Our next 20 Questions Athlete is 2018 JO National Qualifier Paige Thaxton of Michigan Academy of Gymnastics in Westland Michigan. Paige, who qualified to JO Nationals last year as a first time level 10, is an exceptional talent. I first noticed her a few years ago as a small little bouncy level 9, she had so much spunk. Paige shines on the uneven bars, which happens to be her favorite event, she does a very unique toe hecht to the high bar, but in the piked position. Paige will definitely be one to watch for JO Nationals this 2019 season. Let’s get to know Paige a little bit better as she heads into her State Meet this Saturday and starts her run at a 2nd JO Nationals.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I got into gymnastics when I was two because my mom’s best friend signed her daughter up and thought it would be a good idea because I was rolling all over the house.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is bars.
What is your favorite skill to train/compete? My favorite skill is a double layout off bars and into the pit on floor.
What is your dream skill? My dream skill is a double full on vault.
What is your favorite part about gymnastics? My favorite part of gymnastics is having a team support me and being able to show people my talent along with entertainment.
What college do you plan on attending and why? I plan on attending university of Michigan because they have a very good gymnastics team, they’re close to home, and they have great schooling for lots of options.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? My favorite meet is Cereal City in Battle Creek because that’s where I first qualified for Nationals and that’s where I got my 2nd best all around score of all time.
What is your biggest accomplishment if gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment is qualifying for Nationals first year of level 10 and being an alternate for Nastia Liukin Cup 2019.
Who do you admire the most in the sport of gymnastics? I most admire Shawn Johnson because she is small but mighty. She has competed in plenty of National and Olympic championships and had a fiery passion for this sport. Not only did she gain popularity but found her best friend, Nastia Liukin.
What is your go to pre-meet song or playlist? My song before a meet is “The Champion” by Carrie Underwood.
What are 3 things you could not live without? I could not live without a fluffy blanket, food, or family.
If you could be any animal what animal would you be and why? I would be a flying squirrel because they are tiny, cute and can glide anywhere they desire in the distance. They also enjoy eating fruit and their long tail means they have great stability.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? Before a meet, my team and I do a shake out which we shake each of our arms and legs out 4 then 3 then 2 then 1 counting it out.
What do you like to do outside of gymnastics? Outside of gymnastics I usually go shopping or sleeping after I do my homework.
What is your most embarrassing gymnastics or meet moment? One time at level 6 state meet, I was on vault and took off on a piece of white tape and missed the spring board and face planted onto the table.
If you were not a gymnast, what sport would you try? I would try to do volleyball if not for gymnastics
What are you most looking forward to this competition season? I am looking forward to regionals and nationals
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…..I can do the wave with my eyebrows