By Anna Rose Johnson

We caught up with our September/October cover star, Riley McCusker, for a quick chat during the September U.S. Women’s National Team training camp! The 17-year-old MG Elite gymnast placed third in the all-around at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships last month, and we’re eager to watch her progress on the path to Tokyo!

Feature Photo by Lloyd Smith

Inside Gymnastics: How is training going after Championships and ahead of Worlds?

Riley McCusker: Training has been going really well since Championships. I have been working on the little details of each of my routines. We are also really focusing on improving my technique on every event. We made some beam choreography changes, and now I am building back up to full routines.

Inside: How is national team camp going?

Riley: Camp is good so far… I love being here with all of my teammates, and I am so excited to be back in a camp atmosphere!

Inside: What would it mean to you to make the 2018 Worlds team?

Riley: It would mean everything to me to be able to represent the United States at Worlds this year. I was really disappointed when I wasn’t able to compete last season.

Inside: Are you experimenting with any upgrades right now? What are some bucket-list upgrades for the future?

Riley: Right now I am adding my stalder–pike back on bars, and after this season, I will look into upgrading my routines more.

Inside: What was your favorite moment from Championships?

Riley: My favorite moment from Championships would have to be when I was nominated by my teammates for the sportsmanship award. It meant so much that my teammates all voted for me!💕

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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