Continuing with our coverage of our 2019 Level 9 Eastern National Champions, our next 20 questions athlete is Perfections Juliet Horenziak. Juliet, who is nominated for a 2019 Yahtzee Award, not only took the 2019 Eastern National Junior 8 All-Around Title, but she also took the top spot on the balance beam with a 9.60. Juliet’s energy on the competition floor is contagious! There was not a moment during the competition when she did not have the worlds biggest smile on her face, you could see the pure joy in her during the entire competition! My favorite part was during her interview after the meet when she said she was “Going to Disney World” to celebrate her win! I just thought that was so fantastic! I am definitely excited to see this beautiful athlete on the competition floor this coming season in her first year as a level 10. Let’s get to know Juliet a little better as she prepares for her first season as a level 10 with Perfection Gymnastics.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? When my little brother was two, he was climbing everything in the house and jumping down the stairs. After he broke the post off my bed, my parents realized he needed somewhere to run out his energy. They enrolled him in a preschool gymnastics class, and I asked if I could try it too. At the age of five, I fell in love with the sport.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event to train is bars because it is such a unique event compared to the others. However, I enjoy competing floor more than bars because bars makes me nervous, and I love performing my floor routine.
Dream Skill? I have been working on a gainer layout-layout on beam that I would love to compete for my flight series!
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? I love seeing my teammates and myself accomplish big goals or get new skills. It’s very rewarding to see all of the hard work and hours that you put into something all be worth it.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? My favorite meet that I’ve competed in was Eastern Nationals. It was a great experience to compete with girls from all five states in the region. I loved getting to know new people and be a part of a team that was competing for Region 5.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment so far was winning beam and all-around at Eastern Nationals. I didn’t go into the meet with any expectations other than doing my best, and I really didn’t even think about the possibility of winning. I was very surprised and excited when I found out that I won.
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? I really admire all the coaches and judges who dedicate their time to making sure the next generation of gymnasts can have the best possible experience.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? I enjoy all the coverage of JO Nationals and Eastern Nationals. It is fun to see photos of all the girls competing, as well as highlight videos of some of the best Region 5 routines.
What is your go-to playlist or song before meets? When I was younger I really loved Katy Perry, so I started listening to her music before meets and now it’s become part of my pre-meet routine.
3 Things you could not live without? Other than food, water, and shelter :), I couldn’t live without my cat, Tootsie, gymnastics, or my friends and family.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? I would be a flamingo because they have great balance and can fly which would be awesome! I’m kind of obsessed with them—even the sheets on my bed are flamingo print!
5 Most Important or Must-have Items in your gym bag? I always need my grips, tiger paws, water bottle, scrunchie, and a snack!
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? The night before meets, I always sleep with little “worry dolls” under my pillow. I also have special glitter that I have always sprinkled in my hair before a competition.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? I broke my thumb in 2018 a week before state. I wasn’t cleared for full activity until about a week and a half before Regionals, but I still wanted to try and compete. I had been competing bars well before my injury, but I struggled to come back in those 10 days before regionals because my grip strength was weak. When I got to bars warmups at Regionals, I was struggling to make my blind to front giant. I was determined to get it right and continued to try it over and over until almost everyone else was done with warmups. Eventually, I got tired and I peeled off on the front giant and flew backward to the very end of the mat and flipped over just before landing on my head. There was a collective gasp from everyone in the arena, and I felt like everyone had seen it.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? My mom always jokes that she thought I was going to be a volleyball player, but I think I would probably do track or some sort of running because I used to run 5ks and I liked doing that.
How does it feel to be a Level 9 Eastern National Champion?It felt pretty unbelievable at first because I didn’t go into the meet thinking I could win. I am very grateful for my coaches, teammates, and parents who helped me to get to that point.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or JO Nationals Moment? My most memorable moment was after beam at Eastern Nationals. I had just done one of my best routines of the season and I was feeling really confident. At this moment it actually occurred to me that I had a chance of winning, and after the 9.6 score flashed I was only feeling more excited. I had also done well on vault and bars and only had floor remaining which I felt very confident I could hit. I remember thinking, “I could actually do this.”
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? My coaches have given me countless pieces of advice and wisdom. One that has really helped me the most in all aspects of gymnastics and my life is learning to control my emotions. I’ve always been very hard on myself and learning to keep myself from getting frustrated so easily has helped me to be a lot more confident in my gymnastics, especially on beam.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. There’s a lot of gymnastics in my family. My mom was a gymnast and is now a judge, and my brother is also a gymnast!