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Sophia and her teammates compete in Acrobatic Gymnastics

Written by Victoria Bannon

Sophia Handel, a rising 12th grader at The George Washington University Online School (GWUOHS), will perform at the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic trials in San Jose this Saturday, July 9th, in Acrobatic Gymnastics. Though not yet an official Olympic sport, supporters hope the team discipline, a combination of dance and tumbling, one day will be recognized.

Sophia, an Annapolis resident, began Acro Gymnastics when she was nine-years-old and trains for three hours a day, five days a week. Her competition schedule keeps her traveling around the U.S. and internationally. Sophia didn’t want her sport to impede upon her education so she decided to enroll at GWUOHS last year.

“We had our doubts about online schooling,” says Sophia’s father, Larry Handel. “However, we couldn’t be happier with our decision.”

“Sophia has become a more independent learner, much better at managing her time and communicating with her teachers,” says her mother, Marguerite Pavloff. “We feel this has been terrific preparation for college and frankly wish we had signed her up sooner! The quality of curriculum, teaching and advising has been top-notch.”

Sophia and her teammates are ranked #1 in the United States, #2 in Europe and #4 in the world. To see Sophia in action, check out her performing at the U.S. Nationals!

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