“My dad put me on a beam and I didn’t panic so he thought this sport would suit me best,” says senior XA student Anna Gamelo on how she got into gymnastics.
She started at the age of 4 and later became a member of MSU’s varsity gymnastics team. Anna has competed in numerous competitions and has received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, the Kathryn Mahoney Award, the Academic All-Big Ten selection award twice, was named a Big Ten Gymnast to watch, and has had many more astounding achievements. Over the years she has mostly competed in vaults but has gained experience in all of the different events. Anna says “they make me feel like I’m flying.”
Anna became interested n the XA major when she was searching for an architecture program at MSU. “It suited my interests more than architecture,” she says. She likes that it’s relatively small and she finds joy in seeing others that she knows. “It’s fun growing through this major together and being able to know almost everyone in all your classes,” she says.
She also values the skills the XA program teaches and the real-life situations that build students’ experience. Because of the program, she feels more prepared for a job later and the obstacles she might face. Anna says it has helped her with “pitching ideas, doing constructive research, [as well as] meeting deadlines, working in groups, and presenting and dealing with different types of clients.” In the long run, she wants to become a project manager or do something in web design.
Anna has her hands full with being a student athlete but says, “I am more focused on my studies and sport so I dedicated almost all of my time to both.” Despite the many obstacles, she has grown stronger and still manages to balance it all. She has gained many skills from these experiences and believes they have shaped her in many ways. Gymnastics has helped her to develop skills such as time management, discipline, hard work, and responsibility. “I have the ability to converse easily with people of various ages,” she adds.
What she enjoys most about being on the MSU team is having the opportunity to compete with a team and her peers. “It’s fun sharing our successes, pushing each other to do our best and having people to support you even when you feel like you’ve failed,” she says.
To check out Anna’s competitions and scores, go to http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/w-gym/mtt/anna_gamelo_934550.html.
Written by Heather Haely