Ondine Achampong Deserves a Virtual Tip

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Today, I watched Ondine Achampong at the Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne and I saw pure poetry in motion. I have never seen such grace and poise, and it was truly inspiring.

Generally, I don’t watch sports and certainly not gymnastics although I admire the graceful movements of the gymnasts. But, with COVID-19 putting a halt to most sports activities, there isn’t a lot of sports showing on TV. Somehow, we stumbled on this channel.

Ondine Achampong

My Children were Glued to the TV

Normally, I don’t see my kids so enraptured with a sports channel, they prefer cartoons. But, the TV had their attention as they stared intently at the screen. And, when Ondine came on, my 10-year-old pleaded with me to sign her up for gymnastics.

Amazingly, the 16-year-old won the silver for Britain at the Gymnastics World Cup in February. As I watched her, I felt pride swell in my chest. Yes, gymnastics is not an arena where you usually see people of African descent, and there she was. It was not surprising that she won silver. She had to be one of the best in her field to even get a fighting chance at the World Cup.

Ondine is a Gold Star

Nevermind that she won the silver, to me she is a gold champion because she has changed the face of professional gymnastics for young girls. Finally, girls like my daughter can look at the world of gymnastics and aspire to be a part of it.

Ondine Achampong | 2020 Melbourne World Cup

Also, as I watched the young woman, one thing was clear, she had mastered her art. There was clear mastery in every move she made. Such mastery could not have been achieved without hours of practice. If there’s one lesson I want my children to learn from Ondine’s performance, it’s that you’ve got to give your best to whatever you’re passionate about. Kind of like Marsai Martin.

Finally, to me, this is one lady who deserves a virtual tip for her performance in February.


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