Two NC teens head to Olympic Trials to compete for a spot on Team USA

RAW: Emily Schild practices her beam routine
Locklear will compete in Olympic Trials Friday and Sunday. (Source: WECT)
Locklear will compete in Olympic Trials Friday and Sunday. (Source: WECT)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WECT) - Two gymnasts from North Carolina have their eyes on the Olympics.

They have spent countless hours training at the same gym near Charlotte. This weekend, they'll learn if that training will pay off as they compete in the Olympic trials.

At just 17 and 18 years old, Emily Schild and Ashton Locklear have spent their entire lives preparing for this weekend, for their shot at the Olympics.

Emily Schild is only one step away from accomplishing her greatest dream.

"I was watching the 2008 and 2012 Olympics back home on TV and I was like, 'Wow, it would be amazing if I could go to the Olympics,'" Schild remembered.

Years later, the Olympics are a possibility. Schild will be one of only 14 women competing for a spot on Team USA in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Even just getting selected to go to the Olympic Trials is huge.

"When they said that, I was just so in shock and so proud of myself, I looked up at my parents and they were just so proud of me too," Schild said.

Born and raised in Huntersville, Emily has been practicing since she was two.

"I just loved sticking with gymnastics and it just kept getting easier and I started getting up to where I am today," Schild added.

She knows dreams don't come easy, especially when you are going for the gold.

"I've sacrificed a lot, if friends ask me to go to the movies or the pool or their birthday, I'm just like sorry I have to practice," Schild said.

She's in the gym about six hours a day, six days a week, flying through her routines over and over again. Then, just like any other teenager, she has homework.

"It's difficult. After the gym, I go home and start homework, it's difficult and challenging but I'm able to handle it," Schild said.

Her balancing act has paid off. Emily has earned a gymnastics scholarship to Georgia and a spot in the Olympic Trials, which is where all of her focus is now.

"I'm a little nervous, but mostly I'm excited to just to go out there and compete and show everyone what I can do," Schild added.

Competing in front of the nation, this North Carolina girl aims to prove she belongs in Rio.

"I just have to stay calm and confident," Schild said. "I got this."

She's not the only North Carolina girl headed to Olympic Trials. Ashton Locklear, 17, trains at the same gym in Huntersville, Everest Gymnastics.

The Lumberton native is a member of the Lumbee Tribe. If she goes to the Olympics, her family says she will be the first Native American on Team USA's Women's Gymnastics Team. She'll also be the first female Lumbee Native American in the Olympics.

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