Molding national champions – Fluvanna style

They achieved astonishing results, winning 15 national championships in various events and garnering medals at a rate that would have impressed even the most guarded of optimists. This group – ranging in age from eight to adult – hauled in 39 medals in total: 15 gold, eight silver and 16 bronze.

Consider this fact: “Team Intense,” as they call themselves, averaged 2.1 medals per competitor. If the entire U.S. Olympic team were to win every available medal at the London games, it would average 1.7.

One competitor, Kelsey Silverman, was selected to the U.S. national team that will participate in the Pan American games in Mexico City.

There are reasons that the team is so good. For one thing, they have to work under the tutelage of Shihan Robert Silverman, or “head coach” to the uninitiated. He has run the academy since its inception in 1995.

Those with an institutional memory of county government will recall that several years ago, Silverman applied for a special use permit to operate the academy at its present location. What was striking was not the application, but the testimonials in support of it from former students and parents. Rarely has the community supported such a routine application with such enthusiasm.

Training is not easy. Advancing to higher belt levels is rigorous, and the same rules apply whether one is eight years old or an adult. The mental focus is just as important as the physical ability and the ethos of the martial art the guiding force for conduct.

And lastly, to reach the nationals, one must compete in state, and/or regional competitions. As with everything else at the academy, you do it the old fashioned way – you earn it.

This year, Fluvanna has been riven by political issues far more important than games and tournaments. But it is helpful for us to step back once in a while and just admire the skill and grace that our neighbors bring to the county in so many ways.

Bill Des Rochers, a former writer and columnist for the Review, is a proud grandfather (Papa) of two of the champions.

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138