Over on the International Gymnast Magazine forum, poster Bekah has created a Twitter account for the forum has has started a WICKED AWESOME segement called “Five Questions With…” where members of the forum can vote on questions to ask famous gymnasts of the past and present.

5Qs1

The Logo for "5 Questions With..."

So far, Samantha Peszek and Kayla Williams have answered questions for the world. We are waiting to hear what Dominique Moceanu has to say, and we are currently holding a poll to select questions to ask National Team Member Kytra Hunter.

The link to the Kytra Hunter poll: www.intlgymnast.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5248

Samantha Peszek’s questions and answers:

Samantha Peszek

Samantha Peszek

1. What is an average day at the Karolyi Camp like? We’re interested in details! What do you eat, what kind of spare time do you have and what are the “verifications” like?

“Going to the ranch is so hard to describe because although we have two intense workouts a day, it is also a chance for us to hang out with the other team members that live across the country, which is the reason we become so close. To be honest, it is like a 5 day sleep over with a chance to improve our gymnastics with the best critiques in the world. We have morning and afternoon training and the rest of the time, we mostly just watch tv, sleep, go online, homework, and catch each other up on our lives at home! When we aren’t training, it’s a good time to relax! Verifications are like “mini meets”…. depending on the meet schedule, we either present full routines or half routines. There is always a judge, you have to salute, and you get a score. We verify a different event each practice and the rest are training days. It is a good way to check your new combinations or skills with the judges and get their input. I know I like to hear their opinion more than focusing on the score. Verification is also a good way to check your progress and readiness for upcoming events.”

2. Do you ever read what fans (like those on International Gymnast) say about you online?

“I usually try not to get too caught up reading what different people have to say, however I have seen a couple sites, and just want to thank all of my fans for supporting me these past couple of years especially. If any of you follow me on twitter, I love your comments about my crazy life; it makes me smile!!”

3. What’s the craziest thing outside of gymnastics that you’ve ever done?

“This summer, Bridget, Marvin, and I went to Hawaii to train and help coach a camp. We had a day off and Bridget REALLY wanted to learn to surf and I was just like ehhh….I will only go if I can wear a life jacket! haha I was failing the indoor surf lesson, and I couldn’t wear a life vest. I was so scared! Bridget and I got up on our first try, so we made Marvin take pictures of our “blue crush” poses on the board. After that, Bridget was learning how to jump and switch sides….and I wanted to do a handstand. After a couple hours of bloopers, and the instructor thinking im insane, I finally hit one! I rode the entire wave in a handstand!!!”

4. In the past, Miss Val’s had girls train as both college and elite gymnasts, Do you still plan to train as an Elite at UCLA?

“hmmm….funny thing about this is I have no idea. I would LOVE to compete in another world championship, national championship, or olympic game. I chose UCLA for many many reasons, but one of those reasons happens to be that they were so flexible with whatever I wanted to do. I know that they have done it in the past, so I know that it is a definite possibility. When I called Martha to tell her about my shoulder surgery, one of the things she told me was that she thought I had more potential and that she could still see the fire burning! It was great to hear that from someone who I have so much respect for. I have been a whiz at mastering complicated schedules my whole life, whose to say I can’t do it in college too?!?! Either way, I will be competing for UCLA, which has always been a dream of mine as well.”

5. How would you describe you Olympic experience? What was going through your head after the injury?

“WOW. Is the first thing I thought of when I think of the olympics. Sometimes thinking of last year seems like such a dream that I actually have to glance at my tattoo to remind myself that it actually happened! I had no idea what to expect in Beijing. The village was so unique and amazing. It was decorated like a zen garden and just imagine being surrounded by the best athletes around the world. I met so many cool famous people, I was definitely star struck. Us six girls clicked very well together, and we kept each other’s spirits up everyday. I would describe us as a close family. We knew everything about everyone and sisters sometimes fight, but at the end of the day we have each others back no matter what! By far, the best part of the olympics was standing together on the podium receiving the silver medal and hearing our USA fans cheering for us!
On the day of the meet, I had a very good warm-up on three events. When we were warming up on floor, I was doing a 2.5 punch layout full, and on my 2.5 my ankle landed sideways and then I punched for the full. It was the worst feeling in the world, not necessarily the pain, but feeling like I am letting all the girls, and the country down. I wanted nothing more than to compete that day, and I am just so happy that I could at least compete a bar routine that counted for the team….this happened literally 5 min before we walked out on the competition floor. Honestly, I wanted to just bust out crying, but I knew the girls needed me to be strong and confident! I pretended to put on a good face for the rest of the team, and if I could do nothing more, I knew my position as a competitor switched to a motivator. I had never cheered so hard in my life! They made me so proud dealing with so many bumps in the road. I look up to each of them and I’m so happy we are good friends even to this day. It is a special bond I will share with them the rest of my life! =)”

Kayla Williams’ questions and answers:

Kayla Williams

Kayla Williams

1. Going into World’s camp, did you expect to make the team? Was camp what you thought it would be?

“Going into the first Worlds camp I was just excited to be there. Really, that was my first National Team camp and I really didn’t know what to expect. Going into the second camp I think is the first time I realized I could possibly make the Worlds team. I really didn’t know what to expect going into either of the selection camps. I went into both ready to compete the best I could, and it all worked out for me.”

2. Do you plan to continue being known as a specialist? Do you ever plan to give up bars to focus on Vault, Beam and Floor like Alicia Sacramone did?

“At this Worlds, I am a specialist and right now that’s what I’m prepared to handle. I can’t really talk about what my future is because I am really taking this one day at a time but I’d love to be able to represent Team USA on more than two events, but right now vault and floor are my two best choices. I don’t plan to ever give up any events because I do plan to compete in college.”

3. Do you have any upgrades that you’re making for 2010? Where do you see yourself a year from now?

“Like I said, I am taking this whole process one step at a time, so I really can’t say anything about 2010. I am working on new leaps and that kind of stuff on floor, and I’m working on a yurchenko 2 1/2 on vault, but other than that I’m focused on getting through Worlds.”

4. Was it hard being the new person on the National Team? Were the other girls welcoming? Who do you look up to most on the national team?

“It was a little difficult being new kid on the National Team mostly because everyone already knew each other and I barely knew any of them, but all the girls were very welcoming. Like Nastia told everyone once the National Team was announced, “We’re a family,” and I felt like they invited me into the family. I look up to probably Nastia the most just because she has been through so many meets and she’s so successful.”

5. Do you have any specific NCAA plans? Do you still plan to train as an elite while in college?

“I do plan to compete in college, but [as of right now] I don’t know where I’ll be. I’m [trying] to keep all my options open and … look into as many schools as possible. As far as competing as an elite and as a college gymnast [at the same time], I’m not sure.”

“Going to the ranch is so hard to describe because although we have two intense workouts a day, it is also a chance for us to hang out with the other team members that live across the country, which is the reason we become so close. To be honest, it is like a 5 day sleep over with a chance to improve our gymnastics with the best critiques in the world. We have morning and afternoon training and the rest of the time, we mostly just watch tv, sleep, go online, homework, and catch each other up on our lives at home! When we aren’t training, it’s a good time to relax! Verifications are like “mini meets”…. depending on the meet schedule, we either present full routines or half routines. There is always a judge, you have to salute, and you get a score. We verify a different event each practice and the rest are training days. It is a good way to check your new combinations or skills with the judges and get their input. I know I like to hear their opinion more than focusing on the score. Verification is also a good way to check your progress and readiness for upcoming events.”
2. Do you ever read what fans (like those on International Gymnast) say about you online?
“I usually try not to get too caught up reading what different people have to say, however I have seen a couple sites, and just want to thank all of my fans for supporting me these past couple of years especially. If any of you follow me on twitter, I love your comments about my crazy life; it makes me smile!!”
3. What’s the craziest thing outside of gymnastics that you’ve ever done?
“This summer, Bridget, Marvin, and I went to Hawaii to train and help coach a camp. We had a day off and Bridget REALLY wanted to learn to surf and I was just like ehhh….I will only go if I can wear a life jacket! haha I was failing the indoor surf lesson, and I couldn’t wear a life vest. I was so scared! Bridget and I got up on our first try, so we made Marvin take pictures of our “blue crush” poses on the board. After that, Bridget was learning how to jump and switch sides….and I wanted to do a handstand. After a couple hours of bloopers, and the instructor thinking im insane, I finally hit one! I rode the entire wave in a handstand!!!”
4. In the past, Miss Val’s had girls train as both college and elite gymnasts, Do you still plan to train as an Elite at UCLA?
“hmmm….funny thing about this is I have no idea. I would LOVE to compete in another world championship, national championship, or olympic game. I chose UCLA for many many reasons, but one of those reasons happens to be that they were so flexible with whatever I wanted to do. I know that they have done it in the past, so I know that it is a definite possibility. When I called Martha to tell her about my shoulder surgery, one of the things she told me was that she thought I had more potential and that she could still see the fire burning! It was great to hear that from someone who I have so much respect for. I have been a whiz at mastering complicated schedules my whole life, whose to say I can’t do it in college too?!?! Either way, I will be competing for UCLA, which has always been a dream of mine as well.”
5. How would you describe you Olympic experience? What was going through your head after the injury?
“WOW. Is the first thing I thought of when I think of the olympics. Sometimes thinking of last year seems like such a dream that I actually have to glance at my tattoo to remind myself that it actually happened! I had no idea what to expect in Beijing. The village was so unique and amazing. It was decorated like a zen garden and just imagine being surrounded by the best athletes around the world. I met so many cool famous people, I was definitely star struck. Us six girls clicked very well together, and we kept each other’s spirits up everyday. I would describe us as a close family. We knew everything about everyone and sisters sometimes fight, but at the end of the day we have each others back no matter what! By far, the best part of the olympics was standing together on the podium receiving the silver medal and hearing our USA fans cheering for us!
On the day of the meet, I had a very good warm-up on three events. When we were warming up on floor, I was doing a 2.5 punch layout full, and on my 2.5 my ankle landed sideways and then I punched for the full. It was the worst feeling in the world, not necessarily the pain, but feeling like I am letting all the girls, and the country down. I wanted nothing more than to compete that day, and I am just so happy that I could at least compete a bar routine that counted for the team….this happened literally 5 min before we walked out on the competition floor. Honestly, I wanted to just bust out crying, but I knew the girls needed me to be strong and confident! I pretended to put on a good face for the rest of the team, and if I could do nothing more, I knew my position as a competitor switched to a motivator. I had never cheered so hard in my life! They made me so proud dealing with so many bumps in the road. I look up to each of them and I’m so happy we are good friends even to this day. It is a special bond I will share with them the rest of my life! =)1. What is an average day at the Karolyi Camp like? We’re interested in details! What do you eat, what kind of spare time do you have and what are the “verifications” like?
“Going to the ranch is so hard to describe because although we have two intense workouts a day, it is also a chance for us to hang out with the other team members that live across the country, which is the reason we become so close. To be honest, it is like a 5 day sleep over with a chance to improve our gymnastics with the best critiques in the world. We have morning and afternoon training and the rest of the time, we mostly just watch tv, sleep, go online, homework, and catch each other up on our lives at home! When we aren’t training, it’s a good time to relax! Verifications are like “mini meets”…. depending on the meet schedule, we either present full routines or half routines. There is always a judge, you have to salute, and you get a score. We verify a different event each practice and the rest are training days. It is a good way to check your new combinations or skills with the judges and get their input. I know I like to hear their opinion more than focusing on the score. Verification is also a good way to check your progress and readiness for upcoming events.”
2. Do you ever read what fans (like those on International Gymnast) say about you online?
“I usually try not to get too caught up reading what different people have to say, however I have seen a couple sites, and just want to thank all of my fans for supporting me these past couple of years especially. If any of you follow me on twitter, I love your comments about my crazy life; it makes me smile!!”
3. What’s the craziest thing outside of gymnastics that you’ve ever done?
“This summer, Bridget, Marvin, and I went to Hawaii to train and help coach a camp. We had a day off and Bridget REALLY wanted to learn to surf and I was just like ehhh….I will only go if I can wear a life jacket! haha I was failing the indoor surf lesson, and I couldn’t wear a life vest. I was so scared! Bridget and I got up on our first try, so we made Marvin take pictures of our “blue crush” poses on the board. After that, Bridget was learning how to jump and switch sides….and I wanted to do a handstand. After a couple hours of bloopers, and the instructor thinking im insane, I finally hit one! I rode the entire wave in a handstand!!!”
4. In the past, Miss Val’s had girls train as both college and elite gymnasts, Do you still plan to train as an Elite at UCLA?
“hmmm….funny thing about this is I have no idea. I would LOVE to compete in another world championship, national championship, or olympic game. I chose UCLA for many many reasons, but one of those reasons happens to be that they were so flexible with whatever I wanted to do. I know that they have done it in the past, so I know that it is a definite possibility. When I called Martha to tell her about my shoulder surgery, one of the things she told me was that she thought I had more potential and that she could still see the fire burning! It was great to hear that from someone who I have so much respect for. I have been a whiz at mastering complicated schedules my whole life, whose to say I can’t do it in college too?!?! Either way, I will be competing for UCLA, which has always been a dream of mine as well.”
5. How would you describe you Olympic experience? What was going through your head after the injury?
“WOW. Is the first thing I thought of when I think of the olympics. Sometimes thinking of last year seems like such a dream that I actually have to glance at my tattoo to remind myself that it actually happened! I had no idea what to expect in Beijing. The village was so unique and amazing. It was decorated like a zen garden and just imagine being surrounded by the best athletes around the world. I met so many cool famous people, I was definitely star struck. Us six girls clicked very well together, and we kept each other’s spirits up everyday. I would describe us as a close family. We knew everything about everyone and sisters sometimes fight, but at the end of the day we have each others back no matter what! By far, the best part of the olympics was standing together on the podium receiving the silver medal and hearing our USA fans cheering for us!
On the day of the meet, I had a very good warm-up on three events. When we were warming up on floor, I was doing a 2.5 punch layout full, and on my 2.5 my ankle landed sideways and then I punched for the full. It was the worst feeling in the world, not necessarily the pain, but feeling like I am letting all the girls, and the country down. I wanted nothing more than to compete that day, and I am just so happy that I could at least compete a bar routine that counted for the team….this happened literally 5 min before we walked out on the competition floor. Honestly, I wanted to just bust out crying, but I knew the girls needed me to be strong and confident! I pretended to put on a good face for the rest of the team, and if I could do nothing more, I knew my position as a competitor switched to a motivator. I had never cheered so hard in my life! They made me so proud dealing with so many bumps in the road. I look up to each of them and I’m so happy we are good friends even to this day. It is a special bond I will share with them the rest of my life! =)”
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