March 10, 2008
A Q&A with women's gymnast Allie Southard, a sophomore from Nanuet, N.Y.
What is your favorite thing about being a Penn State student?
My favorite thing about being a Penn State student would be being part of such an amazing tradition.
What is your favorite thing about being a Penn State student-athlete?
My favorite thing about being a Penn State student-athlete would be the feeling I get when I put on my blue and white uniform.
Why Penn State?
I chose Penn State because of the years of tradition, the Penn State Pride, and the atmosphere of the school.
What is/has been your favorite class at Penn State and why?
My favorite class at Penn State was my Bio Behavioral Health class with other student athletes, because I got to see other kids, who had to get up at 6 in the morning just like me and run to class after the hardest lift of their lives.
What is your favorite place on campus and why?
My favorite place on campus would have to be the view of Old Main from College Avenue.
When I am not at class or practice, I am ...
doing school work, hanging out with the girls, or catching up on sleep.
What have you found to be the biggest differences between Junior Olympic and college competition?
The biggest difference between Junior Olympic and college competition would be the team aspect of college competition, which makes it the amazing experience it is.
Since coming to Penn State, what has been the biggest thing you have learned, in the gym?
The biggest thing I learned was how important being united as a team is. When you and your teammates are together, "as one", you as a team can get through anything.
Since coming to Penn State, what has been the biggest thing you have learned, out of the gym?
What has been the hardest part of practice and why?
The biggest thing I learned was to live on my own, and decide how to manage my time properly. If I have two hours between classes, I can do my work then, instead of staying up late to do it.
The hardest part of practice for me this year, is not being able to work out because of the compression fracture I have in my back.
At what age did you begin participating in gymnastics, and why/how did you get into it?
My mom put me in my first gymnastics class when I was four years old because I was bouncing all over the house.
To someone who doesn't know gymnastics and is seeing a meet for the first time, how would you describe your sport?
Gymnastics is exciting, intense, and energy filled. Gymnasts practice hours and hours each week to compete for a total of 5 minutes, but when all that hard work pays off, there is no better experience.
How would you describe the personality of the team this year?
As a team, we are determined to surprise everyone who has their doubts about us. We are a young team, that unfortunately has had to deal with injuries, but are ready to show how great we are. We are Penn State..."As One!"
What is your favorite event and why?
My favorite event is beam. I love the challenge of the mental aspect of it, and the fact that I can flip down a four inch wide surface.
Who is the craziest person on the team and why?
I would say we are all crazy which makes our team so awesome!
Who would you consider the leaders on this team to be and why?
I think everyone is a leader on the team. We all contribute to new ideas, and we all give our opinions to different situations. I know that I could go to anyone of my teammates whenever I needed to.
What advice would you give to young gymnasts?
I would tell them to never let an obstacles get in your way of achieving your goals, and never forget your dreams.
What is the best advice you have ever gotten, and from whom did you receive it?
liveSTRONG. It isn't exactly advice, but I wear the the liveSTRONG bracelet every single day, I only take it off for meets, and it just reminds me to always give all I can, and push myself as far as I can go, because being out there representing Penn State, is a privilege and an honor.
What is your favorite sport (other than gymnastics) to watch at Penn State and why?
My favorite sport to watch is Ice Hockey because I'm obsessed with hockey.
If you could go anywhere in the world on a vacation, where would you go and why?
If I could go anywhere I would go to a small island, that no one knows about and bring my closest friends and family and just hang out with everyone.
What are your hidden talents?
I can pop my hip in and out.
Finish this sentence: "We Are Penn State. We Are ... "
Penn State...We Are Penn State...AS ONE"
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