Everyone may be in Corona Quarantine, but not the Region 5 Insider (well figuratively)! We are continuing to bring you Gymnastics content to get you through your time stuck in the house! Believe me we miss the gym as much as all of you out there in Region 5 Land. We are continuing our 20 Questions Series with our next athlete who hails from Illinois & Phenom Gymnastics. Riley Milbrandt, a junior in high school, is a 4 time JO National Qualifier, Regional Champion & Illinois State Champion. The season may have ended abruptly, but for these athletes who are training at home to keep up their skills & fitness, it’s only the beginning to a major comeback. Let’s get to know Riley a little better as she looks to the future more determined than ever I am sure.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? At the age of 4 my mom put me into tumbling classes. I loved it, but something was missing. I walked into a gymnastics facility and said, “ Mom, this is what I want to do.” I started gymnastics at the age of 9. I flew through levels. I did levels 5, 7, 9 and 10. This year will be my 5th year as a level 10.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is bars because bars comes easy for me.
Favorite Skill to train/compete? My favorite skill is a full twisting double layout off bars.
Dream Skill? My dream skill is a full in on floor.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? My favorite part about gymnastics is meeting new gymnasts, seeing my supportive friends/coaches everyday and striving for perfection.
What college do you plan on attending? I will be attending the University of Georgia in 2021.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? My favorite meet to compete at is Level 10 JO nationals. I love how all the states in region 5 come together to make a dream team. I’ve made so many new friendships through my nationals experiences. Every year I push myself to work hard for another nationals experience.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far was earning a 9.7 on beam at 2019’s Illinois state meet!! Beam has always been a weaker event for me, but after that meet my confidence level went sky high.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? My favorite feature is all access because you can see how others gyms train.
What kinds of things really make you laugh? Something that makes me laugh are when my friends tell silly jokes.
3 Things you could not live without? I could not live without food, sleep, and family/friends.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? I would be a sea turtle because I’ve never seen the coral reef before and sea turtles spend their days swimming throughout the ocean.
5 Most Important or Must have Items in your gym bag? The must have ideas that I keep in my gym bag are grips, tiger paws, tape/pre-wrap, water, and a granola bar.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? My pre meet ritual is to eat ribs or steak the night before. This ritual has given me great luck.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? I like to make crafts, be outdoors and hangout with family/friends.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? My most embarrassing meet moment was my first year level 10 at the Circle of Stars meet in Indianapolis, Indiana. I fell on my straddle mount and was hanging from the beam like a monkey. I refused to give up and 30 seconds later my couch told me to get down.
Do you have a nickname? If so what Is the story behind? My nickname is Ri. Ri is just short for Riley. It’s short and sweet.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? I’ve always respected Aly Raisman. She was so inspiring as gymnast and a great role model for women.
Something you learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you? I’ve learned to never give up on my hopes and dreams because as long as Icontinue to work at it, I will achieve it.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or JO Nationals Moment? My most memorable JO
nationals moment would have to be my first level 10 JO nationals because it was my first time competing for region 5 and It was a true blessing to be apart of it.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? “There is always tomorrow”. -Marco
Marco says this to me when I have off days at the gym. After being told this, I knew there was hope that tomorrow would be better.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself When I was younger I spent my days catching frogs in my neighborhood lake.