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Webster Groves gymnasts say love of the sport keeps them coming back

"Feels legit. Like you're doing something and a lot of people are watching."

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. — Right now the spotlight is on Tokyo as the best gymnasts in the world compete for the gold. But you don't have to go far to see some talent in St. Louis.

Casey Poddig and Alex Grapsas practice at St. Louis Gym Centre in Webster Groves. The high schoolers do it all, from floor, vault, rings and more.

"I just like to run around and do flips and stuff," said Casey.

"I do like the pommel horse," said Alex. "It is so different from all the other events. It is a challenge for sure."

The two say it's tough and it takes a lot of hard work and repetition, but it's not without reward.

"When you love the sport so much you just want to keep going back and practicing all the time," said Casey. "Trying new skills and getting to accomplish what you've been working."

Just like in life you have to believe that you can do it and go for it.

"You have to be really confident in yourself and go for the skills," said Casey. "And you can't hold back because if you hold back and don't go for it then it usually doesn't go how you want it to go."

If something does go wrong, it can be a little hard to get back into your rhythm.

"If something doesn't go right, it's hard to snap your mind back to being back as if you didn't mess up," said Casey.

In the end, landing your moves and feeling good about it can go a long way.

"Feels legit," said Alex. "Like you're doing something and a lot of people are watching. It's like 'woah.'"

"It makes you feel good that you can do what you're trying to make," said Casey.

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