YMCA gymnastics nationals draw huge crowds

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MILWAUKEE -- More than a thousand gymnasts invaded Milwaukee this weekend as athletes aged five to 18 competed at the YMCA Gymnastics National Championship, held at the Frontier Airlines Center downtown.

The competition featured athletes from 21 states, with 1,700 gymnasts and 300 coaches.

"It's really fun and it means a lot to me because I get a chance to show my craft," gymnast Dominique Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson competed in front of a home crowd and said she hoped for at least one first-place finish.

 "It would feel amazing because I've been hoping for this for a really long time now," Wilkerson said.

With the gymnasts this weekend were thousands of spectators, including friends, family and a lot of fans -- providing a big boost for Milwaukee's economy.

"We've got a total of about 5,000 people that are coming in and that's bringing about $4 million in economic impact," Milwaukee YMCA marketing manager Erin Ruenger said.

The YMCA also has a chance to buy the equipment used in the competition for a fraction of the price. The equipment will be used to help grow the gymnastics program based in Mequon.

The competition continues through Monday, July 2nd with a final awards ceremony.

CLICK HERE for more information on the YMCA Gymnastics National Championship.

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