Karrissa Wimberley practices her baton routine outside of her home in Tallahassee. She's gearing up for the biggest baton twirling competition of her life.
"The World Championships happen every two years. At the last world championships in 2010, I won the silver medal which was really exciting, I won the finals round of freestyle which was the best that a US woman had done in about 30 years," said Wimberley.
Wimberley was the feature twirler at Flroida State from 2005 to 2009. She would perform at games juggling multiple batons that were on fire. A common misconception is that baton twirling is easy, but the physical demands Wimberley put on her body included 8 hours of training a day while she was at FSU.
Twirling truly is a family affair for Wimberley. Her mother is a former FSU feature twirler and got Karissa and her brother started at a young age.
"I never wanted them to twirl because I did, I always wanted it to be their sport, but growing up around it and seeing all the kids I teach I think the energy drifted over to them as well," said Karrissa's mother Cheryl Wimberley.
Karrissa hopes that her hard work turns to gold in France when she competes August first through fifth.
"There's been a buzz that I could be a contender for the gold medal. But you can't go in there worrying about placements you just have to go in there and do your job."