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Alyssa went to the U.S. Olympic Trials this July in hopes of being Rio bound. Photos/Alyssa Baumann’s Facebook page

World Olympics Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) in Plano is known for producing exemplary gymnastics competitors. Their coaches have taught countless Olympic or National Team gymnasts, and two gold medalist Olympians have come from the world-class training center. Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin are two of four women in U.S. history to achieve gold in the women’s all-around competition, in 2004 and 2008, respectively.

Alyssa with the top U.S. women’s gymnastics contender Simone Biles.

Planoite Alyssa Baumann was one of two WOGA gymnasts invited to this summer’s Olympic Trials held on July 8 & 10. Madison Kocian is the other WOGA gymnast—look out for a full article on Madison in our August issue! Alyssa, 18, has been flipping and balancing in a gym for 15 years now, and although she did not make the Olympic team headed for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she will continue a gymnastics career at University of Florida this fall, and hopefully we’ll see her at Trials again in 2020. We sat down with her for a brief Q&A, pre-Trials:

What do you love about the sport in general?
I love the feeling when you finally get a new skill you have been working on, or hitting a great routine in competition.

What is your favorite routine?
Beam is my favorite event. It is also considered my best event. 

What’s the most challenging thing about gymnastics?
Gymnastics is a very challenging sport because it requires so many different elements. In my opinion, the most challenging thing is building up enough endurance to complete your routines while paying attention to details. Also, mentally staying focused and handling pressure can be challenging at times.

How often do you train?
I train everyday besides Sunday. Monday through Thursday, I practice four hours in the morning and three at night. Friday and Saturday, I practice four hours in the morning.

What else do you like to do for fun?
I like to swim or go shopping, but usually, I try to conserve my energy for the gym.

We have interviewed Carly Patterson and will be featuring her in our August issue. What do you admire about her?
I have looked up to Carly Patterson since I was a little girl at WOGA. She showed me that anything is possible with hard work. I continue to admire her positive attitude in life.

Follow Alyssa and her life journey on Twitter or Instagram. And don’t forget to read our interview with Carly Patterson and Madison Kocian in the August issue!

Colbea Smith

Colbea Smith is a young professional who grew up in Plano and loves the community she will always consider “home”. She is a proud alumna of Texas State University – Go Bobcats! – who spent most...