It is Sunday! That means it is Senior Sunday! We are continuing our coverage of our Region 5 2020 Graduating Seniors by posting our 20 Questions features twice a week to recognize as many Graduates as we can. Many of these athletes completed graduation ceremonies in some pretty interesting ways from virtual ceremonies to drive thru ceremonies, socially distancing in-person outdoor ceremonies and for some ceremonies have been postponed til later in the summer. However, now that the world is opening up and people are getting used to their new normal those that had ceremonies postponed will hopefully be able to experience the honor of walking across a stage and turning their tassels soon.
Today we are recognizing 2020 Graduate Alexis Wynn of Gymnastics Training Center of Ohio (GTCO). Alexis competed at her first National Championships in 2019 representing Region 5 at the 2019 Level 9 Eastern National Championships in Kissimmee Florida. Alexis helped her Senior 7 Team place 2nd as well as finishing top 10 in the All-Around, Uneven Bars & Balance Beam. 2020 was Alexis’s first & last year as a Level 10 unfortunately it did not finish how she had planned, but in the fall Alexis will be headed to King University in Bristol Tennessee to continue her Academics and Athletics. Alexis, who had a goal of collegiate athletics, will be a member of Kings Acro & Tumbling Team. Let’s get to know Alexis a little better as practices her twists, turns, tumbles & hand balances in preparation for her new sport & new adventure in Bristol, Tennessee.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? When I was 16 months old, I was constantly climbing out of my crib and jumping off of things all over our house. My parents were worried I would get hurt, so they decided to put me in a trial Mommy and Me class at GTCO to create a safe outlet for me, and I’ve been there and loved it ever since!
What is your favorite event? Why? My favorite event is bars because I have had so many struggles and fears in the past and this year, it finally clicked. I competed a blind jaeger for the first time and caught it at almost every meet.
Favorite Skill to train/compete? Why? Definitely my jaeger on bars. Even after catching so many, each one I catch is still an incredible feeling. I would do anything to get back in the gym and train it again. Toward the end of season, I started training my bail immediately after the jaeger which was a lot of fun and a new challenge for me.
Dream Skill? I would have loved to compete a yurchenko full on vault or a full in on floor.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? Everything- my team, my coaches, making new friends from different gyms, and the adrenaline I get from getting a new skill. Gymnastics has taught me so much over the years such as never giving up when things become tough and how to manage my time for practice and schoolwork. I love competing and being there for my team. Gymnastics is a truly special and unique sport.
What college do you plan on attending? Why? I am attending King University located in Bristol, TN in the fall. I was recruited for the acrobatics and tumbling team and love their elementary education program which was recognized as exemplary by the Tennessee State Board of Education in September of 2019. I have always desired to make a positive impact on others and feel like I can continue doing this by not only teaching children about basic subjects, but also by showing them that they matter.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? I love competing at State meet each year. I have made so many friends over the years and sometimes we don’t have any meets together until State. It’s so amazing to be able to catch up with friends from other gyms and also show everyone what I have been working for all season. It is definitely the meet where everything comes together and all my hard work pays off.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? Qualifying to Level 9 Eastern Nationals last year! After completing a really rough season the year before, I wanted to come back stronger and more confident than ever. Qualifying and competing at Level 9 Eastern Nationals after everything that happened prior was such an amazing experience. I met so many people, went 4 for 4, and proved to myself that I can conquer anything.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? I love watching the All Access Workout videos. It’s so cool to see other gyms and how they practice and prepare for meets. I often shared with my coaches what I had watched in the videos and the next day at practice suggested trying a different drill to see if it helped us improve as a team.
If you could have 1 superpower what would it be? If I could have 1 superpower I would love to have the power of telepathy. I’ve always wanted to know what people really think and feel about certain things.
Discuss not being able to finish your senior season like you had hoped. It was very heartbreaking not being able to finish out my final season, but I understand how crucial it is to stay home and prevent this horrible pandemic from spreading more. It was difficult after the pandemic started when state and regionals were canceled and realizing I had competed at my very last competition on March 1st. At that meet, I really struggled on bars trying to get my jaeger bail connection, and I came back after that meet with so much fire and drive to finally put it together for state and regionals. All season I had the dream of making it to level 10 regionals, so that was a hard concept to come to terms with for a while. Despite the difficulty, I am thankful that I was able to focus on school, scholarship applications, and helping my friends, family, and community through this pandemic by sending letters to my 22 teammates, doing positive chalk art for my neighbors, and more to keep the positivity going!
What are you doing to keep up your training during Corona Quarantine? I started a Beachbody online workout program called Morning Meltdown 100. They are quick 30 minute workouts and have helped me start my mornings on the right foot. Also, immediately after we found out that the season was over and the gym was closed, my coaches started doing Zoom workouts with all of the girls and boys optional and compulsory teams four days a week. It’s been really fun seeing my friends through the computer screen and helps us stay accountable. Recently, we started meeting at a park near the gym with nine people at a time to do workouts outside six feet apart. It’s been so reassuring to continue having such amazing support from all of our coaches through this crazy time.
What do you miss most about gymnastics during this time? I miss my team so much. We all have such a close bond and it’s so hard going from training 20+ hours a week with them to seeing them a few hours a week on a computer screen and now 1 hour a week in person. We all have been encouraging each other in our group chat and FaceTime when possible, but I know we are all ready to get back to training with each other again in the gym.
What is the first thing you want to do once you can get back to gym & training? I’m so excited to start training for acrobatics and tumbling! I can’t wait to learn new tumbling passes while I continue training with my teammates even though I’m heading to college in a few months.
What will you miss most about being part of Region 5? It’s been absolutely incredible being part of Region 5. I will definitely miss the close bond between every single athlete and coach. The friendships I’ve made with not only the members of my own team but also with other teams in the region is something very special, unique, and will continue even when I leave. Everyone supports one another, so I will definitely miss the people, attending the fun camps, and wearing the big “5” on my leotard. I’m very proud to say I was a part of Region 5.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? Earlier this season, I got a really bad beam bite right before my first competition. I landed on the same spot on my thigh twice in that week while training my back handspring pike series. My teammates joked during practice saying there was a galaxy or solar system on my leg and when I was at my meet, everyone in the crowd thought it was a big tattoo.
Do you have a nickname? If so, whatIs the story behind it? Everyone at the gym calls me Lexi or Lex because it’s short for Alexis. I’ve also been known as Gymdiva25 since choosing that name for social media when I was young.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? I respect Maggie Nichols the most. Despite the numerous injuries and obstacles she has faced over the years, she has continued inspiring so many others with her motivating posts on social media and through her incredible talent.
Something you learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you? I’ve learned so many extraordinary things from gymnastics that I will definitely take with me in my next step in life. I’ve learned things such as time management, respect for authority, to appreciate the journey, and to never give up. Gymnastics and life itself throws so many curveballs at you, but it is so important to get back up and persevere through the difficult times. It makes you stronger and better able to tackle your next obstacle.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or Nationals Moment? My most memorable gymnastics moment was definitely when I heard my name called as an Eastern Qualifier. It was so exciting, a relief that my hard work paid off, and I just couldn’t stop smiling. It didn’t even feel real. I ran to my parents right after awards and embraced them in the biggest hug as we all cried together. I was an alternate a few years prior so being an official member of the team this time is a moment I’ll never forget.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? Make every practice, skill, turn, and moment count. Time moves so fast, so never lose sight of your goals and do your routines at practice like you would compete them.
How do you want to be remembered, byus here in Region 5 as well as your home club & teammates? I hope I’m remembered by my positivity, my desire to make sure everyone feels welcome and included, and for pushing through the difficult days and never giving up. Whether from my team or not, I want everyone to know they are important, they matter, and they are loved.
What is something special your friends, family, school, coaches or teammates, have done for you during this quarantine to make missing out on those special senior moments a little easier to handle. My school is planning a lot of fun things coming up! On May 11th, we are picking up our cap and gowns and walking through the elementary school hallways six feet apart while the staff cheer us on. To combat not having a senior prom, they are putting on a community red carpet event that will be livestreamed so the community can see everyone dressed up. Finally, for graduation, they are doing a drive through graduation through our town. We will all line up alphabetically and wear our cap and gowns in our vehicles while we are escorted through the community. My parents told me I also have some surprise social distanced visits coming soon, so I’m excited to see what happens! GTCO has also included me in Senior Sunday posts on social media which has made me feel extra special. My two school friends and I have been driving separately to meet at a local park, where we sit in the back of each of our cars to chat and have our social distanced hangouts.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself….I am an only child and have a dog named Mya. I was homeschooled in the 5th and 6th grades to train gymnastics 30 hours a week because I enjoyed it so much.