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A Fond Farewell with Alicia Sacramone

January 29, 2013
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A Fond Farewell with Alicia Sacramone
By Evan Heiter

On the eve of the announcement of her official retirement from the sport of gymnastics, we chatted with Alicia Sacramone about the past, the present and the future. Not only will fans around the world miss her dynamic, signature style of gymnastics, but her engaging & intense personality will also be missed on the competition floor. Sacramone who has graced the cover of Inside Gymnastics three time (twice alone, once with the 2007 World Champion American squad) shared her typical candid joy with us last night- 

Who do you think is primed to carry on the Alicia Sacramone legacy in USA gymnastics?

I think style-wise it would definitely have to be Aly since we trained together and we have similar techniques and training habits. But for longevity…I don’t know! It’s hard because all these girls are so young. But if I had to guess…I think Jordyn will be around for a while.

Does this feel like a retirement of finality or does it feel like a beginning for you?

I think it’s a little bit of both. Obviously it’s going to be hard to not compete and miss that whole performance aspect of the sport. But it is definitely time for me to move on, and grow up a little bit and try some new stuff in my life. I look forward to the next chapter.

So, we’re not going be seeing you in 2016 showing up and saying, “What’s up guys?!”

[Laughs] You won’t be seeing me in a leotard in 2016! Maybe some other aspects, but that’s about it…

A lot of people say that dogs are practice for children and responsibilities—are you preparing for marriage and having a family?

Yeah, I definitely think so. I think dogs are kind of a great baby-step to teach you responsibility and show you that they strictly rely on you, so you really need to be a good provider. They’re awesome…I love having them! They’re super loving and cuddly which is what I’m looking for.

Back in the day you spoke about having a career in fashion. Is that still the career path you’re on or do you think you’re heading in another direction?

I still love fashion and I would still love to get involved with it down the road. But right now, it’s more of a staying involved in the gymnastics community to kind of get my foot in the door that way. I can still coach and be a part of the sport ‘cause it’s been a part of my life for so long. I think eventually I’d like to start designing shoes…that’s my big thing that I really want to do, so hopefully I can get that rolling soon!

If you could change one thing about the sport of gymnastics, what would it be?

I think I want to go back to the Perfect-10 scoring system. It made gymnastics so well known for that one aspect and it was so easy to understand and people could watch and know what was going on. I miss that! I miss having the perfect score.

What was an absolutely crazy thing that happened during international travel that you look back on and think, “Was that real life?!”

We had PanAm Event Finals in Venezuela and they literally lost our luggage in Miami…and it didn’t come….for four days! But we all flew to Venezuela in jeans and t-shirts, but we obviously had leotards in our bags. But we had to go to the gym in 90+ weather in jeans and workout in the same leotards forever! When our bags finally came, half our stuff was missing. But it was best thing that anyone could ever give me—giving me my own things!

What legacy do you hope you leave on the sport of gymnastics?

I hope I leave the knowledge that you don’t need to be [under] a certain age restriction to accomplish your dreams. I think things happened a little bit later on in life for me and I don’t want girls to get discouraged if they don’t make their first Olympics at 16. I think if they want to do it and they want to accomplish it, they should never give up on that.

If you could yell one word or phrase to everyone in the gymnastics community to sum up your retirement, what would you scream at the top of your lungs?

[Laughs] [Consults Brady (Quinn) for input] I think the best thing I could say would be, “Thank you,” to the gymnastics community.


Will Alicia make another appearance on this year's 50 Most Photogenic list in the upcoming March/April issue of Inside Gymnastics? Subscribe today to find out! Visit www.subscribeig.com  OR download the Inside Gymnastics App, by searching 'Inside Gymnastics' in the Apple App Store today! 

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