Our next 20 questions athlete is genuine, kind, determined and driven. She set out a goal many years ago and did not stop until she accomplished it. Genna Lebster, of Champion USA in Holland Michigan, accomplished her life long dream of not only attending Michigan State University also accepting a spot on the Spartan Gymnastics Team. Genna, who trains and competes next to her younger sister Stephanie, has been featured in our “day in the life” series which followed the Lebster Sisters during their at home quarantine
training in Michigan. I absolutely love working with this athlete, I did her floor routine last year and she was so wonderful to work with and showed so much personality in her routine! I cannot wait to see what this season holds for Genna as she finishes up her senior season with Champion USA and Region 5. Let’s get to know Genna a little better as she prepares to head into Championship season and the end of her journey before the next chapter of her academic and athletic career starts…..as a SPARTAN!
How did you get into Gymnastics? How old were you? I started gymnastics when I was 3 years old. I was put into gymnastics because I climbed all over really anything I could climb on and my parents thought it would be good to take all of my energy out by flipping instead of breaking all of our furniture.
What is your favorite event? Why? My favorite events are beam and vault. I like beam because I like the challenge of doing really hard skills on a 4in surface and I love how the skills all flow together. I like vault because it comes easier to me than the other events.
Favorite part of Gymnastics? Why? My favorite part of gymnastics is the feeling of accomplishment and joy when I finally nail a skill I’ve been working on for a long time. I also love that my teammates are now more like my sisters and that I know they will be there for me whenever I need them.
Most embarrassing meet or training meet? My most embarrassing meet moment was last year on beam when my team and I were in California for a meet. I had a great warm-up but when I went to do my mount in my routine I didn’t jump high enough and my legs hit the beam and I fell backward.
What is something you have learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you once you leave the sport? There are a few lessons I will take away from gymnastics. One is time management. Going straight from school to the gym every day and not getting home until it’s dark out taught me how to use the little time I have in between and during classes and before bed to get all of my homework done and still have time to relax. I also have learned that not everything I do will be perfect all of the time and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Who is your biggest role model? Why? My biggest role models are my Nana and Pop (grandparents). My Nana shows me how to live every day to the fullest, and my Pop has taught me many important lessons such as not to make excuses and to work hard for what you want.
What are you most looking forward to in your senior year in gymnastics & high school? I’m looking forward to competing one last year with my teammates and coaches and one last JO season. In school, I’m looking forward to all of the fun end of the year senior things like prom, graduation, and beach week.
What college will you be attending in the fall? I will be attending Michigan State University in the fall.
Why did you choose that school? I chose MSU for many different reasons. One is my entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and sister) went there. Because of that, I grew up going to a lot of MSU basketballs and football games and gymnastics meets so East Lansing is already my home away from home. Also, the coaches and gymnasts made me feel so welcomed and wanted from the beginning and I know where they are trying to bring the program and I wanted to be a part of it.
What are you most looking forward to about college & college gymnastics?I really looking forward to the exciting team atmosphere that comes with college gymnastics. Watching the team for the past couple of years, I can tell they have a strong team bond and I excited to join such a close team.
What is something that sets your gym and/or your team part? My teammates and I are always cheering and encouraging each other in practice and at meets. We push each other to get better and are always excited about each other’s successes. My teammates and I are more like sisters than teammates, and I think that type of bond is super special.
What is your role on your Level 10 Team or your role in your gym in general? As one of the leaders in the gym, my role is to set a good example for everyone around me, and I am always someone my teammates can come and talk to if they need it. I also try to show others that you can have fun at practice but still be working hard.
What is your most memorable Gymnastics moment? My most memorable meet would probably be my very first competitive gymnastics meet in level 4. I didn’t really know what was going on and my parents and coaches all didn’t think that I was going to do very well and thought I wouldn’t place on any event. I ended up placing first on every event and in All-Around. I will never forget that day because it’s when I decided that I wanted to continue competing in gymnastics for as long as I could.
What are your goals for this season? After not getting to finish the season last year, I just want to appreciate everything and anything that I get to do this year. I want to make my last year in JO the best year it can be.
How would you explain the year 2020 to your future children/grandchildren? 2020 was a year full of setbacks and many events missed. But it taught me to never take anything for granted and be grateful for each day and new opportunity!
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coaches have given you? My coach always says to do something to get 1% better each and every day. Whether it’s in gymnastics, school, or life, so I try to do something everyday to make me just a little bit better because it will all add up in the end.
Do you have a nickname? If so what is it? What is the story behind it? People call me Genna, Vieva, and Gen but they are both just short for my full name.
What really makes you laugh? Honestly, nobody makes me laugh more than my teammates! They all have their little quirks and always put me in a better mood.
If you could have any super power what would it be? Why?I would want to be able to teleport so I could be wherever whenever I want! O read minds, it would be cool to know what everyone’s thinking.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would you say? I would tell my younger self that if you keep working hard and never give up anything is possible no matter what others tell you.
Bonus Question: Tell us something interesting about yourself………..One interesting thing about me is that I absolutely LOVE sunsets. I’m lucky enough to live by Lake Michigan and I love going to the beach and watching the sunsets whether it’s by myself or going to the state park with my friends. Practically half my camera roll is all sunset pictures and videos.