52-year-old Algonquin gymnast returns to international stage after winning silver medal

Alison Wright will represent Team USA competing on the beam

Alison Wright, a 52-year-old gymnast from Algonquin, trains at Royalty Gymnastics, Tumble and Dance in Huntley. Wright will represent Team USA at the 2024 Masters Gymnastics World Cup in Boston in June.

Seven months ago, 52-year-old Algonquin resident Alison Wright took home a silver medal at the adult Gymnastics Masters Team World Cup competition in Germany. Now she returns to the international stage in June for the next World Cup in Boston.

Wright will be among two gymnasts representing the 50-59 age group for Team USA. Gymnasts ages 30 to 70 from around the world, including Japan, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain and New Zealand, will compete at the event June 2.

“I think adult gymnastics is catching on,” she said. “We’ve seen in the last year alone the numbers have been going up.”

Wright practiced the sport from ages 3 to 19 before “retiring” right before college. She picked it back up again about three years ago and quickly advanced through national Amateur Athletic Union competitions before being invited to represent Team USA in Germany last year. Wright described the experience at the international competition as “remarkable.” Despite language barriers, teams showed support through cheers and hugs.

Alison Wright at the 2023 AAU Gymnastics National Championship in Orlando, Florida. She brought home five medals including one gold.

“It’s all people that love gymnastics as much as you do,” she said. “Everyone was so excited to be there.”

Wright still faces challenges in recovering from her injuries. She tore all of the ligaments in both of her ankles in 2022 during a tumbling accident. Determined to make it to Germany, she held off on getting surgery done. One week after taking home the silver medal, she suffered a knee injury that required immediate surgery.

“I’m still trying to recover from that. I still can’t do a lot of what I could do before,” she said. “I just don’t want to miss the fun stuff.”

Her biggest inspiration is gymnasts in their 60s and 70s, as it’s her goal to compete for as long as her body lets her. Wright will compete on the beam in Boston. Her main goal is simply “to not get hurt.”

“Does it have to be a perfect, clean routine? Nope. I just don’t want to fall,” she said. “I just want to stay on and just have fun.”

Wright regularly trains at Royalty Gymnastics, Tumble and Dance in Huntley. Owner Edmar Nicolas said Wright is the reason he started the adult program, and things took off from there. He said she is like a celebrity at the gym.

“I have my gymnasts look up to her,” Nicolas said. “If she can still do it, so can anyone.”

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