Sean Butehorn performs acrobatic stunts for Worlds
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Sean Butehorn may just seem like your average sophomore. He gets good grades, has many friends, and does “normal” teenage activities. Many describe him as outgoing and fun to be around.
“Sean is a whirlwind. He is constantly busy when at home. Frequently, we will be talking to him, turn around and he is in a handstand in the kitchen. At practice, and when he needs to get something done, he is very focused, but the rest of the time he is everywhere,” says Butehorn’s father, Matthew Butehorn.
A humble Clark Kent by day, Butehorn’s super power that he is part of the Emilia’s Gymnastic and Acrobatics team in Laurel, Maryland. He travels all over the world for competitions: China, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Belgium, and all over the United States.
Butehorn started gymnastics at the age of three when his mom decided to have him try classes. He tried out for the team and made it. He has stuck with the sport ever since.
“I love how there is a different challenge every day. It’s cool to be able to experience different situations. I also have a lot of fun,” said Butehorn.
Butehorn practices 25 hours a week. He has placed 3rd in the 2016 World Age Group Competition in China. His group is the only junior men’s group to medal at Worlds ever for the United States. He has also placed first in many other competitions.
“I love traveling all over the world for competitions. We usually get to have one day of sightseeing after which is super cool,” said Butehorn.
His favorite thing about competitions is that he gets to see friends from other teams that he usually doesn’t get to see often.
His friends from his own team see him as determined, dedicated, and driven. “He’s a perfect fit. His personality, his individual strengths as a person and an acrobat fit along with everyone else’s. Not because they’re the same as ours, but because he can do what most others can’t. As a team we all have our own individual strengths and Sean’s are a blessing to our group,” said fellow teammate, Sean Shields.
Nerves aren’t a problem for Butehorn. “I don’t really get nervous. Usually I get nervous right before we start but it goes away once I start doing things,” says Butehorn.
Butehorn’s time is consumed by gymnastics and school, leaving him little time for any other hobbies. “I wish I had more time to do other things. I don’t regret filling my time with gymnastics, though. I love the sport,” said Butehorn.
Butehorn does very well in school while being committed to gymnastics. People often forget how hard gymnastics is and how dedicated a competitor has to be in order to be good. “I am so proud of Sean’s commitment to the sport. His sport is not like baseball, football, or soccer. None of his friends outside of the gym do this,” said Mr. Butehorn.
Butehorn’s parents are proud of him for how well he balances school and gymnastics. “His successes are a direct result of the work he puts in. Some days can be really draining. On top of that he has to do his school work, chores, and more. That type of commitment is hard to maintain,” said Mr. Butehorn.