Do you have a nickname? Gabby
When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics? When I was 4 years old I was jumping and bouncing all over the house and yard so my mom enrolled me in a class on Saturdays to get rid of some of my energy.
Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes? When I was a level 7 I went to work with my mom one day and there was a lady in her office that had a snake. She let me hold the snake and I really liked it so I asked my mom if I could have one. She looked at the scores from the previous year’s Miles Avery Autism Awareness meet and there were no 9.7s for level 7. She told me if I get a 9.8 at the meet I could get a snake so I competed and got a not only a 9.8 but a 9.825 and when I did I made a snake motion with my arm. Within two weeks I had a corn snake, terrarium and bedding for my red ghost corn snake but after some time it bit me so I told my dad that I didn’t want the snake anymore so he got rid of it …..to a good home of course.
When did you decide you wanted to compete? I have always had a competitive drive and to perform to competing at gymnastics was a natural fit.
When did you want to compete at a high level? What about competition appeals to you? When I compete I am able to show the judges and spectators all of the skills I have been working hard to on for several months. Competition is also a way for me to see how my training and development are keeping pace with my fellow competitors.
What is your training regimen? I train six days a week four hours per day in the fall, winter and spring. In the summer I train five days a week for four hours per day.
Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics? I only did the Saturday classes for a few months and then was asked by the coaches to try out for the pre-team which I made so I began to train five days a week for 3-4 hours from that point on.
What is your favorite event? I like all the events as I strive to consistent with my scores on all of them but I have had the most success when I really need it with my vault.
What is your favorite skill? Pak Salto
What music do you use for your floor routine? Tango Amore
Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”? Simone Biles
How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally? My skills have increased in difficulty each year and I plan to upgrade most of my skills for next season over the summer after the JO National Championships. I have learned how to control my thoughts by concentrating on the positive things and what I can and will do rather than the negative thoughts of what could happen. Also, I have learned to control my nerves by saying to myself each meet is just another meet and all I have to do is what I do every day in practice.
How has gymnastics helped you as a person? It has instilled in me what courage is and that has prepared me for many things in my young life that will carry forward throughout life.
If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be? Gymnastics like life will knock you down and make you fall while laughing at you. No matter how many times you get knocked down or fall you have a choice to make- Get up and try again or lay there and quit. I get up and try again and I think life is much the same. Things happen to everybody it is how you handle those things that determine the person you are.
What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career? Making the Eastern National Championships in my only level 9 season, making the JO National Championships in my first year as a level 10 and qualifying for the Nastia Liukin Invitational.
What grade are you in school? 8th grade
Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics? Absolutely!!!!
What are your favorite subjects, etc.? Even though I had to work very hard in math during elementary school and my dad helped me every day now that I am in middle school my favorite subject is math.
If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there? Oh I plan to go to college and either the medical track or exercise physiology but that could change because I am only 13.
What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing? Of course I would like to be on the podium at the Nastia Liukin Invitational. I want to continue to compete at the JO National Championships and be a national champion. Also, I would like to obtain a scholarship to a top Division 1 gymnastics program and school. While a part of the team I want to be the best teammate I can be helping to win conference and even a national championship. After college I would like to be a gymnastics coach at a college/university.
When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities? My mom is a breast cancer survivor so my dad sits on a breast cancer foundation and hosts a local golf tournament to raise money to help find an earlier biological test for breast cancer and I would like to become involved one day.
What is your favorite food? I like all kinds of ethnic and diverse foods.
What is your favorite movie? Pitch Perfect although I have not seen the most recent one yet.
What is your favorite book? The Champions Mind
Are any of your family members current or former athletes? My mom was an All-American in Track & Field in the 400 meter hurdles and heptathlon while at UNC-Chapel Hill and she qualified to the 1988 Olympic Trials in the 400 meter hurdles
Do you have any competition rituals? I listen to upbeat music with a lot of tempo before the meet and this year I have used a ritual that I learned from Alex McMurtry who is a gymnast at the University of Florida. I pack a snickers or two in my backpack and when I need a little boost of energy I take a bite between events.
What’s on your IPod right now? A lot of country music from all the top artists.
What type of music do enjoy listening to? Country and Pop music mostly
How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up? Pop music with lots of tempo.
If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they? Motivated, determined and hard-working