Local Hoosier Bridget Sloan Brings Home World All-Around Gymnastics Title

In case you missed it, and since it is not the Olympics you most likely did, Indiana resident Bridget Sloan became the latest American woman to be crowned the Gymnastics All-Around World Champion. Bridget earned the honor this past week during the 2009 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships over in London. Sloan narrowly beat out fellow American Rebecca Bross for the all-around title by less than a tenth of a point.

The competition took place in London, England in the O2, one of Great Britain’s premiere sport and concert venues. The O2 will also be the location of the gymnastics events during the 2012 Olympic summer games.

The 17-year old Sloan and her family reside in the small town of Pittsboro, IN, about 30 miles west of downtown Indianapolis. Sloan in no stranger to the Circle City though. She has been training in Indianapolis with the same coach at Sharp’s Gymnastic Academy since the age of four.

This latest victory has vaulted (pun intended) Bridget Sloan onto the top of the favorites short-list for the 2012 games. While Sloan will be older than most of the other competitors during the London Games, her experience might be what finds her at the top of the medal podium once again.

Bridget is no stranger to international competitions. She was part of the American Women’s Gymnastics Team the took home the Silver Medal in the team competition during last year’s 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

While every other member of the Silver Medal winning team took a break from the rigorous training demands of being an elite level gymnast, Bridget pushed through. As Shawn Johnson was “Dancing with the Stars,” Sloan was perfecting her tumbling passes. Bridget Sloan freely admits that at times it was hard to stay motivated after the Olympics, but her perseverance has obviously paid off.

Sloan’s decision to never take a break was proved correct earlier this year when she won the 2009 All-Around U.S. National Championship in Dallas, Texas. The 2009 All-Around World Championships title must be icing on an already rich cake.

Before Bridget Sloan left for London to take part in the Worlds, she had a difficult time trying to explain to her teachers at Tri-West Hendricks High School that she would be missing classes for three weeks straight. What were at first looks of disbelief and consternation, will most definitely turn to demands for pictures and congratulations. After all, it is not every day a teacher gets to say they have a World Champion in their class.

This latest achievement has put Bridget Sloan among the upper echelon of the Indianapolis sports world and will have every Hoosier pulling for her in 2012.