A dive into Chase Mondi’s gymnastics journey and accomplishments

Junior gymnast Chase Mondi has been named to the USA Elite Team Cup roster. Mondi is the first Kansan to receive this honor.

Junior gymnast Chase Mondi has been named to the USA Elite Team Cup roster. Mondi is the first Kansan to receive this honor.

By Ryan Hardie, Sports Editor

Gymnasts probably are not the first to come to mind when high school athletes are mentioned, but that shouldn’t serve to undermine the sport. Chase Mondi, a junior competing for the Emerald City gymnastics program, defied expectations by electing not to become a football player like his older brothers. An athlete at heart, Chase opted to pave his own unique path from a young age. 

Highly decorated, Mondi was recently selected to the USA Gymnastics’ Elite Team Cup, an honor that has never, in the history of the sport, been awarded to a Kansan. As if making history as a junior in high school isn’t enough, Mondi stays extremely humble and is not above helping his teammates.

“He often offers suggestions and support to his teammates,” said Emerald City head coach Mike Thomas. “Chase is everybody’s friend.  He helps his teammates and always seems to have a happy attitude.”

Mondi has had an incredibly successful start to his gymnastics career, and there is no end in sight to his potential in the sport. As he continues to grow and develop as a gymnast and person, expectations set by others will follow in hot pursuit. 

“Chase is doing great and is the best gymnast to come out of Kansas.  However, he has a long way to go to reach his full potential,” said Thomas. “I expect him to be a star in college gymnastics and I hope to see him compete in international events representing the USA.”

“Doing something different than the typical football, baseball, basketball was pretty cool for me,” said Mondi. “And then when I started to accomplish stuff that I never thought I could do it made me keep going.” 

Gymnasts are very different from other athletes in a variety of ways. From the muscles they train, to the way they perform their craft, gymnastics are unlike any other performance art. Coming from a lineage of football players, Chase’s family was very supportive of his decision. Cole Mondi, one of the aforementioned football brothers and an intrafamily rival to Chase, doesn’t even have a chance to compete.

“I have competed with athletes and become friends with athletes from all over the country, I have yet to meet another athlete who works on their craft more than him. He practices four hours a day everyday. He eats right and I think he finds joy in working out,” said Cole Mondi. 

Though gifted athletically in his own right, Cole understands that Chase’s mastery of gymnastics is something totally different. 

“I tried when I was younger,” said Cole Mondi, “I couldn’t even do the stretches right.”

Chase’s journey to gymnastics is not much different from your average competitor. Starting young, continuing through with it, and eventually competing in various events. Where he differs, however, is in his dedication to his craft that everyone he surrounds himself with can attest to. Coaches, family members, friends, and even rivals know that Mondi is willing to outwork everyone around him if it means performing at the highest level.

 “The amount of work that he puts into it. It’s very, very impressive,” said close friend senior Levi Hinson. “Because he made the decision to leave all of his teammates and all of his friends at his old gym to go out to a new gym in Kansas City. He has to drive an hour every day and give up all those things just to pursue gymnastics.”

“He has always been focused and serious. He doesn’t waste time or waste turns. He comes to practice to learn and improve,” said Thomas. “Chase works diligently and yet you can tell he is enjoying his workout.”

A strong love for his craft is what drives Mondi, as it would be hard to dedicate as much time and energy as he does without it. He speaks glowingly of his events, and he finds plenty of success everywhere he competes, including nationals. 

When asked about his proudest accomplishment, it was an easy decision. 

“Probably winning nationals in May. That’s pretty dope. Floor is my favorite event, and winning it all was pretty cool. Best feeling ever,” said Mondi.

While already accomplished beyond his years, Mondi believes his journey is just beginning. 

“I’m planning on going to college. Soon I’ll decide on which one and then go to U.S. championships or a national team type thing. Or Olympic championships,” said Mondi. “World Championships are definitely a goal for me.”

Bursting onto the scene as the greatest Kansan gymnast ever seen, Chase continues to strive for success and envisions a future where he competes at the highest level with the best competition. Obstacles and difficulties will continue to present themselves to Mondi, but as he does so well, he will continue to vault them.

 “Chase has been involved in gymnastics for so long it would be weird to think of him not involved,” said Cole Mondi. “It’s who he is.”