ABOUT Wynter Childers

2016

Wynter Childers

Hometown:
Spearfish, South Dakota

Age:
18

Gym:
Spearfish Gymnastics Academy
Spearfish, South Dakota

Qualifying Meet:
Wisconsin Dells Vacation Classic

            Bio

Birthplace: Akron, Ohio
Year in School: Senior
High School: Spearfish High School
High School Graduation Year: 2016
Year you began gymnastics: 2000
Favorite food: Bread or popcorn
Favorite Book: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Q: What are your goals this Year?
A:
Since I’m a senior, qualifying to my third Nastia Liukin Cup was a big goal. I would also like to place top three at the Nastia Cup and Junior Olympic Nationals.

Q: What is your favorite thing about gymnastics?
A:
I love how much I get to travel and how many people I meet.

Q: What is your favorite event?
A:
My favorite event is floor I because I love to perform and put on a show. Also, I choreograph all of my routines and some of my teammates’ floor routines, too.

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
A:
My mom needed a place for me to go while she was working so it was gymnastics or daycare.

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
A:
Yes, I’m going to compete for the University of Alabama.

Q: What are your favorite subjects in school?
A:
I love photography.

Q: Do you know what you want to study in college?
A:
I want to study Cinematography because I want to make movie trailers

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time?
A:
I teach dance class at my gym and choreograph my teammates’ floor routines. I also like photography, hanging out with my sister, going to coffee shops and playing with my two dogs.

Q: Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
A:
I love my photo class. My dad gave me a camera when I was younger, and I never put it down.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A:
My favorite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean because I love Johnny Depp.

Q: What is your favorite music group?
A:
I love Justin Bieber. I’m going to his concert this summer, and I’m very excited!

Q: Do you have any pre-meet superstitions? Lucky charms?
A:
I use the same hair ties and do my hair the same before every meet. I ALWAYS wear the same flip flops even if I have to wear socks with them.

2014

Wynter Childers

Hometown:
Spearfish, South Dakota

Age:
16

Gym:
Spearfish Gymnastics Academy
Spearfish, South Dakota

Qualifying Meet:
Lady Luck Invitational

            Bio

Q: Do you have a nickname?
“Not really. My parents and family call me ‘Bug,’ but other than that, no.”

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
“Honestly, my mom was a doctor, and she needed a babysitter. The baby-sitting business didn’t go as long as she was at the office, so she needed an extra hour. She dropped us off at gymnastics, thinking it would be a good sport for us. It kind of just stuck.”

Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
“Me and my older sister were in it, and we were really obsessed with Carly Patterson. One day, Savannah, my older sister, she won a Carly Patterson leotard, and I remember being jealous of her and not talking to her for a week because she wouldn’t let me wear her Carly Patterson leotard.”

Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete?
“Probably when I was like 10. My coach said, ‘Okay, we’re going to move you up into the older girls group,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is amazing. I’m with older girls and I’m competing.'”
And, when did you want to compete on the elite level? What about competition appeals to you?
“I like working really hard and getting better and better, and finally getting to a meet. You do a great routine and you feel accomplished, or I guess, excited that all of your hard work paid off. The feeling of accomplishment, I think, is what I like most about it.”

Q: What is your training regimen?
“I work out about four-and-a-half hours a day, five days a week, so about 23 hours a week.”

Q: What is your favorite event?
“I love training beam because it’s a challenge. I love competing floor because I love to dance, and I make up my own choreography. So, both beam and floor are my favorites.”

Q: What is your favorite skill?
“That’s a hard one. I like to tumble all-around. I like the feeling of being really high in the air and landing on your feet. I think that’s kind of fun.”

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
“One of my coaches made my floor music for me, which is really cool, because I know no one else will have it when I get to a meet.”

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
“Of course, Nastia Liukin; she’s awesome. I also really admire Shannon Miller. I like her focus and her competitiveness. She’s got it all, if you want to put it that way.”

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
“I have definitely matured a lot this year. South Dakota isn’t really known for its gymnastics, and I moved to Arizona last year to try to do the whole ‘elite thing,’ or get a taste of the elite world, but I moved back because it was a better fit for me here, being home. Emotionally, I think it’s better for me to have a family that will back me up, and help me push through stuff. I think last year was when I finally really matured and understood how great the sport is and what it’s taught me.”

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
“I think gymnastics has showed me that even on bad days you have to suck it up and keep going, and you have to realize that the kids in the lower-level classes are watching you and wanting to possibly get up to your level. So you have to keep your composure and be as much of a leader as you can, I think.”

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
“Probably staying positive. I may not be super good at it all the time. But especially in training, if you want something bad enough, you have to work for it as hard as you can and push through the bad days.”

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
“I made the Nastia Cup two years ago, which was a great honor, and making it this year is a great honor, too. I love the opportunity to be part of a fantastic meet. I won floor last year at J.O. Nationals. I think that was a big deal. Going to Nationals is a big deal, I think.”

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
“Yes, I would love to. I have looked into some schools, and the ones I have looked into have been amazing. But I’m not for sure yet. I think I need to see how this competition season goes, and at the end of the season, I’ll probably make my decision.”

Q: What are your favorite subjects in school?
“I like English, and I’m taking a speech class right now, and I really like that, too.”

Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
“I don’t really know, because it changes all the time. Right now, I kind of want to get into cinematography and advertising, like making commercials or movie trailers. I think that’s something I’d like to do.”

Q: What are your goals for the future?
“Probably just become the best I can at whatever I end up doing.”

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
“I take a lot of photo shoots with a bunch of my friends. I do it a lot with my sister. I like going to basketball games and football games, too, hanging out with friends.”

Q: What is your favorite food?
“I eat like everything, so that’s kind of a hard one. I like peanut butter. I like fruits, too, apples are good!”

Q: What is your favorite movie?
“It’s hard to pick just one. I really like ‘The Great Gatsby’ and the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies.”

Q: What is your favorite book?
“I like The Hunger Games. I’m reading this book called Need right now, and it’s pretty good, too.”

Q: Who is your favorite music group/artist?
“I like Lorde right now. Fall Out Boy, New Politics. I really like country, too, so I have a lot of country music that I like.”

Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
“My dad was a body builder. He was Mr. Tennessee. My mom was a runner in college. My sister is a cross-country runner. She has a scholarship for running. My little sister is in gymnastics, too. And my brother, he snowboards.”

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
“I always wear these certain socks to competition. But that’s pretty much it.”

Q: What’s on your iPod right now? What type of music do you enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
“I don’t listen to a whole lot of music when I compete. It’s just not something I got into. But I like Lorde and Fall out Boy. But I don’t really listen to a lot of music when I go compete. I just stay in the zone and go through routines in my head.”

Q: If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
“As a gymnast, I think I’m powerful, so maybe a powerhouse. I always try to lead, so a leader. And I try to stay humble with my gymnastics, try not to be too ‘I’m better than you kind of a thing.'”

Q: What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
“Sensitive, easy to talk to, and happy. I try to keep people happy and upbeat all the time, try to keep a smile on my face.”

2012

Wynter Childers

Hometown:
Spearfish, South Dakota

Age:
14

Gym:
Spearfish Gymnastics Academy
Spearfish, South Dakota

Qualifying Meet:
Lady Luck Invitational

            Bio

By Romy Schwaiger

Every floor exercise is something special for Wynter Childers.

“I am doing my own choreography,” the 14-year-old from Spearfish, S.D., says, “It normally takes one to two hours to create them.”

This season, she is doing her routine to the soundtrack from The Pirates of the Caribbean.

Floor is her favorite event, “I really like to dance and tumble.” But she says that bars is the most challenging event for her, as “I’m just not very flexible in my shoulders.”

For Wynter, who trains at Spearfish Gymnastics with coaches Phil and Chris Summers, the biggest accomplishments in her gymnastics career were to compete at the Junior Olympic National Championships in Dallas two years ago, as well as to qualify to the Nastia Liukin Cup this year.

She earned a spot to compete in the finals at Madison Square Garden at the Lady Luck Invitational in Las Vegas, earning first place all-around in the junior division with a total score of 37.475 points. Wynter is really excited for the final: “My whole family is going with me to New York City, and we are staying the whole weekend – from Thursday until Tuesday.”

Although she is not very superstitious, right before the competition begins, she crosses her fingers as the national anthem plays. And the night before, she rehearses her routines in her head.

She has already set goals for her gymnastics career: “I want to qualify for the Visa Championships in St. Louis in June, as well as for the World Championships next year.”

Wynter also hopes to earn a full-ride scholarship at her favorite college: The University of Alabama.

“Alabama’s gymnastics team is really good, and I like the location because I like it warm,” Wynter says.