Colin Van Wicklen calls it the Redemption Tour.
Others may call his return to the mat, vault and high bar a comeback.
Soon the only thing Collin hopes to be called is a World Champion.
A year ago, Colin was a 2017 World Team alternate and forced to watch as his teammates compete in the 2017 World Championships. Being on the sidelines wasn’t easy for a 12-time-All-American, who was an integral part of three National Championship teams at the University of Oklahoma.
Colin had just completed an incredible collegiate career at Oklahoma. As a senior captain in 2017, he led the Sooners to a record third-straight NCAA Championship and was the NCAA floor silver medalist.
Colin, the 2016 NCAA Floor Champion, was just getting started. When his collegiate career concluded he headed back to Texas and began training at Cypress Gymnastics Academy. He was off to a great start, winning the 2017 All-Around title at the Valeri Liukin Invitation. He began to build on his success and was inching closer to his dream of making the World Team. But the rigors of the sport stalled his dream, as he suffered an ankle injury just days before the Winter Cup competition.
Down, but not out, Colin worked through rehab and when cleared by his doctor, he made it his mission to come back stronger and better than ever.
First gymnast in the gym, last gymnast in the gym – every single day. That was Colin’s motto.
“Going to Worlds last year as a backup (alternate) definitely motivated me,” said Colin.
“I worked hard and continued to pursue my goal.”
His hard work and determination paid-off, he came back stronger than ever.
Since Colin was eight years old he has been chasing his dream of representing the United States at both the World Championship and the Olympics. He is half way there.
After medaling at the 2018 US National Championships this summer in Boston, MA, the 23 year-old no longer has to watch the World Championships from the sidelines. He is living his dream as one of five gymnasts representing the United States as a member of the 2018 World Team. Colin is in Doha, Qatar, competing in the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championship, October 25 – November 3.
“This is something I have dreamed about since I was eight years old, to hear my name called and to see how far I’ve come is a blessing.”
Colin isn’t satisfied to just be a member the team. He is determined to make an impact.
“We have a super young team,” said Colin. “I have been working hard. This is my first international competition. I am looking to hit all my routines and get on the podium. I have an opportunity to get a big score for my team on the vault. I want to show the world the new identity of the U.S. men’s team. And I want to win a World Championship medal. That has been my personal goal since I was eight years old.”
Colin is also already looking ahead to 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“As long as I continue to work hard, that goal is achievable."
During the 2018 World Championships, he will not only be representing the United States, he will be representing Alpha Factor as a brand ambassador.
“Alpha Factor is awesome,” said Colin. “Their uniforms are super popular for both women and men. I love being able to show off (their uniforms) and hope we can get other (U.S. team members) on board.”