Its time to get to know the future of Region 5 Gymnastics. For the next few months we will be featuring our Level 9 Eastern National Qualifiers, these are the kids who will be moving into the Level 10 ranks soon and be the up and coming “ones to watch” in the next few years. Our first former Level 9 is Karly Kim of Twistars USA in Michigan. Karly, who will be moving into Level 10 this season, placed 2nd on the Bars and Floor Exercise at the 2018 Level 9 Eastern National Championships. Karly, is an extremely beautiful gymnast to watch especially on the Floor, she first caught my eye at the 2018 Battle of the Champions in Toledo, Ohio with her amazing Floor routine. For the story about her routine you will have to read her bonus question at the end of this feature. I am extremely excited to see this incredible athlete compete as a Level 10 this year. Lets get to know Karly a little bit better as she heads into her first season as a Level 10 and her road to qualify to JO Nationals.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? My mother was a collegiate gymnast at Michigan State University and coached at Twistars. My parents enrolled me into a beginning tumbling class at Twistars just before I turned two years old.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is floor because I love to dance and tumble. The past couple of years I have gotten involved in choreographing routines, not only for myself, but for my teammates as well.
Favorite Skill to train/compete? My favorite skill to train is a double pike because it is a new pass for me, and I enjoy learning new things. My favorite skill to compete is a back full in a half punch front layout because it is a consistent pass for me.
Dream Skill? My dream skill is a back double layout on floor because it is a unique pass to have.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? My favorite meet to compete at is Eastern Nationals because I have the opportunity to become closer with girls from other gyms around the eastern side of the country and meet new coaches.
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? I most admire the older gymnasts at Twistars because they are all very supportive and fantastic role models for me and every other young gymnast there.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? I like watching Coaches Wired because it allows me to listen to the different ways each coach coaches their athletes, and I can hear corrections told in different ways that could potentially help me.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? I really love listening to a playlist I have created on Spotify with all my favorite pop songs. They really pump me up for meets and put me in a mood that has me excited to compete.
3 Things you could not live without? Three things I cannot live without is my family, my teammates, and music.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal, I would be a dolphin because they are very intelligent and beautiful.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? I visualize myself hitting every routine the night before my meets.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? I love to sing, play with my cats and my new puppy, choreograph my teammates’ routines, and watch Netflix.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? My most embarrassing meet moment was when I was performing a really good beam routine in front of the judges, and then I fell on the easiest skill, a split jump, at the end of my routine.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? My mother was a former gymnast at Michigan State University. I have so much respect for her because her support for me is endless, and she always gives me advice on how to not only better myself as a gymnast, but as a person in general.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or Eastern Nationals Moment? My most memorable gymnastics moment is probably taking first place on vault at Level 9 Regionals in 2018. I struggled a lot on vault at the beginning of season with a yurchenko pike, mainly scoring high 8.0’s or low 9.0’s. By the end of the season, I reached my goal of competing a yurchenko layout. I scored a 9.525 at Regionals and took the gold medal on that event!
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? The most valuable piece of advice I have ever received from one of my coaches came from Brett Wargo. Lately, Brett has talked a lot about how he is not there only to coach us on how to get better at gymnastics, but he is also there to make us better individuals in this world. What I have learned from this is that I do not only go to practices so I can do well at competitions or win lots of meets. Instead, I go to practice because I am learning lots of life lessons, along with improving at the sport. Gymnastics has taught me so much, such as time management, patience, perseverance, hard work, dedication, and so much more. This is what I get out of doing the sport and why I have stuck with it since before the age of two.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself….Last year was my first year choreographing my own floor routine all on my own. A couple weeks ago, I was nominated for Best Floor Choreography award for the 2018 Region 5 Yahtzee Awards. Once the voting was over and votes were counted to find out the winners, I was so happy to see that I had won the Best Floor Choreography award for a routine that I created all by myself!