ABOUT Alexa Al-Hameed

2018

Alexa Al-Hameed

Hometown:
Ames, Iowa

Age:
17

Gym:
Triad Gymnastics
Ankeny, Iowa

Qualifying Meet:
Classic Spectacular

            Bio

Instagram: @alexaelsie

Do you have a nickname? Lex

When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics? My parents put me in gymnastics because I had a ton of energy, and my mom noticed I was more muscular than most kids, so gymnastics might be a good fit.

Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes? When I was 7, I lost my first tooth by knocking it out on a handstand on beam.

When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete at a high level? What about competition appeals to you? I loved being in the gym and I learned skills fast, so my coaches thought competing would be a good route for me. Watching Iowa State gymnastics meets in my hometown from a young age made me realize that I wanted to compete in college. I like competing because it gives you a chance to show off what you’ve been doing in the gym. I love the feeling you get when you nail your routine!

What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics? I train Monday-Thursday, and Saturday for a total of 21.25 hrs. I leave school early every day to get to practice in the afternoon, so I homeschool a couple classes. I don’t remember making the switch to competitive gymnastics as a Level 4, but I know the hours increased when I jumped from Level 7 to 9 and switched gyms going into Level 10.

What is your favorite event? Bars

What is your favorite skill? Tkatchev

What music do you use for your floor routine? Piano Fantasy

Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”? I look up to Evy Schoepfer, Kynsee Roby, and Erin Castle. They are my former teammates and competing in college now.

How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally? I have become so much more confident in my abilities and realize that I am a unique gymnast, so I shouldn’t compare myself to others all the time.

How has gymnastics helped you as a person? It has made me realize how important it is to surround yourself with positive people (inside and outside of the gym). It has also helped me to be disciplined at school – managing my time and working hard to get good grades.

If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be? No matter how many setbacks you face, use them to motivate you, not stop you.

What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career? Qualifying to this competition after being out from ankle injuries for nearly two years. In 2015, placing 3rd AA at the Nastia Cup and then getting my highest ever AA score at the Northern Lights Classic the next day.

What grade are you in school? Senior

Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics? Yes!

What are your favorite subjects, etc.? Math

If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there? Exercise science or accounting

What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing? I would like to make the JO National Team this year and win a national championship in college.

When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities? I like hanging out with my friends, baking and watching Netflix. I volunteer at Food at First – the local food pantry/kitchen, the hospital, and mentor a girl through our county’s youth mentoring program.

What is your favorite food? Grilled chicken and ice cream

What is your favorite movie? I don’t have a favorite movie, but I love the shows Gilmore Girls and This Is Us

What is your favorite book? Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu

What is your favorite music group? MAX

Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports? My dad did football in college, my stepmom did basketball in college, and my sister Aliyah (12) does AAU basketball

What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up? I have a bunch of different genres on my phone. Before a meet I have a “MEET DAY” playlist that I listen to with songs by MAX, Beyoncé, and Future.

If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they? Persevering, focused, hard-working

2015

Alexa Al-Hameed

Hometown:
Ames, Iowa

Age:
14

Gym:
Triad Gymnastics
Ankeny, Iowa

Qualifying Meet:
Circle of Stars

            Bio

1. Name, Age, Hometown
Alexa Al-Hameed, 14, Ames, Iowa

2. Do you have a nickname?
Some people call me “Lex”

3. When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
In 2003, my parents put in a tumblebugs class because I needed somewhere to let my energy out and they knew I was the dancer type

4. Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
In Kindergarten during one of practices, I knocked out my two front teeth doing a headstand on the beam. I don’t know how I did it, I just remember standing on the beams mats afterwards.

5. When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete on the elite level? What about competition appeals to you?
I was pretty young when I was selected for the competitive team. I don’t think I really chose to compete; I just loved being there. I love competing because you get to show off the skills that you have been working so hard on.

6. What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
I practice 26.5 hours a week; Monday through Saturday and I leave [school] everyday at 1 p.m. for gym. I don’t really remember how big the change was, but I’m guessing that the hours doubled!

7. What is your favorite event?
Bars

8. What is your favorite skill?
Tkatchev

9. What music do you use for your floor routine?
Piano Fantasy from Floor Express Music

10. Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
When I read “Off Balance” by Dominique Moceanu, she became my favorite gymnast. I was amazed by how much she overcame in her lifetime. I also look up to certain girls in the gym because they work so hard.

11. How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
I have become much more confident in my skills and abilities. I’ve accomplished so much more that I thought I could have a few years ago.

12. How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
It’s taught me to persevere through the hard times and to work hard at everything you do. I’ve also learned to manage my time between school, gym and other activities.

13. If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
With confidence and hard work, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

14. What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
Winning vault at J.O. Nationals last year, winning Level 9 Regionals and qualifying for the Nastia Liukin Cup twice.

15. What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
9th grade (freshman) at Gilbert High School

16. Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
Yes, definitely!

17. What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
Math

18. If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
Civil engineering, or something in the medical field

19. What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
This year, I want to place in the top four at J.O. Nationals, in order to make the national team. After I’m done competing, I want to find a job that I enjoy doing and become more involved in charity work.

20. When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
I enjoy baking, reading, doing crafts and shopping.

21. What is your favorite food?
Smoothies

22. What is your favorite movie?
Cheaper by the Dozen and Father of the Bride 2

23. What is your favorite book?
Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu

24. What is your favorite music group?
I don’t have a favorite group, but I like Taylor Swift

25. Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
My sister Aliyah is a compulsory gymnast at Triad.

26. Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
I always wear a certain pair of sock and the same three clips and chapstick to the meet.

27. What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
I like listening to pop music, and I also have a motivational playlist that I listen to before meets. “Hallelujah” is on it to remind me that God can help me through anything.

28. If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
Tough, determined, hardworking

29. What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
Creative, independent, trustworthy

2014

Alexa Al-Hameed

Hometown:
Ames, Iowa

Age:
13

Gym:
Triad Gymnastics
Ankeny, Iowa

Qualifying Meet:
Circle of Stars

            Bio

Q: Do you have a nickname?
“Lexa or Lex.”

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
“In 2003, my parents put me in a tumblebugs class because I needed somewhere to let out my energy and my mom knew I wasn’t the ‘dancer type’ of girl.”

Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
“In kindergarten during one of my practices, I knocked out my two front teeth doing a handstand on beam. I don’t know how I managed to do it. I just remember standing on the beam mats afterward.”

Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete? What about competition appeals to you?
“I was so young when I was selected for the competitive team. I don’t think I really chose to compete; I just loved being there. I like competing because you get to show off the skills that you have been working so hard on.”

Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
“I practice 26.5 hours per week, Monday – Saturday. I leave school every day at 1 p.m. for practice. I don’t exactly remember how big the change was, but I’m guessing that the hours doubled!”

Q: What is your favorite event?
“Bars.”

Q: What is your favorite skill?
“Tkatchev.”

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
“Piano Fantasy, from floorexpressmusic.com.”

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
“Ever since I read Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu, she has become my favorite gymnast. I was amazed at how much she overcame in her lifetime. I also look up to other girls at the gym because they work really hard.”

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
“I have become much more confident in my skills and abilities.”

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
“It’s taught me to persevere through hard times and to always do your best and to work hard at everything you do. It’s also taught me how to manage my time because I have to do my schoolwork at night.”

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
“With confidence and hard work you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
“Winning Level 9 Regionals in 2013; getting my first all-around score in the 38s at my third level 10 meet; and qualifying to the 2014 Nastia Liukin Cup!”

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
“Yes, definitely!”

Q: What are your favorite subjects in school?
“Math and science.”

Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
“I want to study obstetrics and gynecology or architecture.”

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
“To get a scholarship to a Division 1 college and to graduate from college with good grades so I can attend medical school.”

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
“I enjoy reading, baking and doing crafts with my friends, but most likely I would rather be at the gym.”

Q: What is your favorite food?
“Pasta.”

Q: What is your favorite movie?
“‘The Game Plan.'”

Q: What is your favorite book?
“‘All of the Alex Rider Series.”

Q: Who is your favorite musician?
“I don’t really have a favorite, but I like Adele, Alicia Keys, and Ellie Goulding.”

Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
“My youngest sister Aliyah is in gymnastics.”

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
“I eat scrambled eggs and fresh fruit for breakfast.”

Q: What’s on your iPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
“I like listening to pretty much anything. I have a motivation playlist that I listen to before every meet. Some songs on it are ‘Dark Horse,’ ‘Next to Me’ and ‘Same Love’. Oddly enough, ‘Hallelujah’ by Matthew Schuler from The Voice also gets me really motivated.”

Q: If you had to pick three words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
“Hardworking, determined and self-driven.”

Q: What three words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
“Trustworthy, creative and independent.”