Langley’s Angel Zhong, in her home away from home — the Langley Gymnastics Foundation. The teenager — she is set to graduate in June a year early — is off to Brigham Young University next year on a gymnastics scholarship. She signed her national letter of intent last Friday at LGF, where she trains 30 hours a week.

Langley’s Angel Zhong, in her home away from home — the Langley Gymnastics Foundation. The teenager — she is set to graduate in June a year early — is off to Brigham Young University next year on a gymnastics scholarship. She signed her national letter of intent last Friday at LGF, where she trains 30 hours a week.

Langley gymnast set to compete with Cougars

Angela Zhong earns gymnastics scholarship to Brigham Young University

Angel Zhong loves what she is doing, but admits she has questioned the path she was on.

For the past eight and a half years — a little more than half her life — the 16-year-old has trained and competed as a gymnast.

These days, the Langley teenager is training 30 hours a week with the Langley Gymnastics Foundation.

“The hardest part sometimes is believing that at the end something good will come out of it,” she admitted.

“I love challenges, but at one point, it was just so hard.”

“But I got over that part and wanted to keep going.”

“That would be my advice to young gymnasts, work hard and most importantly, endure to the end because a lot of people, they quit right before they are about to do something great.”

And that something great for Zhong is signing her national letter of intent to accept a scholarship offer to Brigham Young University, where she will compete on the gymnastics team.

“Angel is a very hard working girl, never complains, always listens,” said Liudmila Lobaznyuk, one of her coaches with the Langley Gymnastics Foundation.

“She is a dream for coaches.”

Zhong, who turns 17 in January, is actually graduating from Walnut Grove Secondary a year early, having completed some of her courses through online learning to put her ahead of schedule.

All of this has been done so in pursuit of gymnastics.

She attends schools in the morning, and then trains for about six hours six days a week in the afternoon and early evening, before heading home to finish up homework.

While that may not leave much time for free time, this is perfect for Zhong.

When the family moved to Canada about 10 years ago — first living in Richmond before coming to Langley — Zhong tried several sports, such as swimming, skating, ballet and soccer to name a few. But none seemed to satisfy her energy level.

“I would come home from those sports, and I still had energy,” she explained.

“But this sport, gymnastics, it challenged me and made me tired, so I really liked that.”

And the work has paid off with Zhong committing to BYU on a full gymnastics scholarship for September.

Choosing BYU was an easy decision for Zhong as the Utah university is predominantly Mormon, her family’s religion. The school also offers a strong sciences program as Zhong wants to do pre-med program and eventually become a doctor. And she loved the atmosphered on campus and with the team when she went on her visit.

And of course, this will offer her the chance to do her university studies while continuing to compete at the NCAA level.

Zhong is currently competing at the senior level and is in the process of trying to move to the highest level, high performance senior.

At last year’s Canadian national championships, Zhong finished 17th in the all-around, including taking gold on the floor and silver in the vault.

She knows that competing at the NCAA level is the first step to the ultimate goal: earning a spot on the Canadian senior national team program and then hopefully one day competing at the Olympic Games.

Not that she is getting too ahead of herself.

“I will take it one step at a time,” she said.

Her coach agrees.

“She has everything she needs,” Lobaznyuk said. “And she is working very hard go get her dreams.”