Haleigh Jackson attends World Camp

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Haleigh Caroline Jackson of Leachville had the exciting opportunity to attend the Karolyi Gymnastics World Camp in Huntsville, Texas.

Haleigh Caroline Jackson and Coach Bela Karolyi at Karolyi Gymnastics World Camp. (photo provided)

The camp is owned and run by Bela and Marta Karolyi, who are the coaches of many Olympic champions. Mary Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci are just two examples of the Olympians Bela has coached, and his wife, Marta, coached the 2008 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team in Beijing.

The camp was held at the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, home of the U.S.A. Women's National Team Training Center.

Haleigh had the unique opportunity to train with top coaches from all over the world learning new skills and expanding on what she already knows. Karolyi spoke to the gymnasts each day about attitude, discipline and perseverance in order to inspire them to be the best gymnasts they could be.

"I learned so many new skills at camp," Jackson said. "It was so much fun and Coach Bela was so funny. I hope to learn all I can because someday I want to be in the Olympics."

Jackson said she loved training in the same gym her gymnastics hero, Shawn Johnson, trained prior to the Beijing Olympics.

"At our meet in Springfield, Mo., in February, I got to meet Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin," Jackson said. "That was really cool, too."

Haleigh is the seven year old daughter of Randall and Leigh Jackson of Leachville and is a member of the Champions of Paragould's Level 5 Gymnastic Team.

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