2008 Nissen-Emery Award finalist answered fans’ questions Tuesday

COLUMBUS, Ohio Senior gymnast DJ Bucher held a live online chat on to answer fans’ questions Tuesday. Read a full transcript of the chat below.

In his time at Ohio State, Bucher, a six-time All-American, has captured three league titles, including the 2005 and ’07 Big Ten parallel bars titles and the 2006 Big Ten pommel horse crown. The Mason, Ohio, native was voted tri-captain of the 2008 squad, is a four-time All-Big Ten selection and a 2007 CGA Second Team All-America Scholar-Athlete. Nationally, Bucher has qualified for seven of the last nine USA Gymnastics’ VISA Championships and was named to the 2002 and ’05 U.S. Senior National teams.  

DJ is here so we will go ahead and begin.

Mom (Natalie):Mason, Ohio:  

With years of training, competitions, celebrations and disappointments, what do you think is the one thing you will take with you when you walk out of the competition gym for the final time? (I don’t mean your shirt and shorts either!)


I think I’ll bring away self-discipline and the ability to make mistakes and put them behind me will be the biggest thing.


Is the ultimate prize for a gymnast an Olympic Medal? What other honors are there, both in competition and non-competition?


Definitely, the Olympic medal is most gymnasts’ goals but for college, winning the NCAA team championships is the ultimate prize.


Of all the other sports at OhioState, what is your favorite to watch?


I always like going to basketball and volleyball because they are always exciting and pretty packed. Plus, a lot of the guys like to go so it is a good time to hang out with them.


What is the one thing you will miss most once the season ends?


Probably competing with the team and fighting together to get a win during the big meets like the Big Ten and NCAA championships.

Laura:Dayton, Ohio:  

What are you looking to do individually at NCAAs this year? How do you expect the team to do?


Individually, I’m trying to get the title on parallel bars and be an All-American on pommel horse again. For the team, I hope we finish in the Top 3.


What’s your favorite event and why? What’s the most difficult skill you compete?


My favorite event is parallel bars because it’s easy for me and I’ve always be able to compete it well. The hardest skill I compete is the peach full on parallel bars.


What’s next after your college career is finished? Are there plans to continue gymnastics?


Hopefully, I’ll be able to make it to USA Championships and Olympic Trials from how I compete at the NCAA Championships this week. As far as continuing, this looks like to be my final year.


Who’s your funniest teammate?


Pat Hatmaker is the funniest because he’s always doing something he’s not supposed to and that makes us laugh.

Emily:Columbus, Ohio:  

What’s your favorite pre-meet meal?


I always like to go to Burger King and get a nice Whopper and fries.


Four years ago, why did you choose OhioState?


I chose OhioState for the camaraderie between the guys and because Miles has coached so many Olympic team members.


What’s your schedule like in California leading up to the national championships?


Today, we will stretch around in the morning and have a full practice in the afternoon. Tomorrow we have a full practice in the afternoon and the Nissen-Emery Awards banquet with all participating teams in the evening. Thursday we compete in the afternoon session which is nice because we get done and out of there. Hopefully, we’ll be competing in the team finals Friday and then the individual finals Saturday.

Jared:St. Henry, Ohio:  

What does it mean to you to be a candidate for the Nissen-Emery Award?


It means a lot because it means someone out there appreciates what I’ve been working so hard for the past four years. To be put in a category with some many other great gymnasts before me is a big honor.

Carlos:Chicago, Ill.:  

What’s the best meal you make?


Anything you can put in the microwave.


Would you ever consider coaching gymnastics? Do you plan to still be involved in the sport after college?


I don’t think I’ll ever coach gymnastics because I don’t like having to try and explain how to do things. It’s not my strong suit to explain how – I just do it.


After all the injuries and set backs – why did you stick with gymnastics?


I think it’s the challenge and the goal to keep going. It’s trying to make it to the end which would be making an Olympic team. In college, it’s been about trying to be there for my teammates.


How tall are you? And how does being so little affect your gymnastics?


I’m 5-0 tall and it doesn’t affect my gymnastics that much. It gives me a little advantage on parallel bars but with every other event it’s pretty much the same.