When you think of athletes at Lake Forest High School, a gymnast might not be the first one that pops into your mind. Yet gymnast Richie Mannarino, also known as @roloflow8, begs to differ. Mannarino, who moved to Lake Forest from New York last August, has quite the personality. Known for his very outgoing and positive attitude, he is always willing to show you his incredible flipping skills no matter where he is: the lower commons, lunch room, front lawn, and wrestling room notwithstanding.
Richie first started to flip back when he was in 5th grade. “I first started flipping on Christmas break in 5th grade when I tried to do a backflip for the first time and it worked. Then I began going to open gyms where I could train and learn in a more safe environment.” He usually practices 2-3 hours a day, mostly at his house but will go to open gyms one or twice a week. He also works at Flips Gymnastics, which gives him the opportunity to practice while he is helping others. When asked what his favorite trick is he said, “Definitely a ‘webster,’ which is just a frontflip off one foot.” He is able to perform a “webster” with ease. One trick that he is currently trying to land, a double full to double full, is a supremely difficult trick. Richie defines a double full to double full as “a backflip with two twists and then another backflip with two twists.”
Mannarino also has a very popular Instagram account, where he is able to showcase his skills on social media with videos and pictures of him flipping out. Richie posts daily videos of him doing insane tricks and has gained quite the following. When I asked Richie about his account and its popularity he said, “My account started gaining followers when I started posting consistently. Once I started posting videos nearly every day the followers just started to come.” Currently, he has over twenty thousand followers, 23, 400 to be exact, all tuning in each day to see his newest trick. His videos receive an average of about 12,000 views per post.