CHICAGO (CBS) — The Wheel Gymnastics World Championships are rolling into Chicago, reports CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez.
It’s part sport, part spectacle all rolled into one and this week, more than 140 top athletes from 18 countries are competing in wheel gymnastics.
Leery Halel is from Israel and she can tell you it’s tougher than it looks. She trains three hours a day, five days a week.
“The toughest part is probably concentrating with everything going on,” said Halel.
Not easy performing gymnastics with wheels spinning. Today, athletes and judges are getting a trial run in advance of tomorrow’s opening ceremonies.
“I guess it’s worth it because it’s so much fun. I love it,” said Halel.
This is the first time the Championships been held in the United States. Wheel gymnast David Ettelson has traveled all over the world to compete.
“I’ve met a lot of friends from new countries and had a lot of fun doing it,” said Ettelson.
But he couldn’t be happier to compete on home turf.
“For the first time, I can have my friends come watch and my family come watch,” said Ettelson.
“It’s a much larger sport in Europe, but here it’s growing, a lot more people are doing it and a lot more people are learning about the sport,” said Evan Brown, President of the USA Wheel Gymnastics Federation
One seasoned Japanese gymnast has been around, but this year he’s determined to get some hardware
“This time, I want to get a gold medal,” said Yasu Takahashi
The competitions run through July 14 and are open to the public. Tickets start at $10. There are also workshops and a chance to take the wheel yourself. If you’d like to give it a try, visit www.wheel2013.com