SILVER SPRING, MD (WUSA9) - Changa Anderson has his sights set high. At just 13 years-old, the D.C. teen is on track to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
For more than ten years, Anderson has been training at Silver Star Gymnastics in Silver Spring.
"This gym, it's kind of like a second home because I'm always here practicing. I just have so much passion for this sport," he said.
Anderson specializes in trampoline jumping. But it's not the type of trampoline you may be thinking of. The ones he jumps on get him several stories high in the air. When he jumps at his gym, he's just inches away from touching the rafters.
"When I jump on the trampolines it feels like I'm flying. I just really like that feeling," said Anderson.
He and his coach, Juwan Young are gearing up to compete in the World Trampoline Championships in Bulgaria. The two leave next week, and Anderson's parents will join them the week after. Saturday, his family, friends, and fellow gymnasts had a special send-off party for him.
"Right now we're training at 16 hours a week. It's a lot of time and some days he can't go out with his friends and do what normal 13-year olds do, but when you have a dream and a goal you have to sacrifice something," said Young.
Anderson hopes to bring home the gold medal at this competition. From there, he has dreams of heading to the Olympics.
"I'm the first African-American from Maryland to go to the world championships as a 13-year old. That makes me feel like everyone is looking at me and looking up to me, so it makes me want to work even harder," said the teen.
Anderson has been part of his gymnastics team since he was four years old. It's something that has always come naturally to him, according to his parents.
"When you have a two-year-old who flips out of the crib, I said let's put that ability and desire to flip into something purposeful. That's what we did, we put him in gymnastics," said Angela Anderson, his mother.
Now when I see him, I say wow, that's my son, that's a part of me. That goal-driven young man has excelled not only in the gym, but he did it while maintaining his grades, his grace, and humility," said his mother.
Changa's family has to pay for his Bulgaria trip out of pocket. They have set up a GoFundMe page for anyone who wants to support.
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