Getting started- I was at my friend’s house when I was about seven years old. My mom couldn’t come pick me up yet and my friend’s mom was like “hey, why don’t you come to the gym and just …
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I was at my friend’s house when I was about seven years old. My mom couldn’t come pick me up yet and my friend’s mom was like “hey, why don’t you come to the gym and just wait for your mom there?” And I did and then the coach came up and said “hey we actually offer free trials” and so I just went to the free trial. I had a lot of fun and I remember going up to my mom asking if I could keep going to gym.
I like all types of sports: basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, all of them. But with gymnastics, there’s always something that you can be improving no matter how good you are or how talented you are, and I think that’s really cool about it.
This past year was a huge challenge mentally. We were just a couple months from the US Olympic Team Trials last year when things shut down. And to have to go back home for a few months when nothing was open and just keep training in my garage, it was tough at times. And then there were so many news articles about how the Olympics weren’t going to happen or they were going to be postponed again, which was definitely challenging.
I think my favorite events to compete in are floor and parallel bars. Floor is always exciting to compete in because you are running and flipping. And then parallel bars is just a fun event for me because I love swinging around. I think one of the reasons I fell in love with gymnastics is because I used to have these monkey bars at home and swing around on them and parallel bars kind of feels like that.
But I do all six of the events and I don’t really have a least favorite because the way I look at it is all six events bring something different to the plate. There’s different body movements, different endurance and it’s just kind of a mental game on each one.
It’s honestly still kind of unreal right now. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, I still feel like I’m kind of living a dream. I’ve just been asked to do a lot of interviews and photo shoots and I’m just like “this is like crazy right now, I didn’t expect this.”
It might feel different, but it won’t affect me that much. At the end of the day, you’re still there with your team and you know there’s still a lot of pressure from the other countries and the judges. But maybe there might be less pressure without the crowd there.
It’s really special to me, especially since I was adopted and I grew up in America. It’s been a crazy year with all the racial discrimination but I don’t like to focus on that. When I go out there and compete for Team USA I think about all the good people that have helped me and you know all the people who have supported me. But to represent the Asian community does mean a lot because it means no matter where you come from or what you look like if you work hard enough and you set your goals high you can accomplish them.
I want to keep going until 2028 when the Olympic games in Los Angeles. I think it would be pretty cool to say you got to retire in your own country.
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