Gymnast Overcomes Injury to Qualify for Nationals

(KHNL) - Randi Lau winces as her physical therapist helps her work through her pain.

"I was scared, because it was really sore and I never felt anything like it," said the 12 year old elite gymnast.

It's her first major injury of her career.  A devastating blow, but there's no time to waste.

From rehab, it's off to practice with dad, Robert. Nationals is a week away. But getting to this point was not easy. She first had to qualify.

"That was not good. Even we believed based on her not being able to perform her skills and all the pain. It was pretty much over," said Robert Lau, Randi's father.

While other gymnasts needed to go through a number of events to qualify, Randi's injuries held her back.

But because of her reputation she was able to petition into the National Championships, if she could execute one elite level vault.  She did.

"I knew in my heart she stood a chance right then and there," said Robert.

At the Hawaiian Island Twisters Gymnasium in Mapunapuna, Coach Joe Rapp helps fine tune her floor routine. Even when she falls again and again - she keeps going.

"People are saying I can't do it, it makes me drive more to want to do it," explained Randi.

She's learned a lot this month. The biggest lesson- to never give up.

"If a child believes you got to let her go because as parents we were willing to give up already seeing all the pain. But she has learned how to persevere and really fight at a different level for what she wants," said Robert.