By Anna Rose Johnson

In the latest installment of our “Fun Facts” series, we’ve caught up with USA’s Alyona Shchennikova, one of the most elegant and artistic athletes on the national team. In this quick Q&A, Shchennikova tells us about her favorite place to travel, gymnastics role models, and more!

Inside: What do you love most about elite gymnastics?
Alyona: I love that elite gymnastics has given me lifelong friendships and incredible memories.

Inside: What are your favorite colors?
Alyona: Purple and red

Inside: What is your favorite book?
Alyona: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Inside: What is your favorite movie?
Alyona: There are too many good movies to just pick one.

Inside: What is your favorite place to travel?
Alyona: I love traveling to Russia because all my family is there. I also loved Italy, because it’s where I had my first international assignment. I would like to visit Bora Bora in the future.

Inside: What activities (outside the gym) do you enjoy?
Alyona: I like to hike, take naps, and watch Netflix.

Inside: What is your favorite food?
Alyona: I just love food.

Inside: What music do you love listening to? 
Alyona: Country and today’s hits.

Inside: Who are your gymnastics role models?
Alyona: Nastia Liukin, Aliya Mustafina, and Viktoria Komova.

Inside: What is your favorite apparatus?
Alyona: It depends on the day but I would say bars.

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: