ABOUT Rachael Flam

2017

Rachael Flam

Hometown:
Houston, Texas

Age:
17

Gym:
Stars Houston
Houston, Texas

Qualifying Meet:
WOGA Classic

            Bio

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A:
Rach

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
A:
I was a very energetic child, always jumping off the furniture and climbing onto anything I could find. Also, my older sister did gymnastics when she was younger, and I wanted to be just like her!

Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
A:
In my very first meet, Level 4, there was a large mirror right next to the beam, and throughout my whole beam routine I was staring at myself. It did not work out well!

Q: 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?
A:
I made the leap from classes to competitions when I was 5 years old. I watched the older girls in my gym prepare for competition season and knew that I wanted to do it too. Once I began competing, I progressed through the levels and reached Level 10 with confidence and excitement. I love competing because I love getting to show everyone what I work so hard in the gym for.

Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
A:
I train 31 hours a week. I was pretty young when I started competing so my training hours gradually got longer.

Q: What is your favorite event?
A:
My favorite event is bars, but I LOVE them all!

Q: What is your favorite skill?
A:
I have a lot of favorite skills! A few of my favorites are my front tuck on beam, my double arabian on floor, and my jaeger on bars.

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
A:
I am not sure what it is called, but I love performing to it.

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
A:
Nastia Liukin has always been an idol of mine. She was such a beautiful gymnast and is such a wonderful person. I am so honored to be a part of her meet.

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
A:
Over the years, I have learned how to control my nerves and compete more confidently.

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
A:
Gymnastics has taught me how to manage my time, set long and short term goals, and strive to be the best that I can be.

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
A:
Gymnastics has taught me that if I work hard and believe in myself, then I can achieve my goals.

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
A:
I won the All-Around and Vault titles at the 2016 Junior Olympic Nationals, and I’m six-time JO National qualifier. I placed first at the 2014 Nastia Liukin Cup and placed third at the 2016 Nastia Liukin Cup. I will remember these experiences forever! I qualified to the P&G Championships in 2014 and medaled on bars. My biggest accomplishment is signing with Stanford University on full gymnastics scholarship. I am so excited to be a Cardinal.

Q: What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
A:
I am a senior in high school and do online schooling with Texas Connections Academy.

Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
A:
Yes, I can’t wait to be a part of Stanford Women’s Gymnastics this coming fall!

Q: What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
A:
I enjoy math and science.

Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
A:
I am considering pre-med.

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
A:
I hope to compete all four events in college and win an NCAA Championship with my team! I want to get a degree in something that I love and have a big family.

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
A:
I love spending time at my ranch with my family and friends. We have a big lake that I enjoy jet skiing and tubing on!

Q: What is your favorite food?
A:
Watermelon

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A:
“Life as We Know it” and the “Harry Potter” movies

Q: What is your favorite book?
A:
The Hunger Games

Q: What is your favorite music group?
A:
Shawn Mendes

Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
A:
My family is very athletic. My mom played field hockey, my dad played ice hockey, my sister is a runner, and my brother did every sport his school offered.

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
A:
I have a good luck necklace. I wear the necklace while traveling to and from every meet. I also have a good luck bear.

Q: If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
A:
Aggressive, confident, and exciting

2016

Rachael Flam

Hometown:
Houston, Texas

Age:
16

Gym:
Stars Houston
Houston, Texas

Qualifying Meet:
Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational

            Bio

Nickname: Rach

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
A:
I was 3 years old and always climbing on things jumping off couches. My older sister did gymnastics I always wanted to be like her.

Q: 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?
A:
I was about 5 years old, and I saw the other girls getting ready for competition, and I wanted to be like them. I just moved through the levels and when I got to Level 10,I was super pumped and ready to go.

Q: What is your training regimen?
A:
I train 37 hours a week.

Q: What is your favorite event?
A:
I love bars. I feel so free when I’m swinging, and I have a ton of fun.

Q: What is your favorite skill?
A:
A Jaeger is my favorite skill because it’s the closest I will ever be to flying. I get such a rush when I’m in the air.

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
A:
Nastia Liukin is one of my biggest idols that’s why it’s so cool to be in her meet because I love her.

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
A:
I learned how to feel more confident while competing. When I was younger, I was always nervous, but I’ve learned to control my nerves.

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
A:
Gymnastics helped me become more disciplined, and I am more organized. I think that being a gymnast helps you in all aspects of life dealing with difficult situations

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
A:
My biggest accomplishment is winning the 2014 Nastia Cup, and I medaled on bars at championships. I’m proud of that moment, and my teammate won the senior title. Going to the meets with my friends and my coaches has been a wonderful experience.

Q: What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
A:
I’m a Junior, and I’m homeschooled.

Q: What are your favorite subjects?
A:
I enjoy math and science my whole family loves math and science

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
A:
I want to have a great college gymnastics career and get a degree in something that I love. Also, I want to get a good job and have a big family.

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
A:
I love to go to my ranch and hang out with friends. We ride on the Jet Ski and just run around. I love nature.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A:
Watermelon.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A:
Life as We Know it

Q: What is your favorite book?
A:
The Hunger Games

Q: What is your favorite music group?
A:
I love Shawn Mendes and One Direction

Q: Do you have any competition rituals or lucky charms?
A:
I have a stuffed dinosaur, Dino, that I take to every meet and a good luck necklace.

Q: What type of music do enjoy listening before a meet?
A:
I listen Katy Perry before a competition. I feel like her music pumps me up. She’s my pump up artist.

Q: If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
A:
Aggressive, confident, and happy.

Q: What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
A:
Independent, driven, and happy.

2014

Rachael Flam

Hometown:
Houston, Texas

Age:
14

Gym:
Stars Houston
Houston, Texas

Qualifying Meet:
Metroplex Challenge

            Bio

Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
“I started gymnastics when I was 3 years-old. I always watched my sister doing gymnastics and decided that I wanted to do it too. Along with that, I was always climbing and flipping off of things around the house.”

Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
“In my very first meet, Level 4, there was a large mirror right next to the beam, and throughout my whole beam routine I was staring at myself. It did not work out well!”

Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete? What about competition appeals to you?
“I first realized I wanted to compete when I was 4 years-old. It was only within the last year that I decided I wanted to go elite. I love competing because I work so hard to learn new skills, and I finally get to show them to everyone. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I get to go home after doing my best in a meet.”

Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
“I train 37 hours a week. I have never known any other way.”

Q: What is your favorite event?
“My favorite event is bars because it comes the most naturally to me. I love the feeling of flying high on my release moves!”

Q: What is your favorite skill?
“Although I don’t do it in my bar routine yet, my favorite skill is a shaposh. I always watched my teammates doing it and I thought it was so cool! I hope to put it in my bar routine soon.”

Q: What music do you use for your floor routine?
“My coach mixed it herself, so I’m not sure what it is called, but it is very upbeat and exciting.”

Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
“My favorite gymnast is Aly Raisman. She is an amazing tumbler and always has a great attitude.”

Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
“I have become a much better competitor. I don’t get as nervous, and I show off my routines in a much more confidant manner. Over my past four years of Level 10, I have gone from basic routines to adding a release move, an E tumbling pass, more difficult beam skills, and harder dismounts.”

Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
“I have learned how to manage my time and commit to something long term.”

Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
“Hard work pays off!”

Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
“In 2012, I won at state and regionals, and I placed second on vault and fourth on bars at the Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships. In 2013 I placed second at Regionals, and I won vault and got fifth place on beam at Level 10 Nationals. I also consider it a huge accomplishment to make it to the 2014 Nastia Liukin Cup.”

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

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’m not sure yet, but I would love to pursue something in the STEM fields (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics).”

Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
“I am going to complete elite this year and I hope to make it to championships. Then I hope to have a successful collegiate gymnastics career, as well as get a great education.”

Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
“I love to read, cook random recipes, and bake. I also enjoy relaxing at my ranch with family and friends.”

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

Q: What is your favorite movie?
“Life as We Know it.'”

Q: What is your favorite book?
“The Hunger Games.”

Q: Who is your favorite musician?
“One Direction.”

Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
“I come from a family of athletes. My grandfather and his sister on my father’s side both made it to the Olympic Trials for speedskating. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side made it to Olympic Trials for track and field. My dad used to play hockey; my mom used to play collegiate field hockey; my sister did cheer and cross country; and my brother used to do track, soccer, wrestling and cross country.”

Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
“I wear a good luck necklace with a hamsa, an upside down hand, and I have a lucky teddy bear that plays back a message my whole family recorded for me.”

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 listen to One Direction and Katy Perry. My favorite song to listen to before a meet is Firework by Katy Perry. It gets my pumped up and focused.”

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

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