Chellsie Memmel (USA)

2008 USA Olympic Team Member, 2005 World All-Around Champion and 2003 World All-Around Uneven Bars and Team Gold Medallist


has responded to your questions:

1. You’re known for your mental toughness and ability to maintain your focus. When competing, do you pay attention to scores or other things going on around the competition floor? How do you keep your nerves in check and stay focused in high-pressure situations?

“I do pay attention to scores when I’m competing because I always like to know where I stand. I’ve always been like that when I compete, I know some people prefer not to know scores but I have never been that way. Knowing the standings helps me. As far as other things going on, I try not to worry about what other people are doing or what they have done because I can only control what I do. I usually am more nervous when I am getting ready for a meet, like when I’m doing my hair and stuff but when I get to the arena my adrenaline kicks in and usually calms my nerves.”

2. Do you plan to return to competing in the all-around or will you be concentrating on fewer events? If so, which events and why?

“I would like to return in all around. I prefer doing all around to just a few events.”

3. It’s been rumored that you’ve been training a Mo Salto (Gaylord) on the uneven bars—is this true or false? Are there any other big skills you’ve trained in the past but never competed?

“That is false. I’m not training, nor have ever trained the Mo salto on bars. There aren’t really any skills on bars that I’ve trained but haven’t competed.”

4. For some fans, the exact story of your injury in Beijing is unclear. Can you please describe what happened and how it affected your Olympics?

“It was the morning of our second day of training in Beijing when I broke my ankle. We started on floor and were tumbling and getting used to the floor, I was doing my 2 1/2 and hurt my ankle on the punch. I knew something was wrong right away so I went over to my dad and told him something wasnt right in my ankle. We went over to the trainer and talked and did some tests on it, then taped it up and I tested it out. It still didn’t feel right to me so I went back over and talked to our trainer and said that I wanted an xray and or mri to see what we were dealing with. So right after practice we went to get an xray and saw the fracture. Hearing that news was the worst memory I have of being in China. But good news followed, the coaches and Marta all talked and decided if I was able to still do bars I would stay on the team. So for our second workout that day, we taped up my ankle and I did all of my bars except the mount and dismount. I had to show my mount and dismount the next day so we knew if I could do it or not. I was able to, so I stayed on the team for bars. I had an air cast that I walked around in and they found my a bike to use so it was easier to get around the village in for me. I think the rest everyone knows…….I was just extremely glad that I was still able to contribute to the team on bars and proud to take home the silver medal with the team.”

5. In an interview before the 2008 Olympics, you were noted as saying that your diet consisted almost completely of fruit and a small amount of chicken. Is this what your diet truly consisted of at this point in your life?

“No that is not all I ate in a day…..I did have fruit in the morning (I really just don’t like eating a lot for breakfast, I’m not hungry in the morning) then had a salad with chicken and carrots or something else like that for lunch….then usually a power bar before I went back to the gym. Then I usually did just have some more fruit for dinner and maybe like a handful of almonds.”