The High Flying Maximillian

Freshman finishes 3rd in 2019 Regional Championships, eyes Olympics


Clare Lawler, Editor

Freshman gymnast Max Olinger attended the 2019 Regional Championships for boys gymnastics last weekend, finishing third of out 93 competitors. With a third place finish, he qualified for Nationals and requalified for the Regionals Elite team, which he has already been a part of for the past four years.

Olinger is 15 years old and attended St. Joseph Catholic School prior to LFHS. He has his eyes on the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, saying, “It’s been my dream since I was little—it keeps me driven.”

Max Olinger

Olinger began gymnastics when he was just three years old when his parents introduced him to the sport in order to get his energy out. He started out at level four and has now progressed to level 10.

Over the course of his life, Olinger has won the Illinois State Championships twice and has been a two-time silver and one time bronze medalist at Regional Championships.

At the 2016 National Championships, Olinger describes the moment he saw the scoreboard, saying, “My stomach dropped and I felt the happiest I had ever felt before, knowing I had won the championship.”

During this gymnastics season, he won the largest junior men’s International Competition in Houston, where he competed against gymnasts from USA, Spain, Japan, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.

Olinger dreams of attending Stanford and competing for their gymnastics team, progressing further and further until he eventually makes it to the Olympics.

He trains extensively, going to the gym for four hours a day for six days a week; his team does about 48 routines in one week alone. He says his family supports him with his training and helps him by making healthy meals for him every day. He also thanks his coaches, John Karmacy, Doug Burton, and Leo Krivitsky for helping him become the gymnast he is now.

In 2016, Olinger went to see the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. After watching the competition, he met a French gymnast named Samir Ait Said, who told Olinger that someday he will be at the Olympics with them because of his hard work and dedication.

“I was truly inspired and dedicated to make it to the Olympics after seeing them in person,” Olinger said.