We recently caught up with 2014 World Champion Alyssa Baumann, a U.S. National Team member from WOGA who is committed to the University of Florida. In this Q&A, she discusses her goals for 2017, her future NCAA career, and the elbow injury that prevented her from competing at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Inside Gymnastics: How is your recovery going?
Alyssa Baumann: My recovery is going pretty good. My elbow is doing really well. I got my full range of motion back, which was a big deal. After my elbow surgery, I decided to have a surgery done on my wrist because it had been bothering me for a while. It was an ulna shortening surgery, and I’m currently still in a brace. However, I should be coming out of the brace soon. I’m still doing leg conditioning and all that I can in the gym. When my wrist allows me to, I will have to start with lots of strengthening before I can get back to all my skills. I’m very anxious and excited to start doing some skills again.

Inside: When do you think you’ll be ready to compete again?
Alyssa: At this time, I’m not exactly sure when I will compete again. I’d love to be able to compete before going to college, but I have to be cautious about pushing my elbow and wrist before they are ready.

Inside: What are your goals for 2017 and beyond?
Alyssa: My goal for 2017 is to ensure that my elbow and wrist reach the best condition possible. Once I’m recovered enough, my goal is to get all my skills back that I had leading up to Trials.

Inside: What are you most looking forward to about collegiate gymnastics?
Alyssa: I’m looking forward to so many aspects of college gymnastics. It’s a completely different atmosphere than elite in that it’s always a team event. I can’t wait to compete for the University of Florida and hopefully help my team win a National Championship.

Inside: Do you think you might ever return to elite?
Alyssa: With my injury this summer, my elite career stopped suddenly. Since I don’t feel like I had full closure, I’m not closing the door on elite as of now. However, I’m looking forward to gymnastics at Florida.

Inside: What are some of your favorite competition memories?
Alyssa: There are a few that stick out when I think about all my experiences in competitions. Of course, the moment I landed my dismount off beam during the 2014 Worlds team final was a special moment. Standing on the podium with my closest friends and getting the gold medal for our country was incredible. Also, after P&Gs this year when I found out I was going to the Olympic Trials is a feeling I will never forget because I couldn’t believe I had made it this far. When I was 10, I went to Philadelphia for the 2008 Olympic Trials. Those girls were huge role models for me and I told myself that one day I would be just like them.

Inside: Tell us a little about what it was like to train at WOGA through the years.
Alyssa: I’ve been at WOGA since I started gymnastics at 3 years old. I’m extremely grateful for my coaches, Laurent and Cecile Landi. I’ve had them from age 9 and they have worked day in and day out to make sure I reached my potential. WOGA has created a legacy of World and Olympic champions and it’s very motivating to be at a gym that produces great gymnasts.

Inside: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Alyssa: In gymnastics, like life, there is no straight line to success. Everyone deals with hardships, but it’s how you handle the hard times that defines you.

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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com