Opinion: Cheers of ‘Let’s go Mom!’ a reminder of how extraordinary Chellsie Memmel is

FORT WORTH, Texas — Cheers of “C’mon Mom!” and “Go Mama!” aren’t normally heard at the U.S. gymnastics championships.

That they are this week is just another indication of the extraordinariness of what Chellsie Memmel is doing.

Three weeks shy of her 33rd birthday and with her two children in the crowd, the 2005 world champion is competing at nationals for the first time in 10 years. More than holding her own, too. Memmel tied for fifth on vault on Friday night – with a vault she hadn’t done since 2006, no less – and had the sixth-highest score on balance beam.

“Day 1 is done! I just want to say thank you everybody so much for all of the support and encouragement on this journey. It’s amazing,” Memmel said afterward on Instagram Stories. “I totally, completely felt the love tonight, and hope for another great night on Sunday.”

Memmel wasn’t even married the last time she competed at the elite level. Now she and husband Kory Maier have a 6-year-old son, Dashel, and a 3-year-old daughter, Audrielle. The kids often join Memmel during her workouts at the gym her family owns, but this was their first time seeing her at a competition.

They wore shirts with Memmel’s name on them, and sat with Maier and other relatives. In a video Memmel posted of her warming up on vault, Dashel and Audrielle could be heard cheering her on.

“We sat in front of (Memmel’s) crew & omgosh hearing her kids scream `go mommy’ and her grandma sobbing after everything Chellsie did was the most beautiful thing everrrr,” Gina Chiles, whose daughter Jordan was competing alongside Memmel, said on Twitter. “Jordan’s sisters were getting emotional with them…can’t help but cheer!!”

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Too often, we abandon our dreams because they seem crazy or unrealistic. But there's no such thing. Only people not brave enough to chase them. 

Thanks for the reminder, Chellsie Memmel. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour. 

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