ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Maddie Csont, a Rochester gymnast, has made her third straight Special Olympics USA games. This year in Florida — following appearances in Seattle and Atlanta — she will be competing in the all-around, as well as those individual events.
She was adopted from Korea at four months old, and not long after in middle school, she vaulted into gymnastics. After years of training, she’s competing again at 28 years old, and is showing off her skills on the floor, the uneven bars, the vault, and her favorite, the balance beam.
“When I’m up on the beam, I get to do all these fun leaps, and jumps, and things I wasn’t able to do before,” she said.
By her side is her gymnastics coach, the well-renowned Sarah Jane-Clifford from the Gymnastics Training Center of Rochester.
“She helps me become a much better gymnast, she helps me get over my fears,” Csont said. “Without her, I wouldn’t be the gymnast I am today.”
Maddie says she loves competing, making friends, and traveling; so it’s fitting this year that she can visit Disney World this time around. She also serves on the Athletic Leadership Council for the Special Olympics. Part of that work is to inspire with her message.
“I did not expect to go again, I just feel happy and excited to show everybody that all this hard work that I’ve done,” she said.