Last weekend, the girls had the opportunity to attend the fourth annual Pink Invitational to raise awareness and money for those affected by Breast Cancer. It was A's third year to compete at this event and M's first. It is an absolute favorite of the gymnasts and it continues to grow and expand each year. This year, over 2,100 gymnasts competed over the three-day weekend and together, participating gyms raised and donated over $60,000 to individuals affected by breast cancer and I'm proud to say our gym took part in this. The event has grown greatly over this four-year period. For the first three years, it took place in Downingtown, PA, but because of the growth, they moved the event this year to the Philadelphia Convention Center.
We traveled to Philly the evening prior and had dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Maggiano's Little Italy. They have several locations in the northeastern part of the US from New Hampshire to DC. Maggiano's is a great place for rather large portions of delicious Italian food at a midrange price. After dinner, we did a little shopping on Rittenhouse Row. We retired early, as we needed to get a good night's sleep for the big day ahead.
The next day, we walked over to the convention center. The meet was held in one large room divided into three gymnasium-type setups. AJS Pancott, the meet's host, did a fabulous job orchestrating such a large event. It was so exciting for the gymnasts. This year Shannon Miller, the most decorated gymnast in American history and the only female athlete to be inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame twice, was there. She was signing autographs and getting pictures with gymnasts as well as greeting the gymnasts at the start of each session. My girls were thrilled! I think they got their gym bags, t-shirts, leos, hands and even a trophy autographed! ha ha
Before competing, the girls decorated their hair with pink streaks and each gymnast got a pink breast cancer ribbon drawn on their cheek. Also, another exciting benefit to participating in this meet, each girl receives a leotard designed specifically for this event by GK Elite. The company will then make this design available for public purchase online at a later date in the year.
M, getting ready to vault.
M enjoyed competing in this venue and had a great meet.
Any gymnast that scored a 9.0 or over on any event received a pink ribbon with their name and score on it. For every pink ribbon earned, an organization pledged to donate $1 for breast cancer awareness. My pictures don't do it justice, but there was a tremendous number of pink ribbons earned throughout the weekend. My girls both earned a ribbon! M also medaled on three events and placed 8th all-around. :D
A's session started at 5:30 p.m. It had already been a long day, but she had her game face on.
She also competed very well, earning a pink ribbon and a medal for her performance on beam.
She ended the meet on vault, accepting a medal on this event as well. And to top off an already great day, she qualified for states!
It's been a tough competition season for my girls, but they are fighting and working their way through it. One more meet next weekend and then both girls will be headed to compete at states. We are so proud of them both for their perseverance and refusal to quit. I know this will surely prove beneficial to them in the future.