It’s Tuesday!!!!! That means it’s 20 questions Tuesday! Now that we have gotten through out JO Nationals athletes, let’s get to know the athletes who entered their first year of level 10 in 2020 and who’s dreams of their first JO Nationals was cut short due to a pandemic. Many of these 1st year Level 10s entered the season with new skills and high hopes, but now they will be relearning those new skills in hopes of being able to compete once again in 2021.
Isabella Craft of Stars & Stripes is one of those athletes, having had success on the National Stage as a Level 9, who was looking forward to a stellar 1st Level 10 season this year and a chance to make her 1st JO National Championships. Isabella, who hails from Michigan, has been out of the gym for 5 months now training outside, in her basement & over zoom trying to maintain her basics & upgrade her strength. It is so hard right now for these athletes who are watching their Regionmates on Social Media working out, getting stronger, learning new skills & just plan being in the gym. Hopefully soon we will all be able to get back to the sport we love in the facilities that are our second homes. With that being said let’s get to know Isabella a little better as she looks forward to [hopefully] a return to the gym soon & the 2020-2021 season.
How did you get into gymnas(cs? How old were you? My parents enrolled me at 18 months in Mommy and Me classes and I never left
What is your favorite event? Why? I really enjoy beam, even though I do struggle some(mes its such an accomplishment when I overcome metal blocks.
Favorite Skill to train/compete? Why? Learning and competing a pac on bars has been challenging but a lot of fun!
Dream Skill? My Dream skill would be a Double Layout on floor. I think they look so beautiful and would be exhilara(ng.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? I love summer training because I have the chance to work upgrades, go to camps and have fun with teammates.
What college do you plan on attending? I’m hoping to become an Educator so I’m looking at colleges that have teaching programs. If the opportunity presents itself that I can be a collegiate gymnast I would definitely go for it!
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? Gasprilla Classic in Florida is my most favorite meet. I love the venue and warm weather .
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment is qualifying to level 9 Nationals and competing my
first season of level 10. It takes a lot of time and hard work to get to level 10, it’s a very rewarding feeling once you make it.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? My favorite would be the bloopers because they are so funny to watch and region 5’s favorite leos, I love to see all the different designs and uniqueness of each team leo.
What kinds of things really make you laugh? When my coach gives us advice using funny analogies, making jokes and being silly with teammates.
3 Things you could not live without? My top three things I couldn’t live without would be Family and friends, Gymnastics, and dried strawberries!
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?If I were an animal I would be a lion because they are fierce and aggressive but sleek and have amazing balance.
Talk about your 2019 Level 9 Eastern Nationals experience & being part of Region 5? Region 5 seems to be so organized and provides such a feeling of family. I loved every minute of competing at Eastern Nationals because I was with Region 5. I loved connecting with the other gymnasts, I still keep in touch with them now.
How did you 1st season of Level 10 go? Although my 2020 level 10 season got cut short due to the pandemic I was very grateful that I competed my new floor routine. I am happy that as the season continued I added events and improved my All Around scores at each meet.
Thoughts on the 2019-2020 Season ending like it did? I have never imagined not doing gymnastics, the season ending like it did was disappointing. However, I have learned that I still love gymnastics, I miss training in the gym. I have also earned creative ways to stay active and I will be ready to run to the gym the minute it opens!
What are you doing to keep up your training during Corona Quarantine? I’m keeping active by doing daily workouts, running, biking, walking, jumping on the trampoline and doing zoom workouts with my coaches and teammates.
What do you miss most about gymnastics during this time? I miss training most of all improving my skills and all events.
What is the first thing you want to do once you can get back to gym & training? When I get back to the gym, the first thing that I want to do is swing giants on bars and climb the rope.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? It was Level 8 state meet, I was the last one competing on vault, I was going for my pike Yurchenko, my hands slipped off the back of the table, but I still decided to flip, as I was flipping I knew it wasn’t going to turn out well, I went straight to my head and neck and heard everyone in the crowed say “ohhhh.”
Do you have a nickname? If so what Is the story behind it? I have so many nicknames thanks to my coaches and teammates, some of them are Cra:y (my last name is cra:) Izzi (short for Isabella), Shorty (for obvious reasons)
Something you learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you? Definitely accountability is a big lesson that I have leaned through my years of being a gymnast. Being accountable for your own ac(ons and mistakes, and taking charge.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or Eastern Nationals Moment? My most memorable moment was when my name was called for forth place at Regionals. As I walked out to the podium I could not believe I achieved a dream of mine. I qualified to Nationals!
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? Thinking specifically about this time at home away from the gym my Coach said “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. This has really helped me stay focused and gives me hope that all will be okay. I’m making the very best out of this difficult situation and enjoying some of the new ways to stay active and fit.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. I was born at 2 pounds and was 13 inches long, I spent 37 days in the NICU.