by Anna Rose Johnson
A longtime standout on the U.S. junior scene, 15-year-old Olivia Dunne is eager to continue her career as she transitions to the senior stage this season. Often praised for her polished presentation and fun choreography on floor exercise, Olivia is definitely one to watch in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020. In this interview, the rising star from ENA Paramus in New Jersey gives us a quick update on her training:
Inside Gymnastics: Could you give us a brief overview of your competitive career so far?
Olivia Dunne: I started competitive gymnastics when I was seven years old, [and] I went from Level 4 to Level 8 the following year. By the time I was 10 years old, I completed a full Level 10 season and then went on [to compete] at the Hopes Challenge, where I placed 2nd. When I was 11 years old, I was the youngest junior elite competitor in the 2014 U.S. Classic. The following year, I qualified for my first National Championships, and have qualified every year since. In 2017, I was named to the U.S. Junior National Team and received my first international assignment in Jesolo, Italy, where we won a team gold medal. Now, I am beginning my 5th season as an elite gymnast and my first year as a senior.
Inside: Are you looking forward to your first year as a senior athlete?
Olivia: Yes, I am looking forward to competing for an opportunity to represent the U.S. on a bigger stage as a senior.
Inside: How is your training going currently?
Olivia: Training is going well. I’ve had to adjust to growing several inches in the last year, but I am excited to show the new skills that I am working on.
Inside: Are you working on any upgrades for 2018?
Olivia: Yes, I am working on raising my difficulty on bars by connecting my more difficult skills in order to obtain connection bonuses. On vault, I plan to compete a double full this year. On beam and floor, I am adding some upgraded skills and passes with new choreography and dance.
Inside: What’s your favorite apparatus?
Olivia: My favorite apparatus is bars.
Inside: What are your long-term gymnastics goals? Are you aiming for Tokyo 2020?
Olivia: As an elite gymnast, I am always working to earn a spot to represent the USA internationally. The Olympics is a certainly a goal.
Inside: What are some of your favorite competition memories?
Olivia: One of my favorite moments was when all the juniors who competed in Jesolo for the USA hit 20/20 routines and won gold. It was a moment I will never forget.
Inside: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Olivia: This past year I committed to LSU for the year 2020. It has been fun to get to know some of my future teammates.
Fun Facts about Olivia
Favorite Color: “PINK!”
Favorite Leotard: “My favorite was my Day 2 white leotard for 2017 U.S. Championships.”
Favorite Social Media Site: Instagram (“Go follow me!” @livvydunne)
Pets: “I have the greatest dog ever…Biscuit! She’s a golden retriever.”
Fun Outside the Gym: “I try to have a pretty ‘normal’ life outside of gym. I like to go out with friends or go shopping in NYC.”
Favorite Place to Travel: “I really had fun competing this year in California. I have some great friends that live there.”