Tell our readers about you as a gymnast
I started a tot class at Arizona Sunrays gymnastics when I was 3. My first leotard covered my pull ups perfectly! My mom put me in gymnastics to build my coordination skills, not knowing 10 yrs later, I would be Level 10. The time I spent working on the technique and constant drills often became boring so I tried Softball for a year. I soon discovered that I missed gymnastics and returned. It was difficult, but I stayed confident and focused on my goals. Gymnastics is a sport where often times it’s extremely difficult to return at a competitive level after a long break, but I was determined to prove otherwise. I am so happy today that my strong work ethic and confidence paid off!
Do you compete? What level do you compete at?
Yes, I compete and am currently training to be a Level 10 gymnast. Transitioning from LV 9 to LV 10 is a huge jump and I am working hard to get there. Most Collegiate gymnast are LV 10 which tells you how difficult it is.
What is your favorite event?
The balance beam. This is usually a gymnast least favorite event because the beam is only 4″ wide. However, I enjoy the challenge and feel proud of myself when I master a skill that my coach asks me to do. Sometimes these skills take a couple months to learn, but when I do, its the best feeling! I know if I can compete on a 4″ beam, in front of hundreds of people along with 4 judges are staring at me, I can do anything in life!
What is the hardest thing you’ve had to learn?
A kip on the bars. This is a basic skill that I learned at LV 4. It involves a lot of strength and timing. I still have the dollar bill my coach gave me with the words “first Kip, March 15, 2009” written on it!
How many hours a week are you in the gym?
25 plus hrs/ week– Mon-Friday 1:30-6:30 ( Wednesdays optional) Sat. 7:00-11:00
When not in the gym, what do you like to do?
Paint my nails! I love to create different designs on my nails and take photos of them. However, then I have to remove the polish because my private school does not allow it! I also love spending time with my sister, and friends.
What is the number one thing you are looking forward to being an 8th grader this year?
Seeing my friends at St. Francis. My friends and St. Francis support me and my gymnastics goals. We are like a family at St. Francis and everyone helps each other. I’m not treated any differently with my school work, but I do have a family of teachers and friends there that will spend extra time with me when needed.
Did you do anything exciting this summer?
Yes!! I went to Park City Utah where my cousins live. While I was there, I attended Black Diamond gymnastics so I could keep up on my gymnastics skills. I also went to South Carolina and hung out on the beach, and even caught a shark!
Why is Gracie a special person?
Gracie has an incredible work ethic and a heart of gold. She is able to balance a high level of gymnastics with a high level of school. She walks in the door from gymnastics and immediately starts her homework. Gracie interacts with everyone with a smile and attentiveness. She cheers for her gymnastics teammates and wants them to do their best.
Gracie is currently a 7th grader at Saint Francis Xavier School