Oct. 4, 2012
How did you first become involved with gymnastics?
When I was younger, my cousins taught me how to do back flips. I was progressing really fast, and my parents wanted to make sure I had a safe environment where I could practice my gymnastics so they signed me up for classes when I turned six.
What are some aspects of the sport that kept you interested in staying with it?
Progression is a big part of gymnastics. There really isn’t a limit to what you can do. It’s different from a lot of other sports in that way. You don’t only have to perfect the basics and apply them but you also have to be creative and unique to be the best.
You have experience at both the national and international level. Can you describe some experiences and/or memories you have of those times?
It’s always nerve wracking when representing someone in competition, but I think more experience really helps to ease everything. Also, training in the exact manor in which you compete is really important. It takes a lot of the pressure off competitions. It’s important to embrace the struggle and enjoy every day. Some days will be harder than others. I’ve felt the pressure and gain of gymnastics but the rewards outnumber the hardships and winning is nothing if you didn’t work for it.
How did training at that high level help you prepare for collegiate gymnastics at Ohio State?
I think team competitions in college are very similar to those on an international stage, and having the opportunity to compete at that level has given me an insight to the atmosphere. I know what it’s like to not only have a nation putting their faith in me but a group of friends who are putting their faith in me to help them accomplish their goals.
You’re in a team atmosphere now, more so than before with training and competition. How have you adjusted to that difference?
It’s been a pretty easy change and one that will be very beneficial. The team has been very helpful in and out of the gym. Our training and schedules aren’t easy. Having friends around that can push you to your potential and are right there to catch you if you fall is the greatest feeling in the world. It has definitely brought us all closer together.
What helped you make the decision to attend Ohio State?
I had a few other options, but I believed that Ohio State was the right choice for me. When I compared academics, coaching staff and team members to other schools, Ohio State stood out as number one.
What are some goals you’ve set for your freshman season?
I just want to be as consistent as possible and show everyone what I have to offer both Ohio State and hopefully the nation.
Lastly, you’re originally from Florida. Do you miss anything about it now that you’re in Ohio?
I really miss the weather. I’m not used to the cold. In Florida, I always wore a jacket when it was in the 70’s. Ohio fall is pretty much Florida’s winter. I’m probably going to miss the hot weather at Christmas the most, though. Christmas beach trips are the greatest presents ever.