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Tokyo bound: KC-area gymnasts Kara Eaker, Leanne Wong get all-American send off

Eaker and Wong send-off
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 17:02:32-04

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Dreams are becoming reality for a pair of Kansas City-area gymnasts.

Surrounded by peers and parents, Kara Eaker and Leanne Wong received an all-American sendoff Tuesday, as the duo prepares to join Team USA at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“It's just so shocking that I'm actually here and I get to do this,” Eaker said. “It means a lot to me.”

The pair will serve as replacement athletes for the women’s gymnastic team when competition begins later this month.

“It's a huge honor to represent the USA and Kansas City,” Wong said, smiling from ear-to-ear. “All the years of hard work and staying with it has been worth it,” she added.

Before boarding the international flight, the group talked about the frenzy to prepare and the disappointment of potentially performing with no audiences.

“These kids have worked so hard, and they're going to be representing everybody,” said coach Al Fong. “Everybody in the city of Blue Springs, everybody in Kansas City, everybody in Missouri, everybody, we hope in the United States."