LAFAYETTE, La – Hanging on the walls of Trampoline and Tumbling Express are banners of the Olympians that have trained at the gym.
A new banner will be added for Tokyo 2020 Olympian Alexi Shostak, who secured his spot on Team USA at the 2019 World Championships.
“I was very emotional,” Shostak said. “There were a lot of tears. It’s just crazy because it’s something that I’ve worked for since I moved here ten years ago.”
Shostak is originally from the country of Belarus. His family moved to Mandeville when he was six years old.
He would soon develop a love for trampoline gymnastics, and develop dreams of going to the Olympics.
So at 16 years old, he moved to Lafayette to train with Dmitri Poliaroush.
“You know you’re in the right place, and you’re in good hands here when you come to this gym,” Shostak said. “I knew it could be done. It was just a matter of working toward it and not giving up.”
After not making the 2016 Olympics, Shostak did just that. He never gave up, and kept training with Tokyo 2020 in mind.
“I had to become the better version of myself,” Shostak said. “That’s kind of what it means to me now, being an Olympian.”
Even though this year will be different at the Olympic Games because of the pandemic, Shostak says it’ll still be an experience he will enjoy.
“You work toward that moment where you get up on the trampoline, you’re wearing Team USA, and you salute in front of the judges,” Shostak says. “That’s it. You’re there. That’s just gonna be incredible, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Even though Shostak wasn’t born here, he is proud to represent Team USA and the city of Lafayette.
“Lafayette has become home to me,” Shostak says. “I love the city. It’s treated me very well. The culture is great. The people are great. And as far as representing Team USA, like I said, my family moved here when I was very young. We were seeking opportunity and freedom. I’m happy to be able to pay that back by representing.”