By Alyssa T
Senior Girl Reporter
The 2016 AAU Junior Olympic Games were hosted in Houston, TX from July 31 – August 6, 2016.
Almost everyone knows that the Olympics are happening in Rio de Janeiro, right now. It’s a wonderful time to witness amazing feats of bravery, sportsmanship, and just plain beautiful acts. But, there is also a Junior Olympics for people under 18!
AAU, the Amateur Athletic Union is an amateur sports organization that hosts Junior Olympics games each year for kids who are under 18. These kids and young teens compete in the same sports the actual Olympians do; javelin, hurdle jumping, and running. I had the pleasure of being the sister to one of the participants herself, Asia Traylor, who is also a first year Brownie Girl Scout.
My sister wanted to do something after school for her 2nd grade year, and she decided to run track after joining the track team at her elementary school, Sunny Sands. Our family found out that she was surprisingly good at running and throwing a javelin after seeing her practice, so we stayed in the program. She trained every week at school practices and was eager to practice with our dad at the local park and high school track field on weekends. We went to almost every track meet competition in Southern California, and Asia always did the best she could, even winning a few medals along the way.
When asked what one of the hardest parts of practicing for big events was, Asia replied, “The hardest part of javelin is the form. I want to focus on throwing the javelin far, but I need to focus on getting my form and throwing right.”
We were finally notified that we could go to the California championships for mini javelin, and Asia got second place with 28 feet, which earned her a silver medal and qualified her to compete in the Junior Olympics! We waited in anticipation for the date and place to meet, and we headed out on August 3rd to Humble, Texas.
When the day came, we arrived with our family, ready to have a great time. We bought snow cones, got bleachers where we could see the event clearly, and got ready to record her big day. My family and I waited on the edge of our seats for her group to come up, and for her to do her first throw in mini javelin. She missed the first throw and the second throw. This is why form in javelin is so important! Her first two throws were disqualified due to a slight curve in her throw. On the last throw, she threw the javelin 21 feet! Even though she didn’t throw as far as she usually does, she still had fun and she definitely wants to be in track this year!
When asked about what she wanted to do in the future, Asia said “My ultimate dream is to one day be in the Olympics and win a medal in both javelin and the hurdles.”