Our next JO National Qualifier 20 Questions is Erika Penamante from Legacy Elite Gymnastics. Erika mixes the performance quality in her routines with her difficulty very well making her a well rounded athlete. This balance for Erika stands out most on the balance beam as the routine draws you in from start to finish! This will be Erika’s second trip to the JO Nationals, competing in her first jo Nationals in 2017. Let’s get to know Erika who is certainly one to watch at nationals in Cincinnati.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? My neighbor/ best friend started gymnastics and I copied her. I was 5.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is Floor
Favorite Skill to train/compete? My favorite skill to train/compete is Shaposh on bars
Dream Skill? My Dream skill is a Full-in on floor
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? My favorite part of gymnastics is constantly being with my team
What college do you plan on attending? I do not know yet
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? My favorite meet to compete at is Nationals because the atmosphere is really fun and exciting.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far is Winning Regionals
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? In the sport of gymnastics I most admire Christina Peng Peng Lee
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? My favorite Region 5 Insider feature is the not-so-hot moments.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? My go to playlist before meets is my hype playlist
3 Things you could not live without? I could not live with out my phone, my charger, and my best friend
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? I would be a sloth because they’re really lazy and only have to go to the bathroom once a week.
5 Most Important or Must have Items in your gym bag? 1) grips 2) wrist guards 3) Advil 4) water 5) pre-wrap
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? I always have to have my lucky pig in my bag.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? Outside of gymnastics I like to hang out with my friends
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? My most embarrassing me moment was when I was at the Buckeye Classic and I missed both my feet on my series and I didn’t know what to do.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? If I was not a gymnast I would try Dance
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? I respect Jordyn Wieber because even though she didn’t make AA, she kept her head high and cheered on her teammates.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or JO Nationals Moment? My most memorable JO Nationals moment was after we were done competing, my group and I hung out in my room and just talked with each other and bonded.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? Take everything one step at a time.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. I have an obsession with bringing up vines every 5 minutes:))