Emporia teen wins gold medal in Tokyo

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EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT)– An Emporia teen is representing his city in a big way by bringing home a gold medal all the way from Japan.

Braxton is 14-years-old, competing at an elite level in trampoline gymnastics. It’s an Olympic sport that allows gymnasts to show off their best skills all on a trampoline.

“It’s basically two ten skill routines,” Josh Wright said, owner of Skywalkers Gymnastics, and Braxton’s coach. “There’s an easy routine and a hard routine up at the elite level which goes from age 11 and up.”

Braxton started gymnastics when he was about five-years-old. When he’s not competing, you can find him practicing at Skywalkers Gymnastics.

“I just like being in the air and upside down,” Braxton said.

Now, he’s been competing around the world showing off his best skills.

“I do a lot of half outs, which is a double front with a half twist,” Braxton said. “Double backflips. Full branny, which is a front flip with a full twist. And a branny out of that, it’s a double flip. I also do full fulls, which is a back one and a half branny straight. It’s a double skill also. There’s a lot of other skills.”

He does a lot of flipping, focusing on the trampoline and the double mini. All of his skills and hard work winning him gold in Japan, as he placed first in the men’s double-mini final at the World Age Group competition in Tokyo earlier this month.

“He always has worked extremely hard,” Josh Wright said. “Basically it’s been, I ask him to do something and he tries his very best to do it. If it doesn’t work the first time, he simply tries again. And that’s why he’s able to compete at the level he’s been able to compete at.”

Braxton isn’t new to winning. He’s also an eight-time state champion, a five-time regional champion, and a seven-time national champion. However, winning gold in Tokyo had a different meaning for him.

“Not many people my age get to do all of this and say they won a world championship,” Braxton said. “And represent Team USA at such a young age.”

This win is not the end for him, as he plans to bounce his way into the Olympics.

It takes a lot of money to send Braxton to these competitions around the world and country, which all comes out of pocket, or from fundraising. If you would like to help Braxton and his family, you can donate to his Go Fund Me.

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