- Associated Press - Sunday, May 1, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A talented Charleston youngster was featured on the “Steve Harvey” television show on April 26.

Konnor McClain, called the best 11-year-old gymnast in the country, was selected to be on the “Little Big Shots” segment of the show. Konnor, who trains at Revolution Gymnastics, in Cross Lanes, said she was nervous at first but that Harvey was funny and helped calm her.

For the segment, Konnor showed off her skills on the balance beam.

“It was exciting and fun,” Konnor said.

Lorinda McClain, Konnor’s mom, said she was contacted by “Steve Harvey” show staff members earlier this month. They arranged for Konnor to attend a filming on April 13.



McClain said the staff found Konnor on the girl’s YouTube channel, which features videos of her performing. She said Konnor is a talented gymnast, but is shy.

“It was really a fun environment. He made her feel comfortable,” McClain said. “You wouldn’t have even known she was shy. She did a great job.”

Konnor hopes to be on the 2024 Olympic team. She travels to Houston about eight times a year to train with the Developmental team.

Susan Brown, owner of Revolution Gymnastics and one of Konnor’s coaches, said Konnor trains about 28 hours each week.

“She has a one-track mind for the Olympics,” Brown said.

Although some people may think 28 hours a week in the gym is excessive, Konnor said the time spent practicing is her favorite part of gymnastics.

“She’s the best 11-year-old in the country,” McClain said. “She’s on a good path. We’ve just got to keep her healthy.”

Brown said on the Developmental team, which is a step below the National team, Konnor trains with 40 other young gymnasts. Brown said going into her next competition, Konnor has the highest score in the country for her age group, and is in the top 10 for all age groups.

“It’s an honor for Revolution Gymnastics, for sure,” Brown said. “All her teammates are so proud of her. On top of that, she’s an awesome kid.”

Konnor’s been in a commercial before, but this is the first time she’s been on national television.

Also a West Virginia native, Harvey was born in McDowell County.

“It’s also pretty awesome that both Konnor and Steve Harvey are both from West Virginia,” Brown said. “That’s a proud moment for everybody in the state.”

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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