Gianna Antonio of Gym America has always been one of my favorite Level 9 athletes to watch, her floor routine is mesmerizing, she has a very unique look to her and her gymnastics. Gianna is not only a wonderful athlete, but she is a great competitor, teammate and friend. It is always wonderful to see this young athlete on the competition floor with her teammates, she always seems very happy and loving what she is doing. Lets get to know Gianna a little bit better as she heads into a new competitive season and heads towards her 3rd Eastern National Championships.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I was five years old when I started gymnastics. Prior to that, I was a dancer and my friend from dance class brough me to a bring-a-friend day at her gym. When my mom picked me up she told me I looked like I really fit in, so she enrolled me in the gymnastics not long after. Lets just say thats the best decision we’ve made!
What is is your favorite skill to train/compete? I love double dismounts off bars. Flyaways were very difficult for me to get consistently, but once I did they become one of my favorite skills. I especially like double backs because of the feeling I get when flying through the air.
What is your Dream Skill? My dream skill, which is more of a connection, would be front layout rudi back layout on floor. I’ve previously competed a front layout front full and I think it would be super fun to that to the next level.
What is your favorite part of Gymnastics? One of my favorite parts about gymnastics is the friendships bolt in the sport. Of course I love the flips and the sport itself, but nothing can compare to the support you get form your teammates and coaches. These people became like a second family to me and they make the sport that much more fun.
What is your favorite Meet to compete at? Why? My favorite meet to compete at is the Wolverine Classic, my gym’s home meet. I specifically like this meet because not only do I have the normal adrenaline and drive to do well when competing, but I also have all my friends and family watching and supporting me. Also, my entire team 9s and 10s get to compete together causing our energy level to rise ten fold! Nothing can be more exciting than getting to do what you love with all the people you love.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment in Gymnastics so far would probably be qualifying to Eastern Nationals the the second year in a row this past year. Eastern Nationals was an absolutely amazing experience and I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to go two times. Although I haven’t had my best meets while there, the overall experience and the friends and memories made were great.
Who do you admire most in the sport of Gymnastics? I admire my former teammate Leah Clapper the most. I’ve watched her train and compete for the last 3 years and she amazes me every time! She has never lost love for the sport or wanted to quit even through all of her hardships. I know she had to make a lot of hard decisions throughout her career and she’s handled each and every obstacle like a champ! I really admire how she always drives to do better even though she’s already a fantastic gymnast. The love sand support she gave me and continues to give her teammates is something that is unforgettable
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? My favorite Region 5 Insider Series is the Eye on 5 videos. I like to learn about what kind of person each girl is, but my favorite part about it is that I get to see how other gymnasts got to where they are. Watching these videos inspires me to keep pushing through and continue to get better just like the girls featured in the videos did.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? Ever since the movie “The Greatest Showman” came out last year I’ve been in love with the soundtrack. My specific go to song before a meet is “The Greatest Show” because the uplifting beat gets me pumped up to compete. It also prepares me to put on a great show for the judges.
3 things you could not live without? The fist thing I couldn’t live without would be music. Whether I’m feeling upset or extremely happy, I can always find a song that matches my mood. I love to dig deep into the lyrics and most of the time I can relate to them in one way or another. Secondly, I definitely couldn’t live without my phone. Although I hate the fact that I’m so attached to it, having it on me makes me feel safer. Also, my phone makes it very say for me to stay caught up with my friends even when I don’t get to see them for a while.The third thing I couldn’t live without is fuzzy blankets. I’m the type of person that is always cold so if I could have fuzzy blanket on me at all times, that would be great! During the winter I have at least three on my bed at all times.
If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal I would be a giraffe mainly because they’re my favorite animal. Giraffes are also very tall and I am quite short so it’s be cool to see the world from their point of view.
5 Most important or Must have items in you gym bag? Five must have items in my bag are super glue, tape, chapstick, lotion and hair ties. I use super glue mostly for when I need to quickly close a cut, crack or tear in my skin, which happens all too often to me. If you use super glue you’re going to have to cover it up so thats were the tape comes in. Next, personally there’s nothing worse that having chapped lips or dry skin. I always need chapstick and lotion in my bag because I just can’t stand when my lips or legs are dry. Lastly, you never know who is going to need a hair tie or when yours is going to break, so its always a good idea to have a few spares.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? Normally, on the last day of school before a meet I wear my Gym America spirit wear. Also, I wear the same pajamas to sleep every night before a competition. Once, I get to the meet, I put in my headphone, listen to my pump up music and then put my floor music on and visualize each event while listening to my floor music. Always visualizing and listening to the same thing each time allows me to prepare and also have something to go back to and remember if I get nervous while competing.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? With the little free time I have, I like to relax and do multiple things music related. In school I’m in choir and I just recently joined an a cappella group. Although I’m not very good at it, I like to play the piano when I’m home. I’m also going to ask for a guitar for Christmas. One things I’ve always wanted to do is be able to play a musical instrument really well, but it’s just not something that I excel in.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? My most embarrassing meet moment is when I was pretty young. I was up on bars and I really had to go to the bathroom but I figured I could hold it and was too scared to ask to go at that time. I continued onto start my routine and peed all over the bar mats as I casted! After I finished my routine I was rushed to the bathroom and people had to come clean the mats. When I came back in another leo (thankfully I had and extra competition leo) I had to ask one of my teammates what my score was.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? If I wasn’t a gymnast I would either do pom or volleyball. In middle school gym class the volleyball unit was my favorite and it seems like a non-stop energetic sport. At football games I really enjoy watching the pom girls perform during half time and try to imagine myself out there with them, but gymnastics seems like a much better fit for me.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? I respect any athlete that’s made it to the Olympics the most. Anyone who’s gone to the Olympics has devoted basically their whole life, up to that point, to their sport. Non-stop training and traveling must be really difficult. Above all, even though these athletes are the best of the best and win many awards, they’re humble through it all and I think that’s an important characteristic to have.
Most memorable Gymnastics or Nationals Moment? My most memorable gymnastics moment was my floor routine at the 2018 Level 9 Regionals. Throughout the season I had been slightly inconsistent on floor and struggling to nail all of my skills in the same routine. At Regionals, I finally nailed everything with great form! When I stepped off the floor I ran and hugged my coaches saying “Yay I did it!”
What is the most valuable advice or wisdom your coach has given you? The most valuable piece of advice my coach has given me (not exactly with these words) is that when you have hit a rough sport and feel like quitting, remember why you started and why you have stayed in it for so long. I have gone through many mental blocks and troubles with learning new skills, but the thing thats kept me going is the support I get from my coaches and teammates. They help me calm dow nada are always there to remind me how much I’ve accomplished and how much farther I can go.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…… I value my family and friendships about everything else and hate arguing. There’s nothing I love more than seeing someone smile or hearing someone laugh.