Gym America Senior Cali Harden, is getting ready to compete in one of her last meets as a JO Club Gymnast. Cali, who has a mega vault, will continue her gymnastics journey after graduation with the 2017 MAC Champions Eastern Michigan University Gymnastics Team. Cali has a presence on the gym floor that is undeniable, she is positive, bubbly, always smiling, cheering and encouraging her teammates. She will certainly be missed not only at Gym America, but in Region 5 as well. So, let’s get to know Cali Harden a little bit better as she closes out her JO Career and look for her this weekend at the Region 5 Championships in Indy, especially on the vault.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I began my gymnastics career at about 6 years old. I was a very hyperactive child with little self control. My mom and dad talked one day and jokingly came to the conclusion that I needed to be involved in a very high energy sport, or they were going to put me on medication. Gymnastics became my medicine.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? My favorite part of gymnastics is getting to have a second family.
What college do you plan on attending? I will be continuing my gymnastics career at Eastern Michigan University .
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? I won floor at Easterns and 2nd AA in 2016. I also won level 10 vault this year.
Favorite skill to train and/or compete? My favorite skill to both train and compete would have to be my vault. I compete a hand front pike while training a hand front pike half.
Dream skill? My dream skill is a hand front pike half like Rachel Slocum’s.
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? My coach Claudia. She has done so much for not only me, but the sport. I know that I will walk out of this sport with 15 years of gymnastics, character, and strong mental toughness.
What is your all-time favorite leotard? Do you still your very first leo? I do still have my very 1st leo. It was long mesh sleeved, black velvet, with sparkles going up and down the arms.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? If I have too much energy that day I listen to Country, but if it’s an 8 am meet and I’m tired, I listen to Pop.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to teach Preschool or Kindergarten when I am older.
What is your favorite color? My favorite color is pink.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? I like to sing, hang out with friends and family, and help with Special Olympics.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? Diving
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live? St. Thomas
If you could have lunch with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why? God because there is no one better!
Tell me something interesting about yourself… I have the ugliest toes in the world and everyone looks at them and thinks that they will help me stay on the beam but they definitely do not. I also laugh like Chanel West Coast.
Check out Cali’s Vault from the 2017 Wolverine Classic