8 – 10, 2009. She is a true inspiration to her coaches and teammates.