By Lisa Stukel, Contributing Writer
Team: Hudson High School Gymnastics (all around), soccer (defense).
Stats: Jackie competed in the balance beam at states in 2012, along with four other teammates.
Coach: Phillip Sharky
Jackie, when did you start participating in gymnastics?
“I started in gymnastics when I was 5 years old. I played a lot of sports when I was little including soccer, softball and swimming, but I really liked gymnastics.”
Who has been your biggest influence in gymnastics?
“Both of my parents have been very supportive of me. They have driven me to countless practices and come to every event. I have also had the same gymnastics coach growing up. He owned Diamond Gymnastics and has been with me ever since. He has pushed me and has helped me with not only the physical aspect of the sport, but also the emotional part.”
What were your personal goals for this season?
“I was very happy with the way I did this season to make it to states in beam. My favorite event is beam because it involves a little risk. I like learning new moves on the beam and push myself to become better.”
What does it take to be a gymnast?
“It takes years of dedication. You train all-year round and if you miss a week, you lose skills. Flexibility and strength, both mentally and physically are helpful. It takes a lot of practice working on skills and persistence.”
What is your most memorable moment?
“When I was growing up, the states were held at the Cape. Our team got to participate every year and we got to stay at a hotel. It was really fun.”
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
“I would say to always push yourself to be better and don's give up. It is important to keep well-balanced and to enjoy the sport. I was able to keep well-balanced and I was able to compete for a long time. I truly love the sport and enjoyed every minute I was able practice and compete. Work hard and have fun.”
How do you manage gymnastics and academics?
“I think that participating in sports helps keep you organized. You only have a certain amount of time before or after practice to get your homework done, so that helps me organize my time.”
What are your plans for next year?
“I don's think that I will play sports in college. I have been looking at seven different colleges, but might defer a year to do some sort of volunteer work, possibly as a Global Citizen overseas. I's not sure right now.”