Evgeny Marchenko and Valeri Liukin have every reason to be proud of their accomplishments. Together they own the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) and together they have produced over 150 State, Regional, National, and World Champion gymnasts since opening in the spring of 1994. It’s not a mystery that WOGA is a success, its know-how; Marchenko is a five-time world champion in sport acrobatics, Liukin is a four-time Olympic gymnastics medalist and their staff of coaches and trainers own a total of 57 Olympic and World Championship gold medals.
The gymnastics training program at WOGA is an eleven step process from the newest students to the ‘Elite’ team but participation in the Olympics is never the school’s goal for it’s students; to be successful it must be the student’s goal for the school. At all levels, WOGA’s program is designed to be recreational and fun for the students, not to mention encouraging. Valeri Liukin’s personal philosophy is that every student has a the ability to rise to a level that is their own personal best, it’s the schools job to help them attain that level. Only a small percentage of the students will have the stamina, determination and physical ability to achieve ‘Elite’ status but any student who achieves their personal best is a WOGA success story.
Among the small number of students on the Elite Team are Liukin’s own daughter Nastia who, at age 14 has already won two gold medals from the 2003 Pan American Games; and Carly Patterson who, at age 16, in the 2004 Summer Olympics, was the first American female gymnast to win an Olympic gold in all-around gymnastics in a fully attended Olympic Games.
Boys and girls gymnastic training at WOGA starts with the very youngest toddlers (and their parents) developing their basic motor skills and giving them a fun introduction to gymnastics; separate classes are available for three-year olds to learn basic gymnastic skills, four- and five-year olds have their own class with individualized instruction to develop their natural abilities and teach them new skills, six-year olds and the older children continue their gymnastics training in separate boy’s and girl’s classes. WOGA also offers cheerleading classes with an emphasis on tumbling skills.
Friday Night Out
Friday nights at WOGA are special nights for the whole family and for students and non-students alike; Fridays are WOGA’s open gym nights – they call it ‘Friday Night Out’ (FNO). Parents can drop their children off for 2-1/2 hours of supervised fun, served up with music, pizza and soda. There are no gymnastics instructions at FNO just kids having fun and no child needs instruction for that.
Parties and Sleepovers
WOGA also has special accommodations for birthday and sleepover parties for up to 20 (or even more) party goers.
The World Olympic Gymnastics Academy has two locations:
In Plano, Texas at 1937 W. Parker Road, Plano, Texas 75023
In Dallas at 6859 Arapaho Drive Suite 600, Dallas, Texas 75248