By Anna Rose Johnson
Noted for her unflagging perseverance, Deanne Soza has always battled back to gymnastics despite numerous setbacks, and now she’s gearing up for a run at the 2017 P&G Championships. In this latest installment of our quick Q&As with first-year seniors, the talented 15-year-old chats about training at her new gym and her current progress.
Inside Gymnastics: What is it like training at Texas Dreams?
Deanne Soza: I love Texas Dreams! Being a gymnast herself, Kim [Zmeskal-Burdette] understands and is really good at helping us in so many ways. She helps us prepare physically and mentally as we train. Chris is also amazing; he jokes around a lot and helps us to stay calm and have fun.
Inside: What’s your favorite skill?
Deanne: My favorite skill is my high to low release on bars: straddle-back half, a Yezhova.
Inside: When will your next competition be?
Deanne: My next competition is the U.S. Classic in Chicago at the end of the month.
Inside: Are you working on any upgrades for this summer?
Deanne: Yes, on beam I added an illusion [turn] and on floor I’m working a double layout and a double Arabian.
Inside: What are your goals for 2017 and for the future?
Deanne: Since I had to have surgery last year when I tore some ligaments on my left elbow, I wasn’t able to train at 100% and had to rest for about 6 months, so my goal for this summer is just to go out and compete the best I can. I am very happy that I was able to qualify for Classics, and hopefully I can get my score for Championships. I’m taking it one step at time, but with the support from my family and coaches I’ve been able to stay motivated.
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