This interview was conducted in mid-July and written prior to the Pan American Games.

By Anna Rose Johnson

2018 World team gold medalist Kara Eaker is ready for her second year as a senior—which may include a trip to the Pan Am Games and a few upgrades! We selected Eaker—who always stuns with stylish work on balance beam—as a member of our Class of 2019 “50 Most Artistic,” and we’re looking forward to seeing her beautiful routines again this season. In this Q&A, Eaker chats about Doha, Utah, and what’s next!

Photo by: Lloyd Smith

Inside Gymnastics: How is your current training going?
Kara Eaker: My current training is going well. I am getting ready for the big competitions that are later in the season.

Inside: Tell us about your experiences at 2018 Worlds!
Kara: My experience at 2018 Worlds was amazing. I was excited and nervous, but despite not doing as well as I would like, it was an honor to be a part of that team.

Inside: What were your favorite moments from Doha?
Kara: My favorite moment was when my team and I stood on the podium to receive our gold medal. Being with those amazing women, and hearing the U.S. national anthem play, and knowing we had made our country proud [was a great feeling].

Inside: What competitions are you most looking forward to this year?
Kara: I am looking forward to the Pan American Games in July, the U.S. Championships held in my hometown in August, and most importantly the World Championships in Germany. I hope to make all my goals this year.

Inside: What are some of the reasons you chose Utah?
Kara: I felt it was a good fit. Tom Farden has been super supportive of my future career goals and my current goals as well.

Inside: What are you most looking forward to in NCAA gymnastics?
Kara: I am looking forward to experiencing competing in a more team-centered environment, excitement, friendship, and school spirit.

Inside: Are you working on any upgrades?
Kara: We are always working on upgrades; some have been put in my routines, and the others will go in when they are ready. Coach Al likes to say, “It’s good to have lots of skills in our pocket.”

Inside: Your beam routine is such a lovely throwback to an older generation of gymnastics—do you ever come up with ideas for your beam and floor choreography?
Kara: My amazing coach, Armine Barutyan, is the one who choreographed my beam and floor routines. Every pose, down to the precise foot placement, has been carefully designed to fit me and my personality. Her intelligence and hard work are what pushed my routines to the level that they are.