Olympic hopeful Griskenas wins All-Around Senior National Qualifier. Orland Park high school freshman will compete in Nationals for Olympic gymnast spot
Orland Park, IL — Sandburg High school freshman and honors student Evita Griskenas, 15, won All-Around Senior National Qualifier Sunday (May 15, 2016) at the Olympic Training Center at Lake Placid, New York.
Griskenas, a freshman student at Sandburg High school in Orland Park in the Southwest suburbs, is a Rhythmic Gymnastics contender for a spot on the USA Olympic Team, which is headed for Rio in 2016.
A 2015 USA National Junior Champion and current US Senior National Team member, Griskenas also recently made it to the ball and ribbon finals in Rhythmic Gymnastics at the Brno Grand Prix held in the Czech Republic earlier in May.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is ballet with apparatus emphasizing dancelike rhythmic routines, typically accentuated by the use of ribbons, balls or hoops. You must incorporate, musicality, flexibility, coordination, and dance. Rhythmic Gymnastics is not really popular in the US but it is extremely popular sport in Europe and Asia.
Although Griskenas has won many national and international titles and gained extensive experience, competition is extremely tight as the US has only one spot on the 2016 Rio Olympic team for Rhythmic Gymnastics.
But Griskenas is not giving up. She is inspired not only by her coaching team and training at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics center in Deerfield, Illinois but also by both her parents, Sigitas and Olga Griskenas, World Fitness Champions from the 1990s.
“Evita is known for her unique moves, gracious, enlightened, and effortless looking performance,” said her mother Olga Griskenas.
“But as you can imagine, positioning yourself for the only, single spot on the US Olympic Team headed to Rio can be extremely challenging. Her performances and achievements show Evita is up for that challenge. US gymnastics will send the athlete they believe is the strongest contender.”
Evita Griskenas, who began her training at age 4, today ranks 2nd after her National Challenge results, which took place at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center earlier this March.
“I am so honored to be able to compete among the world’s best athletes and gymnasts and I am inspired by the support of my trainers and also my parents,” Evita Griskenas said.
This year Evita has competed in many national and international competitions, including in three World Cups: 2016 Pesaro World Cup, Pesaro, Italy; 2016 Lisbon World Cup, Lisbon, Portugal; 2016 Espoo World Cup, Espoo, Finland.
Despite the grueling training schedule, driving to the north shore almost 100 miles round trip each day for training, Evita Griskenas has been accepted into the Stanford Online High school and will start taking additional classes beginning this Fall.
Her Facebook Page is www.facebook.com/evita.griskenas
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania writes columns for the Southwest Community Newspaper Group including the Des Plaines Valley News, the Southwest News-Herald, the Regional News and the Reporter Newspapers.