Madelyn (Maddy) Dorbin was introduced to gymnastics at age 3; in the mommy and me class at River City Gymnastics in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her parents enrolled her in the class at the recommendation of a Gymboree owner who observed her strength and flexibility while in her tiny tumbler class. Her excitement for gymnastics blossomed from the first day she had access to the gyms’ floor at River City Gymnastics. She experimented on each apparatus; trying to mimic what the big girls were doing. In 2012, her family relocated to Georgia where Maddy continued enjoying the sport as a rec class participant. At age 7, she was invited to team gymnastics at Georgia Gymnastics Academy (GGA). Her parents, Cornelya and David, recall, “We didn’t think she was ready for team gymnastics because she didn’t have all of her skills, so we declined the offer.”
Over the summer of 2015, Maddy advanced quickly in the sport and joined GGA’s team as an Excel Silver gymnast at age 8. The following year Maddy continued to advance and develop as an All-Around gymnast in Excel Gold, placing in the top three during the season. She even scored in the top 100 on bars and floor exercise. By the end of her Excel Gold season at GGA, “We began looking for a gym that could cultivate Maddy’s talent and compliment her competitive drive” recalls her mother, Cornelya. “She was ready to compete at a higher level but the coaching staff at GGA wasn’t adequately training her for the bigger skills.”
During the summer of 2017, one of Maddy’s GGA teammates, Addy Tep moved to Georgia Elite Gymnastics (GEG). “I had been eyeing that gym for a while because of their top standing in state and regional competitions. However, GEG was geographically undesirable because it was 47 miles from our home” recalls, Cornelya. Addy’s mom, Amy suggested we move and volunteered to help with carpool. “We accepted the offer and Maddy progressed rapidly at the new gym. The rigor and stellar coaching at GEG paid off!” Over the summer, Maddy gained new skills and was able to score out of levels 4 and 5 compulsory and competed level 6 that season; winning first place All-Around at the Region 8 Championship.
The following year presented a world-wind of opportunities. Maddy was invited to join the Extra-Hours/Elite group at GEG; the most advanced group in the program. Maddy’s father, David recalls the complexity of the decision. “We were excited about the invitation to join the training group, but this meant additional sacrifices for our family. This group trained during the morning hours and twice a week in the evening. We had already made the decision to homeschool Maddy during 5th grade, but the additional gym time was far beyond the sacrifice we had imagined. Nonetheless, we wanted her to have the best opportunity to succeed.”
Joining the Extra-Hours/Elite group proved to be the right decision. She scored out of level 7 and quickly excelled at level 8 skills. That season can be described as nothing less than phenomenal. She won first place All-Around at the State Championship meet and earned a spot on the State team, to represent Georgia in regional competition. She finished 7th All-Around at the Region 8 Championships and helped Georgia achieve a 1st place team win.
Maddy trained upgrades during the summer of 2019. GEG’s Head Coach, Pete Arenas routinely refers to her as one of the hardest working gymnast in his program. “Her progress was incredible”, recalled Coach Pete in the summer of 2019, “Just two years ago she came here as an Excel Gold gymnast and now she’s preparing to score out of level 9.” In the fall of 2019, Maddy scored out of level 9 with an All-Around score 37.4750. Her rapid development also caught the eyes of USA Team National coaches and she was invited to train at the USA Gymnastics National Development Camp in Tennessee in the Fall of 2019.
During 2020 as a 1st year Level 10, Madelyn placed 3rd on beam but injured her ankle on floor performing a double layout at the Tampa Bay Turners Invitational. After a few weeks of rehabilitation, she made an impressive comeback at the Excalibur Cup in Virginia Beach, placing 1st all-around. Although the 2020 season was cut short by the pandemic, Maddy remained active and trained at home to maintain her stamina and endurance. Retuning to gymnastics after the pandemic shutdown proved to be a slow but steady effort to Maddy’s training routine. GEG hosted two virtual college showcases, which helped Maddy prepare for competition and finesse her skills.
Maddy’s much anticipated 2021 season kicked off with the Atlanta Crown Invitational as a second-year level 10 gymnast. She finished 1st place all-around and qualified for the Nastia Liukin Cup, becoming only the third gymnast from Georgia to qualify for the Cup in its 12-year history. Maddy is hoping for a healthy and competitive year and looking forward to making great memories and meeting new friends.