p & g championships

Black History Month: NCAA Gymnasts

February 8- Kennedy Baker 

Kennedy Baker is a former senior international elite gymnast who competed for USA and is now a sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in telecommunications. 

Pre-collegiate Achievements:

  • Team USA National Team Member 2010-2014 
  • 2009 Visa Championships junior bars champion
  • Competed at 2012 US Olympic Trials finishing eighth in the all-around
  • 2013 P&G Championships bronze medal winner on the balance beam

Collegiate Bests:

  • Vault: 9.950
  • Bars: 9.85
  • Beam: 9.925
  • Floor: 10.000

Collegiate Achievements (to date):

  • Earned her first 10.000 of her college career on floor against Alabama on 2016-01-29
  • All-American on floor
  • SEC Freshman of the Year (2015)
  • Four-time SEC freshman of the week recipient
just brenna things

i love that brenna must have a nervous and/or comfort habit of pulling her leo away by the front around her belly button to readjust.  in nearly every meet since the beginning of time, at some point, bren gets a nice white chalk line right where her belly button is.  it’s almost always there and it almost never goes away.  heh.  :’’)

oh brenna.  one of the many goofy things i adore about you.  :’D

YUZU DAYS - Interview on P&G website

Hanyu talks about his path of growth  [part 1: from childhood to junior]

~Encounter with figure skating~

The trigger for starting to skate was because my elder sister was doing it.   At that time, whatever my sister did, I followed.  I imitated everything.   In that way, I joined the skating lessons that my sister was taking.  For 4 year-old me, my sister who is 4 years older was definitely someone I looked up to, and at the same time, I also saw her as my rival, and I kept thinking that someday I shall surpass her!   My sister thought nothing of it though.  While trying to catch up with my sister, I think I was naturally drawn in (to skating).

I was absorbed in practising, and somehow I had already noticed the charms of skating.  It is something extraordinary, the speed is faster than normal walking, and you can do jumps and spins, movements that are unthinkable on land.  And precisely because it was difficult to do, I became obsessed with it.

In any case, I am a sore loser. Actually, from that time, I was already telling my mother, “I will take part in the Olympic Games twice and win the gold twice!”   Mother would look a little shocked and say, “Why do you have such confidence???”   I am also the type that likes to be the main character in a school play.   That is why, I hated training but I loved competitions where everyone would be looking at me.  Having the rink all to myself, the feeling of tension when all eyes are on me, I really loved that.

~Family support~

When I was a child, I hated training.  It was basically monotonous and I got scolded, and because I cried when I got scolded, I was often expelled from the rink.  It was almost like I never did the training right to the end.  Moreover, when I became an elementary school student, there were hardly any boys doing figure skating.  They were all doing baseball or soccer.  Because my father played baseball, I often thought of playing baseball too and I was constantly saying that I wanted to quit (skating). 

When I told my parents, “I want to stop skating,”  they always said easily, “Well, it’s ok to stop”,  "it’s ok to play baseball".   It was never sarcastic, but because I hated to lose, I did not give it up.   Moreover, my parents did not press on me something that I disliked;  instead they respected my feelings, whether I liked it or not, whether I wanted to do it or not.  This was the best support, I think.  Because I always had those words, I did not quit.  So I think it was because I really did like skating after all.

Of course, if I did not have the day-to-day support from my parents, I would not have been able to continue.  My mother took me to and fro almost everyday, and when the neighbourhood rink closed and I had to travel far, my father also did the drop-off and pick-up.  My mother made my costumes.  All the way from the 1st competition to senior 1st year. She had not learned dress-making but she used paper patterns to make them for me.  At that time, I felt it was so troublesome when she made me sit still for tacking (temporary stitches), but now when I think of it, what enormous support she gave me.  So now, although there is a figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, nonetheless as an individual person, there is a ‘Yuzuru born in the Hanyu family" and I want to continue to treasure that.

~Outside of the rink, the real face of childhood~
I think I was very active.  As for studying, I’m the type that once I start, I will be totally absorbed.  But I was poor at National Language (Japanese as a subject). I liked subjects like History, Science and Mathematics. Only Japanese, I couldn’t obtain the marks that I was convinced I could get. [laugh]   After school, I went straight to the rink, carrying my school backpack.  Because of that, during break time like morning or lunch break, I would play dodgeball and play to the maximum that I could;  I have memories of that.  It feels like I played in school. [laugh]

Steps and growth in junior days:

1998- 4 years old -Starts skating due to sister’s influence    
2000- 6 years old -First victory in the “Daiei cup” of Chiba
2004- 10 years old -Closure of nearby home rink due to financial difficulties
2008- 13 years old -All Japan Junior Championship, first win
2009- 14 years old -All Japan Junior Championship, 2nd consecutive win
2010- 15 years old -World Junior Championship win, senior debut

[Translated by me] [source: P&G, myrepi.com]


Maile’s amazing 6.3 routine.  That aerial LO LO series thooooo.  So many great 3-skill series!