Our next 20 Questions Athlete is Mid Michigan Gymnastics Senior Katie Kowalski. Katie has been a Level 10 for 3 years and in 2019 qualified to her first JO National Championships as part of the Senior B Dream Team. Katie, who has showed great improved all over the gym this season, excels on the Vault where she is a Level 9 National Champion. Katie carried her Vaulting success into Level 10 with an upgraded Yurchenko Full to help her finish 2nd at the 2019 Michigan State and Region 5 State Championships. Katie is also a solid All-Around competitor having again finished 2nd in the All-Around at both the Michigan State and Region 5 Championships boosting her confidence heading into her first JO Nationals. I have known Katie for many years and have watched her grow through gymnastics, her gym is a few miles away from my own, her coaches were one time my own coaches and teammates. I cannot wait to see what Katie’s last year of JO Gymnastics holds for her and how far she can continue to go. So, as Katie heads into her Senior summer, let’s get to know Katie a little bit better before she takes her talents to the collegiate level.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I was 2 years old when I started and my mom put me in it because I always had way too much energy around the house.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is beam right now.
Favorite Skill to train/compete? My favorite skill to compete is my standing layout stepout to scale on beam and my favorite skill to train is my full in on floor.
Dream Skill?My dream skill is a yurchenko 1 1/2 on vault or a double layout on bars.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics?My favorite part of gymnastics is having a place where I can be myself, be able to meet so many friends around the country, and have the opportunity to travel so many different places.
What college do you plan on attending? I am currently undecided of where I want to attend.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why?My favorite meet to compete at, other than JO’s, is Sand Dollar because I love being able to travel but also compete at one of the largest meets in the country.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far was qualifying to JO’s, being second all around at Regionals with a 37.8.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series?My favorite feature is Coaches Wired.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets?My go to playist before a meet is just anything that is really upbeat and gets me in a good mood.
3 Things you could not live without?Three things I could not live without are my family, gymnastics, and music.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?I would be
5 Most Important or Must have Items in your gym bag?I always have my phone, a banana, my headphones, biofreeze, and my roller.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? I always have to eat a banana before I compete.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? Outside of gym, I like to hang out with friends and swim.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? The most embarrassing gymnastics moment was when my team was doing conditioning and one of the exercises was to do straddle jump back tucks in a row for endurance. When I tried, I decided to punch from the straddle to the backtuck and I landed on my face and got a huge rug burn on my nose.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try?I would probably do soccer or track.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? I respect gymnasts the most because I personally know the amount of dedication and hard work that goes into the sport.
Something you learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you?I have learned that you can never stop trying something no matter how hard it is. You always have to get back up and never stop until you are satisfied.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or JO Nationals Moment?The most memorable moment was getting up one last time as a team for the season and winning the team award for Senior B.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you?The most valuable piece of advice from my coach was was when she told me to do life like I do gymnastics; be strong but not rude, kind but not weak, and humble but not timid.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. My mom, my sister, and I are planning on taking a trip next summer to visit different places in Europe such as Paris and Rome.