Continuing our coverage of our 2019 Level 9 Eastern National Champions is the Junior 6 Uneven Bars Champion Alexis Cano of St. Charles Gymnastic Academy. Alexis is a natural bar swinger it is no wonder she took the top spot on the Uneven Bars at Nationals capping her strong performance with a stuck landing! Alexis, who also took the top spot at the Region 5 Championships, improved on her score in Florida. Alexis, who is a freshman in high school, has started training Level 10 and will try her hand this season at the highest JO Level. Let’s get to know Alexis a little better as she readies herself for a great season and a run at the 2020 JO National Championships.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I started at a park district program when I was three. My instructor suggested I sign up for a class at our local gymnastics center. I signed up for a preschool class and the rest is history.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is bars.
Favorite Skill to train/compete? I love to train maloney, and I like to compete a round off full and a half off beam.
Dream Skill? A dream skill for me would probably be a ray on bars, or a backhandspring backhandspring layout on beam.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? I like to compete, and feel proud of what I have accomplished, and I also make so many new friends. I think my favorite part though is how much it teaches you.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? my favorite meet to compete at is Chicago style because it’s kind of a bigger event and it has people from all around the world that come.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment in Gymnastics so far is earning the highest bar score for level 9 out of every eastern qualifier.
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? How much it teaches you. Over my years in gymnastics I have learned so much from athletic ability to discipline to work ethic, you get out of it what you put into it, how to conquer fear, and how to manage time.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? My favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series is Making Moves Monday.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? I actually have a hype playlist for meets that are usually all types of rap that I arranged for myself.
3 Things you could not live without? 3 things I could not live without would be my parents, my friends, and my coaches.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal I would be a monkey, as mentioned before bars is my favorite event and I think it would be fun to swing around on trees and be able to hang upside down.
5 Most Important or Must have Items in your gym bag? The 5 most important must have items in my gym bag are tape, prewrap, hair ties, biofreeze, and lip balm.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? Not really the only thing I do is listen to my playlist.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? Outside of Gymnastics I sing a lot in my free time.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? My most embarrassing meet moment was when I was in level 4 I did a front handspring over the vault and tripped and almost fell on my face and did like five forward rolls in front of everyone.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? If I were not a Gymnast I would try volleyball or softball.
How does it feel to be a Level 9 Eastern National Champion? Really good, it’s always a goal to make it to nationals and then to win bars made me feel like I did put in all this work for a reason and now I can prove it.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or JO Nationals Moment? I love meeting all these new people. I have met so many people in my sport and they ended up becoming my closests friends. I competed nationals with one of my old teammates that I started gymnastics with when we were both 6 years old and i’m definitely never going to forget the time we competed the meet together.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? My bar coach, Eugene always says “You earn your medals in practice and pick them up at the meets.” I will always remember that.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. Sometimes people are surprised that I have a twin brother. I love to sing and I’ve been in a choir since 4th grade. I also used to play the violin, and i’ve been a pretty good straight A student enrolled in an advanced academic program in middle school and now taking 3 honors classes at Bartlett High School. My current aspiration is to become some kind of physical therapist or chiropractor.