The 19th annual Black Diamond Winter Classic returns to Park City for its three-day competition beginning on Thursday
Beginning on Thursday, flipping, flying and tumbling will be in high demand in Park City as over 1,200 athletes will showcase their skills for an elite gymnastics competition.
The Black Diamond Winter Classic, hosted by Park City’s own Black Diamond Gymnastics, will be held from Feb. 20-22 at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse.
“One of the best things with this competition is having the ability to bring in kids from all over the country at all types of levels to our community,” said Katy Heddens, founder and owner of Black Diamond Gymnastics. “Not only do we get to showcase our amazing town, which is super fun to show off, we get to have such an amazing group of talented young women all in one place and celebrate their success.”
This year marks the 19th time the annual event is taking place, something Heddens is extremely proud of considering she started Black Diamond 21 years ago.
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The gym initially started by providing gymnastics instruction to athletic training in many sports, which included skiing and snowboarding. But it now has locations in Park City, Heber and South Jordan, which train around 2,500 kids per week.
But according to Heddens, her and her staff’s coaching and training style has made Black Diamond able to achieve those goals and that level of outreach.
“We aren’t an ‘all cost’ gym. … We are all about health and wellbeing for them both physically and mentally,” Heddens said. “Bottom line is that what we do with these kids at a young age is (that we need to) be consistent and positive about encouragement. … There’s no telling what kind of success they can have in the future with that confidence. If it took something different to have success, I’m out because it’s not worth it.”
The Classic will feature athletes who compete both recreationally and on a national scale. Out of the thousand-plus kids who will be featured, Heddens estimates that a couple hundred of them have the primary goal of competing in college and beyond.
Heddens is excited to see her athletes compete in their hometown, emphasizing the progress of Liberty Sullivan and Sedona Murdock.
“I think that the both of them have overcome some significant challenges along the way and have really stepped it in competitions in practices,” Heddens said. “Not to take away from their teammates, because they’ve been great as well, but those two have really grown into good leaders and have learned to thrive in that role.”
The competition is set to begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the high-level gymnasts competing on Saturday. There will be five sessions on both Thursday and Friday with four on Saturday. For more information, go to bdgwinterclassic.com.
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It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.