Our next 20 Questions athlete is a 3x JO National Qualifier who hails from BIG in Illinois. Kaitlyn, who is a 3rd year Level 10, has definitely been one of my favorites to watch for some time now. I first noticed Kaitlyn at the Hunt’s Born to Fly Meet a couple years ago and she simply captivated my attention, there was just something special about this young talent that I knew she would be one to watch for a the next fews years. She certainly did not disappoint having qualified to 3 JO National Championships. Kaitlyn, who suffered a pretty serious elbow injury last year, was on fire this year! It was definitely good to have her back to full strength on the competition floor. Kaitlyn, who was part of the Junior E Team that took the National Team Title in 2018, really does not have a weak event. Kaitlyn is an all around gymnast and shows great difficulty all over the gym, she also has fantastic floor music, so with that being said lets get to know this talented athlete as she finishes up her summer training and looks forward to her 4th year of level 10 and her 4th chance at another JO Nationals Team.
How did you get into Gymnastics? How old were you? I started gymnastics when I was 2 years old in mom and tot classes. Growing up I tried every sport you could think of like dance, soccer, softball, volleyball, but I couldn’t stick with just one. Gymnastics was my favorite.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is bars especially the feeling when you learn a new skill.
What is your favorite skill to train/compete? My favorite skill to train is a full in because it takes a lot of determination and work to learn it and do it well. My favorite skill to compete is a tkatchev because I love the feeling of flying in the air.
What is your dream skill? My dream skill is a yurchenko double on vault.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? My favorite part of gymnastics is meeting friends from all over the region at meets, camps, and Nationals.
How you decided what college you would like to attend?I have not decided on which college I want to attend yet.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? My favorite meet to compete at is either my home meet, The BIG Classic or Nationals. At BIG because everyone in the crowd and on the floor is cheering for you on every event. I also love going to Nationals because the experience is always unforgettable with the new people you are with.
What is your biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? Biggest accomplishment is making J.O. Nationals 3 years in a row (1 year as an alternate)
Who do you admire the most in the sport of gymnastics? The people I admire the most in gymnastics are past teammates who have gone onto college and competed. They work so hard and have done so well which makes me want to do the exact same.
What is your favorite Region 5 Feature or Series? My favorite Region 5 Insider feature is the Eye on 5’s
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What is your go to song or playlist before meets? My go to songs beforemeets are motivational and upbeat songs to get me pumped for competition.
What are 3 things you could not live without? 3 Things that I could not live without include my family, friends, and my dog.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? If I could be an animal I would choose to be a koala because they swing through trees and sleep almost the entire day.
What are the 5 most important things you must have in your gym bag? 5 most important things I have to have in my meet bag include my grips, tiger paws, headphones, tape, and lucky toy from level 4.
Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you do prior to competition? I don’t have any superstitions but I wear my hair the same way for every competition.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? Outside of gymnastics I like to hang out with friends and family, go water skiing, and binge watch Grey’s Anatomy haha.
What is your most embarrassing gymnastics or meet moment? Most embarrassing gymnastics moment is when my tattoo for High Tech camp was upside-down.
If you weren’t a Gymnast, what sport would you do or try? If I weren’t a gymnast I would probably do diving.
What athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? The athlete I respect the most would be Aly Raisman because of how hard she’s worked in and out of the gym and always uses her voice to help others.
What is the most valuable piece of advise or wisdom your coach has given you? The most valuable piece of advice my coach has given me is “To be a role model not only in the gym but in life, whether you win or lose.”
Bonus Question……Tell me something interesting about yourself……I have been at BIG my entire gymnastics career.
The Region 5 Gym Insider is a media platform designed specifically for the USA Junior Olympic Region 5 Gymnastics Community. The R5 Gym Insider is a media outlet created to showcase and promote our current Region 5 athletes (Elite and JO) as well as former athletes competing in college.