1. Name, Age, Hometown
Madison McHale, 16, Naperville Illinois
2. Do you have a nickname?
3. When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
I got interested in gymnastics when my mom put me in a ‘mom and me’ class at the age of 2. I had tried a bunch of sports already and hadn’t found one that was for me until gymnastics came along.
4. Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
My sister and I started doing gymnastics together when we were young, and we both always had one leo that we would wear. It was a powerpuff girl leo and ever since then, we have never worn matching clothes together.
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 decided I wanted to compete as soon as possible which was age 6. I love the thrill and excitement of the competition, along with the ever-lasting memories that competitions bring.
6. What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
I train from 2-6 Monday-Thursday, 2-5 on Friday, and 8:30-1:30 on Saturday. I started this training schedule in 6th grade, and yes, it was a big change. I had to start leaving school early in order to be to the gym by 2. The first couple of years, I homeschooled 1-2 subjects, but once I got into high school, I was able to get all my classes in before leaving.
7. What is your favorite event?
My favorite event is bars.
8. What is your favorite skill?
My favorite skill is my full-in off bars.
9. What music do you use for your floor routine?
My music is called lethal games.
10. Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
My favorite gymnast is Simone Biles because she is such a good role model and is always smiling.
11. How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
I have grown so much as a gymnast over the years. I have gained a lot more skills. Vault, especially, has always been one of my weaker events, and it’s finally coming around. I have became more physically and mentally tough. I know how to push through the hard days and know that it will all pay off in the end. Nothing is ever handed to you; you have to work to get the results.
12. How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
Gymnastics has helped me in all aspects of life. It has taught me to never give up and always have perseverance. The everlasting memories and friendships I have made along the way would have never happened without this amazing sport. I don’t know how I would live without it.
13. If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
It’s hard to just choose one. But one of my favorite life lessons that gymnastics has taught me is discipline. You have to have discipline in order to balance gymnastics with school and be able to excel in the sport.
14. What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
My biggest accomplishment is making it here to the Nastia Liukin Cup, as well as placing 3rd on bars at 2013 J.O. Nationals.
15. What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
I am in 10th grade. I go to school at Waubonsie Valley high school.
16. Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
Yes, I do plan to compete in collegiate gymnastics. I am verbally committed to Michigan State University
17. What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
My favorite subject is math.
18. If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
I want to study hotel hospitality management.
19. What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
My goals for the future are to make it to J.O. nationals and win bars. I also would like to help Michigan State be ranked in the top 10. After I am finished competing, I hope to have a job at a nice hotel and work my way up to a management position.
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 spending time with my friends and family. I also love to shop and travel. I would love to travel the world someday.
21. What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is steak.
22. What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is 22 Jump Street.
23. What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is The Maze Runner.
24. What is your favorite music group?
I don’t have just one favorite music group but I like pop music.
25. Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
My sister Kayla is currently a golfer at Waubonsie Valley High School. My dad played football, baseball, basketball, pretty much anything with a ball in high school.
26. Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
I always have to drink a bottle of water before getting to the meet, and I always visualize my routines the night before.
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 enjoy listening to pop and some country music. My favorite songs to listen to right now before a meet are Uptown Funk, Masterpiece, and Time of our Lives.
28. If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
Disciplined, Hard working, Supportive
29. What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
Trustworthy, Respectful, Independent