By Kate Guerra
If you asked Sachi Rose Sugiyama what her favorite subject is, you would spend a long time listening to her answer. Usually when you meet someone interested in math and science, they cringe at the idea of the arts. Not Sugiyama, a 17 year-old high school senior who is also active in choir and loves to draw and paint.
Sugiyama, who lives in Keller, Texas, started gymnastics when she was just two years old through her parents’ desperate attempt to find an outlet for her energy. She trains at Top Flight Training Center in Southlake, Texas, with coach Leann Sweny.
Sweny has always been very impressed with Sugiyama’s ability to handle multiple responsibilities at once. She is an excellent student and has never enrolled in an early release program at school. She always went to school full-time, and excelled in every area. She is a senior at Keller High School.
“That commitment, work ethic and ability to time manage is definitely a huge plus to her personality,” Sweny said. “It will serve her well in college and in later life.”
Sugiyama has carried those characteristics over to her gymnastics as well. In 2008, she was the Level Nine Western all-around champion. In 2010, she finished sixth in the all-around competition at the Junior Olympic National Championships. She qualified for the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup at the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, where she won vault, finished second in the all-around and tied for second on bars.
Her favorite event is vault, where she performs a Yurchenko one-and-a-half. She has received a full scholarship to the University of Michigan and wants to win nationals this year. Sugiyama sees her greatest strength as her ability to not let anything get her down, but sometimes struggles with her confidence.
When not training, Sugiyama enjoys spending time on her passion for singing. She has been active in choir for as long as she remembers. She is very excited about the upcoming trip her choir will take to Italy, where they will sing at St. Peter’s Basilica and see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. She also likes to draw, paint and read.