Lubi Gazov may not be a local girl, in fact she was raised and trained as a gymnast nearly 8,000 miles away in Austria.
But the day she first set foot in Hawaii, she knew she had found her new home.
“I was 18 years old and the next day when I woke up I fell in love with Hawaii and I remember I told my parents back there I love it so much in one day I will come to Hawaii and I will be here and that the rest of my life,” said Gazov, who is now a world aerobic gymnastics champion.
Of course mom and dad just brushed it off as something on her wish list. Though that wish … quickly became reality.
“But the truth is I felt like Hawai`i embraced me in a second and And I came back for vacation years after now I’m here and I have my studio and I’m so grateful for that” says Gazov.
That studio is in the heart of Honolulu, a place where Lubi shares her passion for a sport she loves, and conquered.
“Aerobic gymnastics is a compilation of all gymnastics disciplines. We have rhythmic gymnastics with the equipment in the ball in the ribbon and so on . We have trampoline and we have tumbling and after tumbling we also have aerobics”
Although it’s not an olympic sport yet, Lubi believes it will be … and soon.
But that hardly matters to the students she works with today… who want to be exactly like her when they get older.
One of her students, Christine Hill, started training with Lubi after struggling with her previous coach. She says the difference was night and day.
“Oh my God I see the best person when I first heard about her I thought oh my goodness I finally get a private coach I saw all of her performances and I wanted to learn all those movements,” said Hill.
Her father, Anthony Hill, shared similar thoughts. “My daughter was in another program before and she wasn’t progressing as fast as she wanted to she was pretty stressed out one day and I said OK we’re gonna get your private lessons”
Anthony Hill says he and his wife knew immediately they made the right choice for their daughter.
He also says while Lubi is an amazing performer and coach … it’s her energy and positivity that’s made the biggest difference.
And it’s not only in the sport that Christine blossomed …
“The proof is there. The proof is there and we see it in her daughter she is changed dramatically since she started coming here,” said Hill. “Everything about her she’s more energetic more enthusiastic more aggressive toward her training. She never stops and again it is translated over to her academics as well so we’re really excited about that”.
As for Lubi … that’s worth as much as every trophy and medal combined.
“We are going for the gold together. It’s a big gift. For me it’s a big motivation for me I want to inspire as many people as I can I want to let them know a world champion is here I want the best for them and their health and I want to give them the feeling of being a champion in their own life.”