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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 4 years ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Isabella Venezio

Bridgewater Middle School student has earned first place all-around in the Level 4 division of a December state gymnastics meet.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

An eighth-grade student at Bridgewater Middle School, Isabella Venezio earned first place all-around in the Level 4 division at the state gymnastics meet in Fort Myers last December. She defeated 13 other girls in her age group with an all-around score of 36.975 (a perfect score is 40). Venezio has since been promoted to Level 5 and trains at Brandy Johnson’s Global Gymnastics Academy in Clermont.


When did you start doing gymnastics?

I started doing gymnastics maybe two years ago. I’m currently on Level 5.


How often do you train?

I train 20 hours per week, five days per week. 


What’s your favorite event and why?

I like beam because I think it’s my hardest event. It’s really challenging, and I just like everything to be straight and perfect. 


When did you start competing?

I started competing last year in fall 2014.


What event do you have to work at the most, and what makes them more challenging?

Beam and bars. Beam is high and really thin — it’s only 4 inches wide. It’s hard because balancing, especially at meets, you want to do really (well). Bars are tricky too because I feel like, in a bar routine, if you mess up one thing, (then) it can mess up the whole routine. You’ve got to be really precise in your movements.


How do you deal with nerves before a competition?

Before I salute — which is before you do your routine — I kind of just go through the routine in my mind, and then I can calm myself down. Everybody cheering is really helpful.


Is there a particular gymnast you admire?

I look at a lot. Globally, I look up to Nadia Com─âneci, Nastia Liukin and McKayla Maroney. They’re my favorites.


Who’s your favorite singer or band and why?

I like One Direction. I have their records and albums. I love them. I love X Factor and watching America’s Got Talent and when they (X Factor judges) put them all together for it and everything. I just loved them from the start. My favorite is Harry.


How do you balance school and gymnastics?

It’s difficult. Usually practice will end late, and then I’ll have to wake up early for school, so it’s hard, but I can do it really well. When school ends, I go straight to gym after. I’ll do my homework in the car and get ready in the car, do my hair and then I’ll get to gymnastics. Then I’ll come home, and on the way home, I’ll do my homework. When I get home, I’ll take a shower, eat and do more homework and study. It’s actually not that hard. There just aren’t enough hours in the day that I wish there were.

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