By Romy Schwaiger
Alyssa Shermetaro says that gymnastics makes her a better person: “I just love gymnastics a lot. I like the challenge and the overall package of it.”
Alyssa was 5 years old when she started with gymnastics, “I just had an excess energy, and I was climbing all over stuff, so my grandfather suggested to put me into gymnastics.”
The 15-year-old from Rochester Hills, Mich., practices as a Level 10 gymnast at the Olympia Gymnastics Academy in Shelby Township, Mich., under coach Lori Koch. “It takes a lot to get to Level 10. And, it has taken a lot of time and strength to come back after my injuries,” she says.
Alyssa had several injuries over the last three years. She fractured her ankle, had knee problems and most recently, she torn her hamstring and had to sit out from fall 2010 until spring 2011.
But despite all her obstacles, she’s made her way back to the competition floor. Alyssa earned a spot at the Nastia Liukin Cup, which will be held in the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City, by scoring a 38.050 at the Buckeye Classic in Columbus, Ohio.
As a Level 10 gymnast, she also tries to eat and sleep right: “We don’t have a special nutrition plan, but I make sure that I get enough fruits and vegetables, as well as carbs and protein.”
For her future gymnastics career, she would like to get a full ride college scholarship from her favorite college, the University of Michigan. “I really like their program, and I think I would really fit in there. I have already visited them and I stay in contact with them,” Alyssa says.
Her biggest accomplishment was to qualify to the 2010 Visa Championships, where she finished fourth place on floor and 23rd in the all-around: “That was my first year at the Visa Championships. It was just great to be there and to compete in front of a big crowd.”
In her free time, she loves to read, play the piano and violin and hang out with her family. She has five siblings, one younger sister, two older sisters and two older brothers.