LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After graduating from Christian Academy of Indiana in 2020, Noah Pace spent much of the last year taking classes at the University of Louisville while working on his skills as a gymnast.
His efforts were all in the hope of getting the letter he received a little more than a month ago: an acceptance into the United States Military Academy. It was a long, strenuous process — with a great ending.
"There's been a lot going on," Pace said. "I had to do a fitness assessment: running, push-ups, sit-ups, all that. And then of course I had to get a nomination from a senator or congressman. You have to write an essay about it. You have to get three letters of recommendation. They judge you on your ACT scores, your GPA, on the essay and all that and then they let you know if they want an interview.
"It took me over six months to complete the application to West Point. Yeah, it was pretty strenuous but definitely worth it."
A two-time state champion on the horizontal bar, Pace applied to other colleges but had Army in the back of his mind. Combining his desire to serve his country with his love for gymnastics, West Point was the ultimate fit.
"Once you graduate, you have so many more paths to go down," he said. "So many doors open for you."
Pace, the fourth of seven children, arrived at SIGS Sportsplex to train five years ago far from a finished product. The discipline and drive it took to get to this point will serve him well in this next challenge.
"All you really knew was a kid that wanted it, had passion and worked really hard," said Tim Sexton, the Men's Program Director at SIGS Sportsplex. "It was never a given. This was a kid following his heart, chasing a dream, and it worked out."
Pace will head to West Point in June to begin basic training and his freshman year.
"The idea that you would have somebody from your program representing your sport and your state (and) representing your country at one of the hardest schools you can get into, there's no greater honor," Sexton said.
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