The Covid-19 pandemic might have halted the Olympic Games for a year – but that has not stopped Buckley Girls’ Gymnastics Club reaching Tokyo!
The Flintshire club have spent the past eight weeks clocking up the miles in a bid to complete their virtual challenge of covering the entire 8,263-mile distance from their Gwernaffield gym to the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo by 23 July.
Having set out on that journey on 1 June, they achieved their target last night to reach the stadium in time for what was originally scheduled to be start of the greatest show on Earth.
“The challenge has been a great success with whole families taking part and some even taking up new activities they have never tried before,” said head coach Danielle Wrigley.
“We were already setting daily challenges for the gymnasts and running zoom sessions, but we wanted to see if we could do a bit more as we know it’s been hard for the gymnasts during lockdown.
“This seemed like a good way to get active participation at each gymnasts’ own personal level, whilst challenging them and getting the whole family involved, which we felt was important as we are a very family orientated club.”
More than 60 members initially signed up on Strava for the challenge to walk, run, cycle or skate the combined distance.
Their virtual journey saw them pass through Lithuania before taking in Russians towns and cities like Kulayevo, Omsk and Achinsk on the Trans-Siberian railway until they reached the port of Vanino in Russia.
There were challenges along the way; there were still 700 miles to go as they entered week seven, but efforts were really stepped up to help knock off the miles – including 305 in a single day.
They finally reached Japan earlier in the week before arriving at the stadium on Thursday evening.
Danielle continued: “Each week the miles completed by our members was logged and a leader board set up with the added incentive of getting to the top for our more competitive members.
“It has been really important during lockdown to keep the team spirit going and the Tokyo challenge has really ignited this at the same time as giving the gymnasts and their families a great outdoor activity challenge to complete.”
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