Lucy Shaw, a sixth grader at Gilbert Intermediate this fall, recently garnered a gold medal not common in the City of Champions.
Last weekend she won her second world championship in log rolling at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wis.
Like rodeo, competitive lumberjack games were established by an industry that helped shape America. The Lumberjack World Championships is recognized as the premiere lumberjack sporting event in the nation, where lumberjacks, and lumberjills, from around the world compete for gold. The games are typically broadcast on ESPN.
Competitors shuffle their feet forwards and backwards on the log to keep their balance while trying to knock their opponents off the log into the water.
"Running forwards is the hardest part," said Lucy. "So many people make you fall off when you're going backwards, so I've practiced that more and have gotten really good at it."
The best three of five games wins the match. The winner advances further, while the loser falls into a consolation bracket.
During the final match for the gold medal and log rolling title, Lucy started off slowly, losing her balance and falling off in the first two sets.
"It was so nerve racking. I had the shakes and the chills," Lucy said. "I thought to myself, 'This is the end.' Then I remembered mom always told me to say 'I can do this, I can do this.'"
Indeed, Lucy climbed out of the water and came back to win the last three sets.
"Oh my gosh! I actually did this! I won for a second time in a row," Lucy said. "It was the best moment in my life."
Her parents, friends and coaches roared in the stands after Lucy came back from behind to win her second world championship.
"It's awesome, she works really hard," her mother Victoria said. "During the tournament her mental focus was amazing getting back on the log after getting knocked down a few times. It's incredible to watch her roll."
Three years ago, the family uprooted from Grand Marais, Minnesota and moved to Stephenville. At the time, Lucy thought she was saying goodbye to log rolling, which is popular in the north.
"I hated the move only because I knew how badly she loved log rolling," Victoria said. "She missed it and we wanted her to know she could still do it in Stephenville."
So the Shaws moved into a home with a pool and her father, Barry, rigged a log across the water so she could practice and continue competing. Even with the log, however, there are few partners in Stephenville to practice against.
"My friend Dominic came up for a month one time, but he's not much competition," Lucy said. "But my dad log rolls too, and he's actually pretty hard to beat."
Lucy is back on the log this weekend competing in the Minnesota State Lumberjack Championships, but nothing is greater for Lucy and her family than her two-time national title.
"The Lumberjack World Championship is a blast to watch," Victoria said. "It's considered the Olympics of the timber sports."