CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — American Olympians have been showing off their talent for the world at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
But what kind of impact does this have on our local athletes?
Many tell WMBD it inspires them to be more than just better athletes.
“It kind of inspires me to be better of them,” said 12-year-old multi-sport athlete Acosia Morris.
Morris plays soccer, volleyball, basketball, and runs track both for her school and select teams.
“What do you think it takes to be a successful track runner?” Sheehan asked Morris. “Hard work and dedication,” she answered smiling.
That’s definitely a good motto, and it also rings true for Morgan Vermillion.
Vermillion just graduated from Pekin Community High School and is now heading to the University of Illinois to become a doctor.
“Even though tumbling isn’t in the Olympics, it’s still really inspiring to see how much hard work can really pay off. Because if that’s your goal, you can achieve it as long as you have the determination,” Vermillion said.
Vermillion has been a tumbling athlete at Central Illinois Tumbling and Trampoline in Pekin for the last seven years.
Very recently she was at Nationals in St. Louis, MO where she placed third. Not only did she take home a bronze medal, but she also trained in the same arena as Team USA gymnasts.
“It’s definitely inspiring to see those athletes train for that moment, go to competition and show off what they’ve worked so hard for,” Vermillion said.
And while the Olympics have always been an inspiration to Morgan Vermillion to hone her craft, she says now it’s time to give up the sport and pursue her next life goal.
“I’m super interested in sports medicine. So I’d like to be a doctor for teams or orthopedic injuries related to sport,” Vermillion said.
She’s glad during her time at the Pekin-based gym that she was able to represent the United States and Nationals.
“When they announce team USA and your name afterward and being able to compete to represent your country. It’s an unreal feeling, especially when you have so many people cheering you on from home in a united way,” Vermillion said.
And now she’s ready to return the favor.
“It’s really cool to think that the people who have helped me on medical in tumbling, when is very needed and appreciated. I just want to give back like they’ve given to me,” Vermillion said.