Our next 20 questions athlete is Retoshia Halsell of Champion Gymnastics in Kentucky. I absolutely love watching this athlete on the competition floor, she definitely has her own personality and charisma. Retoshia, who moved up the levels pretty quickly, started gymnastics at the age of 9 and at 16 is a 3rd year Level 10 which is super impressive. Toshia, as her friends & teammates call her, does gymnastics with effortless power. Whether she is soaring through the air on almost everything she does from her full twisting Yurchenko to her full in, she is a joy to watch. Toshia is no stranger to having her incredible gymnastics recognized by the Region having won 2 Yahtzee Awards the last two years (Best Bar Combo 2019, Best Floor Music 2020). Retoshia has been on my radar for a few years now, I look forward to seeing where this year takes her. Currently Retoshia is preparing for the upcoming season, you may of saw her recently in the video for the JPAC College Camp and tumbling across the Region 5 Insider Tik Tok, let’s get to know Retoshia a little better as 2020 is heading towards its end and the 2021 meet season soon begins.
How did you get into Gymnastics? How old were you? I use to do allstar cheerleading—since i was 2 and after 7 years of cheer while also playing basketball, i got tired of it and decided it was time to try another sport. That’s when i found a small local gymnastics team close by and went to open gym. then i tried out for the team. I started gymnastics when i was 9.
What is your favorite event? Why? Floor because it’s fun and i can tumble really well—an advantage i got from cheer.
Favorite Skill? Dream Skill? My favorite skill is jeagar on bars and my dream skill would be a standing full on beam. Also a double twisting full on vault.
Favorite part of Gymnastics? Why? Definitely the disciple and friends because it has made me a stronger person today.
Biggest Accomplishment in Gymnastics so far? Winning state on bars with a broken hip my first year of level 10.
1st thing you did when you were able to get back into the gym? Started tumbling immediately.
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. We was out for 3 months and the hardest thing for me was cardio and out of shape for sure. i had lost most of strength especially in my right arm because right before COVID, i had broke my elbow and was in a cast and never got to get back in the gym before we had the long break. So that was definitely challenging.
Most embarrassing meet or training meet? Nashville Nights when i did a cal hop on the high bar and my hand missed the bar and i hit my face on the bar. That was my first nose bleed in my life and we thought i had broke my nose.
Something you have learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you? Don’t give up when the going gets hard. Persevere and you will accomplish anything you put your mind to.
Who is your biggest role model? Why? I love Simone biles because it seems she does the impossible.
What is something that sets your gym and/or your team part? We do a lot of team bonding and our coaches have great bonds with the athletes.
What is your role on your Level 10 Team or you role in your gym in general? Right now i am the only level 10 in my gym training full time because all the others are hurt but i for the most part lead the gym. i feel as a great leader and a great aspect to the team. It is my job to remain healthy and overall work hard and lead by example.
Most memorable Gymnastics moment? This is when i won state with a broken hip after struggling all year because the first bar routine i had ever made at a meet in level 10, i won.
How would you explain the year 2020 to your future children/grandchildren? Very eventful, emotional, hard, and overall crazy. Ready to start the new year.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coaches have given you? To not give up and always have confidence in myself.
How did you stay motivated during your COVID Quarantine time out of the gym? Because it’s at my age where college coaches start to watch even thought i am not old enough for them to talk to be. But i need to remain focused on the end goal and that’s a full ride to a D1 college.
Do you have a nickname? If so what is it? What is the story behind it? Yes, Toshia. There isn’t really a story behind it, it is short for my real name, Retoshia.
What really makes you laugh? Pretty much everything, i laugh a lot. But joyful people with good, and funny attitudes.
If you could have any super power what would it be? Why? Maybe the power to change back time because there’s some times and moments i would like to undo and try again. including times at meets.
What is a question not on this list that should have been? What is my dream college school? That is the university of Florida (gators).
Bonus Question: Tell us something interesting about yourself……….. Something interesting about myself is that gymnastics came fairly quick and easier to me than most people. This is only my 7th year in gymnastics and i’m already in my 3rd year of level 10. I’ve skipped a lot of levels.