MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - They say hard work pays off and for one local teen, it has proven true.
David Watkins, a junior at Murphysboro High School, will compete against 700 gymnasts from across the country at the Junior Olympic Nationals next week.
Watkins will compete in six events including vault, rings and high bars.
He started his Olympic journey at just 18 months.
Now, 17 years old, he said this is by far the biggest stage he has competed on.
"The Junior Olympic Nationals is definitely the biggest competition I've ever competed in," he said. "I'm looking forward to California and spending time on the beach for one thing and competing with my teammates and seeing how well they do and cheering them on. I'm excited to spend time with my family and just enjoy myself."
The competition is in California where his mom and girlfriend will right be cheering him on.
He said his dream is to compete at a college level and then one day, in the olympics.