Meet our MYP student

Meet Gioia, our student who recently dazzled at the National Special Gold Championships of Rhythmic Gymnastics, securing both the 2nd and 3rd places in the clubs and hoop. Overcoming challenges with grace, like adjusting mid-routine and bouncing back after setbacks, reflects her unwavering determination. With supportive coaches and a love for both gymnastics and academics, Gioia proves that dedication and passion are the keys to achieving dream.

Discover her interview: let’s dive in!

What motivated you to pursue rhythmic gymnastics, and how did you prepare for such a competitive event at the national level?

Since the day I started practising rhythmic gymnastics, three years ago, I fell in love with this sport. It’s the perfect combination between elegance and power and although it may be exhausting at times, there is a lot of satisfaction after you achieve a nice result. For this competition, I trained without wasting a single minute, and I focused on completing each element in my routine one at a time, just like I did throughout the competition.

Can you share a memorable moment or routine from the competition that you felt particularly proud of or challenged by? How did you overcome any obstacles during your performances?

During the last 10 seconds of my hoop routine, I realised that I was a little out of rhythm, so I added a movement to make it less noticeable. Meanwhile, in my clubs’ routine, I was catching the club after a “risk” which is when you throw an apparatus, do at least two rotations and catch it, my club fell, but I caught it as soon as it fell next to me, and I continued my performance without thinking about what had happened. I believe that concluding the routine without any additional mistakes was a big goal for me.

Achieving 2nd and 3rd place in a national competition is remarkable. How do you maintain your focus and determination to excel in such a demanding sport consistently?

Of course, mistakes are inevitable and plans don’t always work out. There have been times in which I finished last in competitions (important ones too) but we mostly learn from these kinds of experiences, and the most important thing is that we should consider them as a way to grow mentally. Usually, to maintain focus and determination you need two things, apart from general skills such as flexibility and strength, you must be intelligent (mentally speaking) and have plenty of passion, because that’s exactly what brought, and still brings, me to achieve my goals. I couldn’t have imagined winning not just one but two medals, however, I am overjoyed that this dream has now come true. After being selected by the Italian Gymnastics Federation to take part in the National “Junior Group C” week of training this summer, I would say that 2023 has certainly been the best year in my sporting career so far.

What role has your training and support system played in your success? Are there any specific mentors, coaches, or experiences that have significantly influenced your journey in gymnastics?

Yes, for sure, my coaches help me achieve my goals thanks to their dedication and willingness to help me improve every day more and more. One of them is from the Italian National Gymnastics Federation; he comes to train us once a week and usually designs routines for me and my teammates. The other works with us every single day, assisting us in reaching perfection in every movement. They believe in me a lot and always reassure me when they notice I’m a bit scared of something, especially before competitions. As I’ve mentioned before, many competitions, even the challenging ones, have helped me grow as an athlete and as a person, shaping me into the person I am today.

Beyond the competition, how do you balance your academic commitments with the rigorous training required for high-level gymnastics? Could you describe any strategies you use to manage your time effectively?

Sometimes, I find it difficult to manage my time, but for the most part, I balance it very effectively, likely because I genuinely care about both gymnastics and school. Generally, I don’t rely on specific strategies because when you genuinely enjoy something and have passion for it, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. However, I do make an effort to utilize my time in an effective way.

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