A rare peak behind the scenes at the training regime of the uber successful US gymnastics team – it’s not for the faint-hearted

The first surprising thing at the US Olympic Training Centre in Texas is the camels.

‘There’s no point to them,’ says legendary former coach Bela Karolyi, the man who guided Romania’s Nadia Comaneci to the first ever perfect 10 score, ‘It’s just a bit of fun for the girls.’

As cuddly as this image sounds, 72-year-old Bela and his equally formidable wife and current national team coach Marta have been instrumental in the current dominance of the US women’s gymnastics team with their old school, discipline heavy approach to training, learned in their former homeland.

Since 1996, the US women’s team have won two Olympic team golds and four World Championships, breaking the stranglehold of the Russians and ironically, Romanians. Marta, also 72, has been solely in charge of the US team since 2001.

“We are so far and away the best in the world that it is even frightening to me,’ Bela told WTHR.

The training is not for the faint-hearted. A session of circuit training is just the warm up for these pocket power houses…

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