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ORG Scholar Athlete Wins $75K National Innovator Award

 PRESS RELEASE

Passion for Rhythmic Gymnastics Leads to $75K Innovator Award

Oakland Rhythmics Gymnast Wins National Honor

May was a good month for Michelle Hua, age 16, of Troy.  The Level 9 Oakland Rhythmics gymnast qualified for the national USA Championships and she also won the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award for a project based on her gymnastics workouts. 

When Covid 19 cancelled in person training last year, Hua had to pivot.  Her pivot became the basis for an award-winning research project.

“To stay active and help my online rhythmic gymnastics training, I aspired to create a novel artificial intelligence-based human action recognition algorithm,” said Hua. “It uses human silhouettes, extracted from the frames of a video, to recognize patterns and distinct features in actions.”

Using the algorithm, Hua was able to see the corrections she needed to make in order to improve her rhythmic gymnastics performance.  Her improved performance led the way for her to qualify for the national USA Championships last month. 

Karyn Glover, Oakland Rhythmic Gymnastics Program Director, is extremely proud of her gymnast.

“I’ve watched Michelle’s hard work and dedication to the sport for many years,” said Glover.  “It’s no surprise that she turned her passion into a science project that can benefit so many people.”

This summer, girls from K through 12th grade can experience the joy of rhythmic gymnastics during Oakland Rhythmics Summer Camps, July 12-August 20.  The camps will be held at East Hills Middle School Field House, 2800 Kensington, Bloomfield Hills, MI  48304. 

Each week will feature a different theme and students will learn dance combos, cool moves with rhythmic apparatus (ball, hoop, ribbon), gymnastics-style stretching, eye-hand coordination, and muscle-building exercises.  The camp concludes with a performance for the parents.

For more information on the program and to register for a camp, visit www.oaklandrhythmics.com.  Email Karyn Glover, ORG Program Director, at [email protected] to learn more.

Interviews:

Michelle Hua is a 16-year old sophomore at Cranbrook Kingswood School.  Her research project based on rhythmic gymnastics movements has won multiple awards including the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award, the top award at the 2021 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, 1st place in the category of Robotics and Intelligent Machines and the 1st Award of $1,500 from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Karyn Glover is a former six-time USA National Team member who has competed internationally as an individual and group member of the USA Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship Team.  She’s been the Oakland Rhythmic Gymnastics Program Director for 14 years. 

To schedule an interview or performance, please call 248-770-9158 or email [email protected].   

Performance, Photos, and/or Video

Members of the Oakland Rhythmics nationally-ranked competitive team are available for demonstrations or performances. Photos and videos are available on the Facebook page and website. (Photo credit: Oakland Rhythmic Gymnastics)

Background:

Oakland Rhythmic Gymnastics is the largest and longest-running rhythmic gymnastics program in Michigan.  For over 30 years the team has produced national, regional, and state champions in the sport of rhythmic gymnastics as well as providing a fun, athletic recreational program for non-competitors.

Captions:

  1. Michelle Hua of Troy, Level 9 Oakland Rhythmic gymnast, competing at the 2020 Michigan State Meet in Bloomfield Hills. (Photo credit: Liyuan Liang)