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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


Dalton flips into his future

Florence Dalton
Senior Michael Dalton stretches right before he takes his spot on the pommel horse.

The full room of competitors and judges quiets down as senior Michael Dalton gets ready to perform his routine. He takes a deep breath in and shakes out his hands and legs before taking form. He bursts into a sprint and lunges his whole body forward.

Dalton has had gymnastics as a part of his life since he was two years old; it has only recently become a major decider of his future. As he grew up, his love for gymnastics grew with him, but from being a fun sport it turned into his whole life. His interest in gymnastics didn’t come as a shock to him and his family.

“My older sister and brother both did it, and I just kind of went along with them,” Dalton said.

This sport was passed down throughout his sibling line, but it stayed with him.

Being a D1 gymnast has been Dalton’s dream since he was a little kid. He has always dreamed of competing on the big stage and having the sport be a part of his life in the future.

“I think being a D1 gymnast is definitely an achievable goal. There are limited men’s college gymnastics teams, but I’m willing to go the extra mile and work harder than others,” Dalton said.

After visiting many colleges like the University of Illinois, University of Nebraska and University of Oklahoma, he has yet to decide which to choose. However, Dalton will shortly reveal his commitment by the week of Nov. 4.

As far as his record goes, Dalton has received around 300 medals and four to five major trophies throughout his years of competing. He has also attended the Junior Olympic National Championship, which is one of the highest honorary competitions in his age group.

When asking Dalton’s coach, Tom Wirth, about something other than his physical talents he was quick to mention his mentality.

“He’s a very hardworking kid. He drives an hour out here to train for four hours and then goes back home late at night. He does this five to six times a week as well. It takes dedication,” Wirth said.

Wirth speaks out about Dalton’s commitment and mentions the lengths that he needs to take to practice with his team. His dedication doesn’t go unnoticed by his coach and mentor.

Dalton is set to prove his dedication to the sport by continuing to compete in college and hopefully opening up his own gym someday.

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