Our next 20 Questions athlete is 2021 Senior Olivia Bowsman. Olivia is a level 10 from BIG Gymnastics in Illinois. Olivia made a BIG jump in 2018 skipping level 9 and heading directly to level 10 she then qualified to the 2018 JO National Championships, not bad for an athlete who was a level 8 the season before. One thing I remember most about Olivia from those National Championships was her sky high full out dismount to a rocked stuck landing! Her feet did not move it was incredible. Olivia, who will be headed to Towson University next fall, is preparing for her last JO season with not only BIG Gymnastics but Region 5 as well. Let’s get to know Olivia a little better as she polishes up her routines and perfects her stuck landings for the 2020-2021 season.
How did you get into Gymnastics? How old were you?
I started out in rec classes at 4 years old. I quite after a year and decided to do cheerleading and figure skating. But I just missed gymnastics so much that I decided to come back at around 7 years old.
What is your favorite event? Why? My favorite event is bars because I love the feeling of excitement from catching a release move.
Favorite Skill? Dream Skill?My favorite skill would have to be a tkatchev and my dream skill would be an onodi on beam.
Favorite part of Gymnastics? Why?
What I love about gymnastics is that you are not just a part of a team, you are a part of a family. Your teammates become your sisters, and you know that they will be there to support you through absolutely anything.
Biggest Accomplishment in Gymnastics so far?
Making it to Nationals my first year as a Level 10.
Talk about returning to training post COVID, being out for so long (how long?) The struggles, successes, how long it took to get skills back and how it was adjusting to our new normal. I feel like this pandemic has changed our lives so incredibly much and has made me realize that I should never take a single thing for granted. Not being able to practice for 3 months was an eye opener for sure. I remember the first week back I was so sore that I could barely move. I realized that it was really just getting back into the swing of things that took longer than getting my actual skills back. At first, I would definitely say that it was difficult getting used to the new normal. All I wanted to do when I came back to training was give my coaches and teammates a hug, but I guess air hugs were good enough!
Most embarrassing meet or training meet? When I missed my foot off of the back of the beam on a round off dismount and I had to get back up and do another one. But this time was even better. This time, I missed my foot on my hurdle and as I went down, I missed my hand too. After that meet, I never did another round off dismount.
Something you have learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you? Gymnastics has taught me to realize that not every day is going to be perfect, and that’s ok. As long as you give it all that you had, then it was a good day.
Who is your biggest role model? Why? My biggest role model is my Mom. I strive to be the type of athlete that she was. She was a competitive figure skater and she always pushed herself to do the absolute best that she could every single day.
What is something that sets your gym and/or your team part? We have such an incredible bond that we truly are like sisters. Every single person on the team only wants the best for each other and to see everyone accomplish their dreams.
What is your role on your Level 10 Team or your role in your gym in general? I, along with the three other seniors on my team, are the leaders. We are the ones that people come to if they are having a bad day or struggling with something and just need someone to talk to.
Most memorable Gymnastics moment? When I stuck my dismount on bars at Nationals.
How would you explain the year 2020 to your future children/grandchildren? 2020 was a year where many amazing opportunities were missed. There were many tragedies that came out of this year, but it made me realize that nothing should ever be taken for granted. Your whole life can change in an instant without ever seeing it coming. Be grateful for each day!
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coaches have given you? That it is okay to get upset of frustrated, but don’t be so hard on yourself to the point where you get nothing out of your day. Even if it’s not the greatest day, always find something good in it.
How did you stay motivated during your COVID Quarantine time out of the gym? I made sure to have a routine every day so that I would do everything that I needed to get done. We also had daily workouts over Zoom with the team which also helped a lot.
Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it? What is the story behind it?
Yes, everyone calls me Bowsman. But there’s really nothing too special about it since it is just my last name!
If you could have any superpower what would it be? Why? I would want to have the ability to read minds because I think it would be so cool to know what other people are thinking, or so I can help people.
What motivates you to work hard? What motivates me the most are the little girls in Level 3 and Level 4 because I was I their shoes before and I know how it felt to want to be like the big girls in Level 10. Now that I am one of the big girls, I just want to set an example for them and motivate them to achieve their dreams of getting to this point one day.
Bonus Question: Tell us something interesting about yourself……….. I love animals, but I’ve never had a pet!