When did you start gymnastics?
When I was five, I started.
You were an Olympian. When did you first compete in the Olympics?
I was 15 when I competed in the 1992 Barcelona Games.
How did you feel competing at that age?
During that time I was basically just focusing on what I’m doing. I was so passionate about doing gymnastics, so I didn’t worry about anything like, “Oh what if I mess up?” I just stayed focused on completing the assignments my coaches were giving me. At that age, I really did not think that much. The hours and how much work I put into it, it really did pay off. That was a big, learning lesson that was huge for me: How much you put it, is how much you get back.
I believe I put a lot of more into it so I was able to gain exponentially over the competition. It’s also what I coach my athletes on. Putting more effort and planning than others are willing to will give you the advantage!
In China when we trained, there were key “power words” written on the wall. Every day after practice, I’d think about these words and remember them today. These push me to always put in that little bit extra effort.
At any point in your career, whether you know, competing or coaching, has that ever changed?
Of course, there were times I was nervous, and even felt I wanted to give up. But I know that gymnastics is a sport that rewards effort and trying, so I just keep going. It’s gets harder as you go, but I know that I’ve always been willing to more training than anyone else. Even if we’re training the same hours, I’ll put in MORE effort to max myself and my accomplishments.
How long have you known of Alisa and Black Hills Gymnastics?
I’ve known about Black Hills Gymnastics for a long time because everybody talked about them being number one in the region.
How many years have you been coaching total?
What are you most proud of in the coaching roles you’ve had?
I’ve always been able to go into a that isn’t might not be living up to their potential and turn them around instantly. Like one year they’ll be not as good as they can be, and I can just help them get better.
What makes you able to go into a gym and turn it around so quickly?
I just share my experience and I’m just doing what I love. I really just put my heart into it and get into the zone when I get on the floor. So, with coaching I just very much enjoy doing what I’m doing. I have lots of good energy. There are even times when I’m feeling down or tired and actually don’t really want to go in but as soon as I start, I feel completely different! It just brings my life back like that!
Out of out of all the gyms you’ve coached at what makes Black Hills different?
This is my dream workplace. Because from the owner, to coworkers, it doesn’t feel like we’re just “side-by-side” coworkers. The whole gym makes you feel like the relationship has already been there for a long time, like a natural connection. There’s a powerful connection of working together to get better, not just working together to get paid.
If I stopped coaching? That’s it. BHG is the last place I’ll coach at. I’ve grown a lot from this gym. We are supporting each other through and through. Overall, we’re happy, while we still can have hard times together. We get tohelp each other make things easier and better for our athletes.