By Lauren Ely
At the age of two, Samantha Partyka’s love affair with gymnastics began.
“I had too much energy,” Partyka said. “I was running around the house, climbing all over the place.”
Partyka’s mom decided to enroll her in gymnastics, and as she grew older, she began taking tumbling classes as well.
Now at age 16, with 14 years of experience in the sport, Partyka loves it just as much as she did when she began.
“I love the challenge of coming in everyday and having new goals,” Partyka said. “It is a big commitment, and you have to have a good attitude all the time. It’s just something I’ve loved to do always.”
She says her biggest accomplishment in the sport so far is placing second in the 2012 Women’s Junior Olympic Level 10 National Championships and qualifying for the 2010 and 2011 Visa Championships.
Partyka’s coach at Champions Gymnastics, Kellie Mizoguchi, says Partyka is very competitive and is always focused. When other girls are having a bad day, Partyka doesn’t mess around. She “grinds away” and gets the job done.
While individual achievement is a crucial part of gymnastics, Partyka says her team is really supportive.
“At every single competition we go to, we cheer really loud,” Partyka said. “I love that about our team. We’re always there for each other.”
Partyka will continue competing at the University of Utah. In her spare time, Partyka, who lives in Katy, Texas, enjoys watching TV and scrapbooking.