Darien Y gymnasts host Dynamo Moscow
Apparently gymnastics is a universal language.
The gymnasts from the Darien YMCA boys team found that out when they hosted the “Dynamo Moscow” team on June 24-30.
Although the gymnasts spoke different languages, everyone found ways to communicate through flips, tucks and smiles.
In all, eight children from Moscow between the ages of 7 and 14, along with their two coaches, visited the area for summer training.
While in Darien, they visited local parks, toured New York City sights and trained with the Darien team at the YMCA.
They ended their visit with a beach party at Noroton Bay Beach.
“It was a great experience for both teams,” Darien coach Yury Vasilyev said.
Coach Vasilyev trained the Moscow head coach Viacheslav Veselov in Russia prior to relocating to the United States 10 years ago. In fact, Vasilyev has fond memories of taking his then student Veselov on similar summer training trips when they were younger, so it has come full circle for both coaches.
Veselov went on to become a Champion of Russia, and a Master of Sports, which is one of the highest classifications of athletes in Russia, and he still competes internationally. The other Russian coach, Konstantin Chalov, is a Master of Sports in Russia.
Veselov reached out to Coach Vasilyev and his Darien Y program about the idea of a summer training trip back in 2018 and the paperwork process began then.
They hope to return for another summer of shared experiences in the future.
“It was really fun, the kids were amazing,” Darien gymnast Jake Simon said. “I think we will see one of them in the Olympics one day.”