Gymnast raising money for international competition

Logan Chaput, 12, beats the odds in successful gymnast career

  • Aug. 14, 2013 4:25 p.m.

FREE FALLING – Logan Chaput practices on his trampoline at his families home in Springbrook.

When Billy and Tara Chaput of Springbrook gave birth their now 12-year-old son, they were informed he was born with a condition known as clubfoot.

“He was in a cast when he was eight days old then we had a referral at the Children’s Hospital and we were driving there every week to have a cast changed,” recalls Tara. “Then at three months he had surgery and he spent seven weeks in a cast, then had to work with the boots and bar until he was walking.”

Clubfoot, although a relatively common genetic birth condition, would mean that Billy and Tara were unsure if their son would ever walk normally.

“We walked in after his first surgery and he was surrounded by pillows and his leg was propped up with a bunch of pillows and he had an IV in,” said Tara who explains how hard it was to watch her newborn undergo surgery.

Three-month-old Logan was left in a boot and bar system, a pair of shoes with a bar separating them permanently. Tara and Billy explained that the casting hadn’t been doing much after the surgery and they began to worry, but eventually Logan took his first steps.

“He didn’t walk until he was about 14 months old because the boot and bar was hindering him,” said Tara. “It was hard for him to walk, it was hard to carry him, it was hard to really do anything with him because of the bar separating his feet.”

Twelve years, three surgeries, many casts and multiple boot and bar systems later, not only is Logan walking, he is winning national competitions on the trampoline and has hopes of becoming an Olympian gymnast.

Not long after he took his first steps, at age three, he began his trampoline career.

“He had a lot of energy, so we did a parent and tot program,” said Tara who enrolled them at the Exelta Gymnastics Club. “He was so uncoordinated on the floor but did so well on the trampoline and he just excelled at it.”

Logan continued at Exelta building his skills for a number of years, until he and his family felt he was ready for a new adventure. “He needed more of a challenge,” said Tara. “He gets that at Thunder Country because they train world class athletes there.”

After a change of gyms, another surgery at the age of nine and three month’s recovery time Logan found himself on the provincial podium with a gold medal a mere nine months after surgery. His success continued as his skills on the trampoline increased.

His parents stood by and watched as their son continued to amaze them while he took home three gold medals with Team Alberta at the Western Canada Cup in 2012 in trampoline, synchronized trampoline and double mini trampoline, as well as a bronze in tumbling.

During the Western Canada Cup, Logan was named fourth overall athlete in Western Canada. Following the successful 2012/2013 season, Logan underwent a surgery on the growth plate of his right femur.

He was unable to run or jump post surgery, and underwent three months of recovery. “It was really depressing before the surgery,” said Logan. “Then afterwards it was hard to get back to where I was before the surgery because I had to start back as if I was seven years old – practically at the beginning again.”

Even with his surgery and having to relearn many of his skills, Logan went on to compete in Ottawa in May at the Canadian National Championships as well as the Canada Cup in July.

“It’s almost unbelievable when he goes up there and is four month’s post surgery and he is competing and getting gold medals,” said Tara.

With a bright future ahead of him and a possibility to one day make it to Olympic levels, Logan is excited for a 2013/2014 season where he hopes to make it to an international competition.

“They don’t know where he’s going to go yet,” said Billy.

“We are thinking Czechoslovakia, but nothing is set in stone.”

To prepare for the international competition and to offset the average $10,000 expense bill, the Chaputs are hosting a movie night Aug. 21st at an acreage outside of Red Deer with a $5 admission charge.

“People are really focused on team sports when it comes to getting sponsors and I don’t think people realize how much it costs for a person in a single sport like gymnastics to do what they need to do – especially when you want to go to an international competition,” said Tara.

“We will be hosting a meet and greet at 7 p.m. and the movie will begin at 9 p.m. Theatre-style refreshments will be available to purchase on site. We will be showing a child friendly movie and welcome all ages. Be sure to bring a blanket or chair as well as bug spray.”

For more information, check out www.loganchaput.ca.

Tickets are $5 per person (under two-years-old is free) and are available at Family First Chiropractic (142 Erickson Dr.), Cool Beans Bus (4740 50th St.), or by texting 403-304-9041.

jswan@reddeerexpress.com

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