NORWAY — At 10 years old, gymnastics phenom Victoria Sessions of Norway already has years of experience in her sport and big plans. She got involved with gymnastics almost by necessity when just a tot.

Victoria Session led all scores at Maine’s 2021 gymnastics championship in March. Submitted photo

“I started when I was 3 and a half,” Sessions said during an interview in mid-April. “My dad started me with it because I was all over the house. I was climbing up the fridge and stuff. I was doing a ton of acrobatics. After the first day my coach said I should stay in gymnastics. I had no fear, I’m willing to do anything.”

Sessions easily picked up the basics such as cartwheels, forward rolls, back extension rolls, handstands and splits, and she quickly took to the balance beam. She began competing when she was 8, starting in Maine’s Xcel Bronze division in 2018-19. That season she went to the state championship and won every event , including all around, taking the title for her age group and ranking first among 373 competitors.

Last year, because of COVID-19, there were no state championships, but Sessions finished strong in the minor events where she was able to compete.

But when the pandemic hit, the gym where she trained closed. Several of her gym mates joined a gymnastics club in Lewiston. However, on the recommendation of her former coach, Sessions’ parents enrolled her at a larger facility in Westbrook, the Maine Academy of Gymnastics.

Once again, after one day of training there, she knew she was at the right place.

“They have a ton more of equipment at MAG,” she said. “It’s like three times bigger than my old gym so I got more opportunities to learn new stuff that I wanted to do. It’s a little more challenging, so I can try to improve my skills to the next level.

“I train there with about seven other kids,” she said. “My favorite event is the bars. I also love beam.”

Academy head coach Susan Weimar began working with Sessions after observing her during a class.

“She was very focused, working very hard,” Weimer said. “She abstained from silliness and had pretty clean form. I saw someone with a ton of potential. She has a ways to go, but what she does she has mastery over and she has come a long way in a pretty short period of time. It has everything to do with her work ethic and how seriously she takes her training.”

Victoria Sessions of Norway was this year’s highest ranking Maine gymnast. Supplied photo

Sessions returned to competition this year, at the Silver level. The state championships took place March 20-21 in Biddeford. Once again she claimed USA Maine State Champion title for her group, taking first in all four events.

Her success has earned her invitations to compete at larger events, including the Region 6 Championship in May and at Nationals in June.

“Some of the bigger gyms in Maine, like MAG, hold different events and invite members of other gyms to take part,” Sessions’ mother, Gracia Sessions, explained. “Victoria is a member of USA Gymnastics, so she is invited as part of MAG to compete, including from other nearby states.”

Weimer assesses Sessions’ moves and builds or adjusts the routine. She asked her coach to add a wolf turn to her beam routine, inspired by the mastery of it by her idol, five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles.

“She always does the wolf turn on balance beam. I tried it at states and I stuck it, so now it’s part of my routine,” Sessions said.

These days she is preparing for the regional and national events. Region 6 includes the six New England states and New York. It will be held May 15-16 in Rochester, New York.

“This will be her biggest competition yet,” Gracia Sessions said.

In June, Victoria Sessions heads to The Xcel Championships Invitational in Wisconsin, going up against the best young gymnasts in the country.

“I really want to get a scholarship to college and go as far as I can with gymnastics,” Sessions said. “I want to get a scholarship to UCLA. And I want to try out for the Olympics. You have to be 16 for that. That’s my big dream.”

Depending on eligibility rules the next few years, she might be able to try out for the 2024-25 Olympics but she has her eyes on the 2028-29 event for sure.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.