Then and Now- Tasha Schwikert
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By Susan Williams
SCHWIKERT: THEN AND NOW by Susan Williams
Tasha’s take on topics as a 17-year-old in 2002 and today at 27
2002 … We wrote, “Tasha’s wearing a stylish, bright green Abercrombie & Fitch top, trendy jeans and her long hair flowing.”
2012 … “[Laughs] That’s not really [me now]. When I have to get dressed up, I will, but I’d rather be in sweats all day long. I think I just started really valuing the efficiency of things and taking time out of my day to get ready just didn’t fit that. Most days it’s no make-up and I’ll just put my hair in a pony.”
State of the Sport
2002 … In “Breaking Down the Code” we analyzed Schwikert’s state-of-the-art beam routine, which contained 2 “E”-rated elements (switch leap-3/4 and tour jete-half)—then the highest rating—and one D+C+C combo (tuck-full to split-half to Chen) for .2 in bonus. The routine had a maximum score of 10.0, the highest possible mark at the time.
2012 … “Since I finished Elite gymnastics the sport has lost a lot of its artistry. [The sport] has definitely become harder. I like the new scoring system, but the fact that the 10.0 has become obsolete makes me kind of sad. That’s gymnastics’ brand. That’s what people identified with.
“I think it’s great for difficulty, because it allows people to create skills and be innovative; to showcase their difficulty and actually get rewarded for it. But, at the same time, it loses the artistry of gymnastics and I think part of gymnastics is [artistry]. I think of ’96, and I think of those floor routines, and there are so many poses and dance parts in Moceanu’s routine that I still identify with. Now there’s no time for dance. That’s just not part of the rules.”
The U.S. Performance in Sydney
2002 … “After the first day, Bela [Karolyi] called a meeting and told us that we looked like a bunch of individuals and not a team. After that, all the girls got together and … talked about what it meant to represent our country. It just felt like something happened that night. During finals, I was really proud of our performance. … You felt from the start that we were unified.”
2010 … “That second night of competition we did what we could do and we did our job. We left it all out on the floor, as they say, and I was proud of that performance. That doesn’t change. The only thing that changes is that now we get a medal for it.”
Life After Gymnastics
2002 … We wrote, “Tasha is clearly focused on a future in medicine.”
2012 … “10 years ago, I pictured my life a little different. I never would have predicted that I would go to law school. I pictured myself as a physical trainer, or owning my own gym. I was into broadcasting and I thought that was, for sure, what I wanted to do but, you know, things change.”
2002 … “My parents are amazing. They never pushed me. They just wanted me to be happy in whatever I did.”
2012 … “My parents are still amazing. They were the most supportive parents. They were also both athletes, so they knew what it took, but I’m glad they never coached from afar. They wanted to make sure I had a good attitude and gave it 100 percent effort, and that’s all they ever asked of me.”
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