Two Freshman Gymnasts Headed to Nationals


Kylie Callaway, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This year Notre Dame has two very athletic and talented freshmen. Danika Apple and Josef Volk have made it to nationals for gymnastics. Apple and Volk train with the Airforce Gymnastics Academy. Apple has been doing gymnastics for about fourteen years (since she was two) and Volk has been doing it for nine to ten years. However, the two do not practice together.

“Josef and I are at the same gym, but we have different coaches and teams. The Women’s and Men’s programs are separate,” said Apple.

There are many events that a gymnast can compete in. Volk does a total of six events. He competes in the floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar. Apple, on the other hand, is involved in bars, beams, floor and vault. 

Any sport that an individual participates in has a potential for injury. Volk has not had any career-threatening or severe injuries. On the other hand, Apple has had some substantial injuries, but thankfully nothing life threatening.. 

“I have sustained injuries including one that required surgery and a year of rehab. I’m just returning from that injury. I participate in multiple sports, and the injury was not completely related to gymnastics,” said Apple.

There are many reasons why an individual would want to partake in a competitive activity. Some individuals do it for fame, glory, and recognition. Volk wanted to push his limits, while Apple saw her sister doing gymnastics and was instantly drawn in by the sport.

“I got started in this sport when I saw my sister doing it, and I would run into her practices,” said the freshman sister to senior Charley Apple.

Apple loves the challenge of the sport and being part of a team. She also loved winning her seventh State Regional. 

Volk said the highlight of his year has been gymnastic competitions:  So far it’s been the regional meet (unlike many other sports, regional is after state) which determines if you go to Nationals, but I’m sure it will be Nationals itself as it’s a really fun experience that no one forgets.”