GL caught up with Samantha Peszek, a 16-year-old member of the U.S. National gymnastics team. Sam recently placed 3rd all-around at the Tyson American Cup and traveled to Italy for a friendly international competition. Fun, right? She dishes about balancing friendship and competition, her fave healthy snack and shopping!

GL: What keeps you motivated to work so hard in the gym?

SP: Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated, but I try to stay focused at the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Each day at practice I work hard and concentrate on completing my assignment for that day.

GL: Do you think young teens can start doing gymnastics? Any advice for them?

SP: I think that people can start gymnastics at any age. To pursue the elite level, I think it is more important to start at a younger age. Gymnastics is such a great sport for balance, flexibility and strength. It is also the base of all sports and sets you up for success later in life.

GL: Do you have any superstitious routines that you stick to? If so, what is it?

SP: I ALWAYS listen to my iPod before or during meets. I don't know if you would call this superstitious, but it really helps me stay focused and calm.

GL: What's your favorite healthy snack?

SP: My favorite snack is yogurt and granola.

GL: How do you balance competing with teammates with your friendship with them?

SP: We all have an understanding of the sport and our responsibility to fulfill our duties during a competition. We stay focused during meets, although we usually cheer each other on for the support. Outside of the gym is a different story. We always talk or keep each other updated with our lives even when we are all over the country.

GL: Where has been your favorite place to travel?

SP: My favorite place that I have traveled to was London. It was so much fun because we got to sight-see on a double-decker bus. We toured the city; it was such a cool place, and I hope to go back for more shopping.

GL: Complete the following sentence: when I'm not in the gym, you'll find me...

SP: ....hanging out with my friends/family!

4/15/2008 12:00:04 PM
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