WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Overcoming extreme odds, a local woman is reopening her home gym.
“Once a star, always a star.”
That’s the motto gymnasts from DC Stars Gymnastics Academy carry with them. It’s also the motto Megan Kennedy is following as she brings the gym back to life.
“It’s been a huge blessing and a huge adventure and journey,” she said.
The original DC gym closed down in June 2016, and Kennedy knew she had to do something to keep the gym going that she grew up in.
“I was there from 4 to 24,” she said.
So Kennedy bought all the equipment and put it into storage. The sport she loves most was almost taken away from her when she was a child.
“When I was 12 years old, I was walking home from school and got hit by a truck,” she explained.
She suffered serious injuries.
“Including a broken femur and partially collapsed lung,” she said.
Kennedy was told she might never walk again let alone do gymnastics. But she took the lessons she had learned in the sport and pressed forward.
“To know that you fall down and you can get back up and do it again and it will be better the next time,” she said.
Kennedy was able to access the insurance settlement from the accident and had to decide what to do next.
“I should put this into a house or something or property; then all of this fell in my lap,” she said.
But she’s not doing it alone. Fernando Pizarro used to coach with Kennedy and was moving back to the area when he heard the news.
“She tells me, ‘I’m reopening DC Stars. Would you want to help me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will,’” he said.
The pair have built up the old gym hoping to give young kids the same passion they have for gymnastics.
“It’s going to spark the love that I’ve always had for this sport,” Pizzaro said.
They already have dozens of kids signed up for their very first classes on Tuesday.
“I’m probably going to be wearing the biggest smile, and I may even have joy tears,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy and Pizarro will host an open house from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 18 with a special ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
The gym is located at 1801 Avenue B in Watervliet.