CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Lazar Gakev, a gymnastics coach at Chappaqua's World Cup Schools, recently returned from a trip to Texas that provided him an opportunity to work with the U.S. National Gymnastics Team coaching staff, including Olympic gold medalist and coach Valeri Liukin.
Gakev was invited to the camp after his student, Jessica Reith from Scarsdale, earned a spot in the Talent Opportunity Program earlier this year.
TOP is a talent search and educational program for female gymnasts ages 7 to 10-years-old and their coaches. The program provided Gakev the opportunity to learn the trend of future gymnastics and the compulsory elite routines to better coach his elite pupils.
“I was honored to have been asked to participate in this prestigious program and it was great to be around the coaches and the gymnasts who will represent the U.S. in the future. Even at such a young age, the expectations are much higher for these gymnasts because they have the physical and technical ability to perform the tough skills”, Gakev said in a statement. “This training provided the roadmap to help me help Jessica reach the highest levels of competitive gymnastics. I am hoping to be cheering her on at the Olympics one day.”