Do you have a nickname? Liv or Livvy
When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics? My mom opened a gym a few months after I was born in 2004. I grew up playing in the gym like it was an indoor playground. When we were at home playing around, I remember my mom teaching me basic gymnastics skills and stretching me. At 5 years old, my mom’s good friend and former teammate, Miss. Gloria, took me in her group and got me competition ready. Six months later, I competed in my 1st gymnastics meet. It was Level 3, I just remember having so much fun. I loved it!
Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes? My mom and all the gym coaches helped me learn new skills when they had time so I do not have any memories of classes, but I have a lot of funny memories with my family playing around in the gym. My 2 older brothers would try to do synchronized tumbling and fail terribly. Probably one of my funniest memories is trying to teach my dad to do a simple seat drop on trampoline. He just kept bouncing to his back and we would all laugh.
When did you decide you wanted to compete? I was part of my team and we competed to win together. It was just the normal step to take and it looked like a lot of fun. I knew after my first competition, that I wanted to compete more. After a few years, I started seeing my mom’s gym as a very different place. It wasn’t the playground that I always knew, now I started to really understand what I could do if I worked hard. I just knew that I wanted to be the best I could be and it wasn’t a playground any more.
When did you want to compete at a high level? My mom introduced the idea of TOPS to me at 9 years old. I was already turning 10 that year and I hadn’t trained it at all. She asked me if I wanted to try it and I said yes, even though it was going to be very difficult. My mom brought me to visit MG Elite to get their opinion and see if it made sense to try TOPS. She had met my future coach, Vicky, at a meet that season and asked if I could go there one day. My mom brought me to visit MG Elite in January 2014, to see if TOPS made sense for me. Vicky knew I was behind for TOPS, but asked if I had an interest to join their team. I was immediately comfortable with the coaches and knew that I needed to stay at that gym. I asked my mom if I could go there and they asked if I was interested in staying. It was weird because my mom owned her gym, but I knew that I needed to be at MG. My mom had a hard decision to make, but also knew that I would be a perfect fit with the coaches. Being at MG Practices was like a new world for me. I wanted to be challenged and compete at a high level and I knew that Vicky would take me there. In just a few of my practices with her, I felt like I improved and loved her coaching style.
What about competition appeals to you? I love the learning curve. I always watch my videos from every meet to see what mistakes I made. I love being able to see my progress and work on getting better. I also love to compete because I can perform all my hard work and step up to a new challenge. I have learned so many lessons being part of a competitive program. It’s not about just winning, it’s about competing with myself and persevering to be the best I can be.
What is your training regimen? I’m currently homeschooled and train about 32 hours per week.
Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics? A big change for me was definitely switching to homeschool and MG Elite, but I am very happy with it. Maggie and Vicky are the best coaches for me. It was hard leaving my teammates from my mom’s gym, but we stay in touch and they are my friends forever.
What is your favorite event? Bars
What is your favorite skill? Shaposh and Shaposh half
Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”? My favorite gymnast is Nastia, I read her biography when I was younger and loved it. I have 2 idols; Jazzy and Riley. Jazzy always helped me when I was younger and now even though she is in college, she still keeps in touch and gives me great advice. Riley, is such a beautiful gymnast, and great friend and teammate. She is always supportive and helpful in and out of the gym. I love watching them both and cheering them on.
How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally? Being part of MG Elite has completed me as a gymnast and a young lady. Being a gymnast at MG is challenging but so rewarding. I am currently being coached by Maggie and was with Vicky before that. They are so consistent in their ways. Having been coached by both of them has molded my gymnastics in so many great ways. I am actively coached throughout every practice and my coaches know me so well. They get the best out of me and they keep me honest with my goals and myself. They give me the opportunity to be better every day. I know that the skills fall into place when I am mentally prepared and ready to work. I know everyday I have a job to do. I also know and have faith that my coaches have prepared me and know what is best for me. There are good and bad days, but with the support from my coaches and parents, I get through them and learn to be better. A big part of my growth is overcoming obstacles. Whether it was an injury or a bad meet, I learned that I do not give up when things aren’t perfect. Instead, I fight harder to make them right or better. I mentally know that a good positive attitude goes a long way, and my determination will lead me towards success. It has honestly gotten harder to just do more skills because they just get more and more difficult, but it is definitely more fun…
How has gymnastics helped you as a person? It has helped me to trust myself in everything I do inside and out of the gym.
If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be? It has taught me that in life things are going to be difficult, but you just have to push through it. The rewards are there and sometimes you just have to be patient or take a different angle to seek your accomplishments.
What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career? My best memories personally include: 1st AA in Level 8 States, Level 9 Regionals, and Level 10 States. 1st on Bars in Level 9 States, Regionals and Easterns, and Level 10 Regionals. 1st on Vault in Level 9 Regionals, and Level 10 States and Regionals. Being nominated for MSO “Gymnast of the Year” Award in 2015 and 2016, and Qualifying to Hopes Classic last year. My biggest accomplishment is Qualifying to the Nastia Liukin Cup this year.
What grade are you in school? I am home-schooled and in 8th Grade.
Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics? Yes, I would love the opportunity to do that.
What are your favorite subjects, etc.? Math, I am currently a year ahead in Math
If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there? Yes, and I think I am interested in being an Orthopedic Foot Specialist
What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing? I would love to someday be on the National Team, represent Team USA, and compete internationally.
When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities? I love to color, Bake a lot, and hang out with my family. I enjoy board games and playing “Just Dance” with my friends. I also enjoy swimming when the weather is nice. I enjoy helping the little gymnasts learn at my mom’s gym and helping out at my church.
What is your favorite food? Bread and Green Apples
What is your favorite movie? Jumanji, Wonder
What is your favorite book? The Land of Stories Series
What is your favorite music group? Macklemore and Bruno Mars
Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports? Yes, we are or were all athletes. My mom was a gymnast and my dad was a basketball player. My oldest brother, Tony, was a football player but had to have surgery so he couldn’t play in College. My other brother, Richie is a high Level AAU Basketball player, he has a few D1 offers and he is a HS Sophomore, and my younger sister, Sophia, is a Level 9 gymnast at my mom’s gym.
Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms? I have a little Sparkly Purple Pony that I always bring to meets.
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 upbeat fun songs before meets.
If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they? Fun, Powerful and Pretty.