Follow Us On
Gymnastics Stars Rally for Kalon Ludvigson
(5 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Some of gymnastics' greatest legends will be on hand to offer support at this weekend's 4th Kalon Ludvigson International Invitational in Salt Lake City.

The trampoline and competition event honors Ludvigson, 25, who is the most successful U.S. athlete in trampoline and tumbling. He has won eight consecutive U.S. titles, 15 World Cup medals and four world championship medals.

Ludvigson's dynamic career came to a halt last summer, however, when he suffered a serious cervical spine injury during a training accident. The accident reportedly dislocated his vertebrae and caused spinal-cord compression, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. He has undergone surgeries and has been in rehabilitation to regain motor skills, while fundraising efforts continue to help fund his ongoing recovery.

More than $75,000 has been raised toward the goal of $125,000 on Ludvigson's GoFundMe page.

"The support that we have received worldwide since Kalon's injury has been extremely overwhelming," Justen Millerbernd, Ludvigon's coach and husband, told IG this week. "We both feel so lucky to have such amazing friends who have touched our lives!"

Olympic champions Nastia Liukin, Daniela Silivas, and Dominique Moceanu; world champions and Olympic silver medalists Courtney Kupets and Chellsie Memmel; and U.S. Olympians Missy Marlowe and Elise Ray will be available at this weekend's events for autographs and photos, and to support Ludvigson and Millerbernd.

That the trampoline and tumbling competition has attracted so many artistic gymnastics stars is no surprise, Liukin told IG on Wednesday.

"As big as the gymnastics world is, it's also a very small family," said Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion. "No matter what discipline you do, we all support one another. As soon as I heard about Kalon, I reached out to see what I could do to help. I'm excited to go to Utah this weekend to support this competition in honor of Kalon."

Silivas, one of gymnastics' all-time greats and an inductee into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, said she simply wants to be there to support her friends.

"We're coming to show support and let them know that we are willing to help in any way we can," said Silivas, who has won 10 world medals (seven gold) and six Olympic medals (three gold).

Silivas, who now lives and coaches in Georgia, said she and Millerbernd have been long-time friends.

"We like to say we've been friends since the 1988 Olympics when he saw my vault," she joked, of her weakest event. "Through him I met Kalon, who I think is the sweetest and nicest guy."

This weekend's events have attracted numerous competitors of all age groups, including 2012 U.S. Olympic trampolinists Steve Gluckstein and Logan Dooley.

"Justen is really busy trying to get ready for the event and taking care of Kalon, plus his gym (Team Revolution in Pocatello, Idaho)," Silivas said. "I think it's important just being there for both of them as friends. I love both of them and I'm praying that Kalon will get better soon."

External Link: Official Website

Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy