We recently caught up with U.S. junior star Elena Arenas of Georgia Elite Gymnastics, who is now a first-year senior. In this Q&A, she tells us about her current training, upgrades for 2017, and her future goals for the sport.
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Inside Gymnastics: How is your training going?
Elena Arenas: Training is going good! I was injured and out for a couple months, so I’ve been focusing on gaining back my skills to where they were before I hurt my back, while also working on a few new skills.

Inside: Could you tell us a little about your 2016 season in general?
Elena: My 2016 season was all right. I upgraded on all my events and was happy to compete a bunch of new skills, but they were a little inconsistent. My goal was to make the national team, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I ended up 11th place at P&Gs with three falls.

Inside: Are you excited to make the transition to senior elite?
Elena: I’m very excited about being a senior elite!

Inside: Are you working on any upgrades for 2017?
Elena: Upgrades that I want to have ready for 2017 [include] a Jaeger on bars, double layout on floor, back handspring layout layout on beam, switch leap to switch half to back tuck on beam, and horizontal leg up turn to inside turn on beam.

Inside: What are your goals for 2017?
Elena: My goals for 2017 are to make the national team and get an international assignment.

Inside: What are your long-term gymnastics goals?
Elena: My long-term goals in gymnastics are to make the 2020 Olympics and then win the all-around in NCAA.

Inside: What are some of your favorite memories from competitions over the years?
Elena: My favorite memories from competitions through the years are seeing all the signs for the competitions (Secret Classic and P&Gs) in the airports, hotels, and around the city. I also love hanging out with the other gymnasts, and meeting fans is so fun! At my first Secret Classic as an elite I was so surprised and overwhelmed that people wanted my autograph or a picture, because it felt like just yesterday I was asking elites for an autograph or picture! It’s crazy!

Inside: When do you think your next competition will be?
Elena: I’m competing some events at Atlanta Crown the first weekend of January and also the Pikes Peak Cup at the beginning of February for more competition experience. I am also going to National Team Camp in January!

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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