Lydia Ruthe gets a chance of a lifetime

MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) -- A chance of a lifetime.

“Oh, it is so humbling. I mean I would have never expected this,” said Mosinee gymnast Lydia Ruthe. “I don’t think anyone in the area has ever done anything like this, so it’s super out of my comfort zone, but I’m very excited for it.”

Ruthe is one of seven gymnasts from Wisconsin who vaulted herself into the National Gymnastics Senior Invitational.

“You know, I’ve been in gymnastics my whole life, and I really wanted something to kind of finish off my years, and I thought this would be a great opportunity for a last hurrah,” said Ruthe.

Getting the call to the Senior Invitational wasn’t an easy process. Ruthe had to submit videos of her routines and her average scores amongst all the paperwork she had to fill out. All with the thought she might not get the nod. Then the text came at the most inopportune time.

“My mom actually texted me in the middle of class, and I wasn’t able to answer,” said Ruthe. “When I got out of class, and I checked my email, it was just amazing. I was probably almost in tears.”

Those tears would have never came if it wasn’t for Ruthe’s grandmother sparking her interest in the sport.

“My grandma really wanted me to learn how to do a cartwheel, and it just kind of built up from there,” said Ruthe.

That moment led her to be one of the best athletes a coach could have.

“She works hard in the gym everyday,” said Ruthe’s coach Kris Schlei. “She is a positive influence on all of her teammates. She’s always pushing everybody. She pushes herself. She’s been a real joy to have in the gym.”

Ruthe’s last hoorah is just two weeks away, but she’s leaving behind a work ethic that will never be forgotten.

“I definitely think that them seeing my preparation, and the girls at my high school seeing what this all takes is really going to motivate them because I’m sure they’re going to want to do something like this,” said Ruthe.