By Patricia Duffy

Leanne Wong Wows with Rare Combination of True Artistry and Power

Photos by Lloyd Smith

Leanne Wong competes on uneven bars during day two of junior women’s competition at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

112.250. It’s a significant number to say the least, seeing as the junior women’s 2018 U.S. All-Around Champion would have competed for a podium spot had she earned that mark in the senior division. It’s a two-day tally that could rival the best in the world, and Leanne Wong did it–scoring big, that is–while conveying an artistry scarcely seen stateside in recent years.

“We do a lot of dance work, like sometimes we use the barre, or sometimes we just dance on the floor,” Wong says of the artistic side of her training.

I guess I love looking beautiful, that’s one of the passions.

Leanne Wong and coach Al Fong

Great American Gymnastics Express (GAGE) Head Coach Al Fong celebrates with Leanne Wong at the conclusion of her uneven bars set on day two of junior women’s competition at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

“We” is Wong and Armine Barutyan, Great American Gymnastics Center’s co-owner, coach and choreographer. Barutyan, originally from the Soviet Union Republic of Armenia, was a gymnast herself, competing for Armenia and Russia during her career.

“I guess I love looking beautiful, that’s one of the passions,” Armine says, tapping into the root of her love for choreography. “The details were always just a part of me since I was a gymnast myself. I’ve been known to have excellent form and technique, so I just continue that… to give that ability to my gymnasts so they understand the importance of it. It takes time. It takes dedication… but I think it was finally awarded.”

Awarded indeed. The 15-year-old Wong (Happy Birthday, Leanne!) enjoyed a dominant performance at championships, winning the all-around competition by more than a point while also securing gold on floor exercise, silver on vault and uneven bars, and sixth on balance beam.

Arguably more impressive? She accomplished such a performance, hitting 4-for-4, after falling on her neck just before the start of finals…


LOVE THIS SNEAK PEEK? WANT MORE? YOU CAN BE READING THE FULL STORY IN LESS THAN 60 SECONDS BY DOWNLOADING THE “INSIDE GYM” APP

 SUBSCRIBE TODAY TO BE GUARANTEED THE WORLDS ISSUE!

Inside Gymnastics is your all-access pass to everything gymnastics! Subscribe/renew today and make sure you don't miss an issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine!

Subscribe Today!