GoPSUSports.com caught up with junior Justin Miklos and this is what the Flemington, N.J., native had to say:
Q: What do you do to stay calm and focused at critical times?
A: I take deep breaths to clear my mind.
Q:Why did you choose to attend this university?
A: Penn State had the perfect fit of athletics and academics. I came to Penn State to receive a degree from an excellent institution and to develop my gymnastics skills. It was also a nice distance from home.
Q: What are some of the things that you wanted to accomplish before your college career is over?
A: I wanted to salute and compete for Penn State, leave my mark in the gym, make new friends, and be remembered when I'm gone.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges that you've had to overcome?
A: My father¡¯s death, surgery on my elbow, living in a totally different environment, growing up, training in a different environment that¡¯s like night and day compared to back home, picking a major, and staying on top of my education as well as athletics.
Q: As a kid what athlete or role model did you look up to and why?
A: Michael Jordan, because he¡¯s the man. I was amazed by his whole story and how he came out on top and proved that he had what it takes to be the best.
Q: How did you first get involved with your sport and why?
A: I was a tiny hyperactive kid who was always getting in trouble. I was always jumping around and hanging on things. I was put in gymnastics classes to get rid of some energy and so my family could have a break.
Q: What is your favorite moment during a competition and why?
A: It was finals at Junior Olympic Nationals, because it was the first time the whole crowd was focused on me. It was then that I noticed that I really became something. Additionally, winning NCAAs last year - that experience is indescribable. The feeling that goes through your mind and body is a feeling that I will cherish forever.
Q: What are some of the difficulties in competing in your sport at a high level that the average fan may not be aware of?
A: It¡¯s most definitely the stress of the desire to be perfect. My whole life I have been a perfectionist, and I have always had trouble with the anxiety. The event that I always had most trouble with was pommel horse. I would also say injuries. At this age, our bodies are starting to break down. There are many aches and pains which you need to block out and overcome in order to succeed.
Q: How much do you rely on your teammates both during competition and in your life?
A: I rely on my teammates a whole lot. They wake me up, drive me to class and appointments, put up the scores so we can win NCAAs, help me with school work, help me out in tough situations, and overall make life much easier than it would be if I was on my own.
Q: What are some of your other favorite sports?
A: I love lacrosse, snowboarding, and aggressive inline skating.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I will move to NYC and succeed in anything I do.
Q: What do you do to kick back and unwind after a tough competition?
A: I love hanging out with friends and teammates, kicking back, and listening to music as well as playing fun games.
Q: What is the biggest thing you have learned during competition that will aid you in other areas of your life?
A: Just relax........and always stick to teamwork.