Morgan Hurd captured the attention of gym fans everywhere when she made an appearance at this year’s Nastia Liukin Cup.
A full foot shorter than anyone else in her rotation group with a bright smile and glasses perched on her nose, everyone noticed the tiny gymnast before the meet even began. When it came time to compete, she impressed with her crisp, impeccable form and solid routines, placing 14th in a field with older and more experienced juniors – not bad for a twelve-year-old who’d only been competing level 10 for two months!
Morgan Hurd competes on floor at the 2014 Nastia Liukin Cup
Now Morgan, who turned thirteen last week, is preparing to compete in the 2014 Secret U.S. Classic in Hoffman Estates, Ill. She qualified to both this meet and to the 2014 P&G Championships at the American Classic in Huntsville, Texas, earlier this month, making her the first Delaware gymnast to reach this level in roughly three decades.
We caught up with Morgan and her coach at First State Gymnastics, Slava Glazounov, to learn a bit more about this talented young elite and to hear how her training is going as she prepares for the two biggest competitions of her life.
Hi Morgan! We thought you did a great job at the Nastia Liukin Cup this year. How was your experience? What was your favorite thing about competing at that meet?
My experience was great! It was fun, exciting, and a great experience. My favorite thing was just being able to compete!
When did you start your training for elite gymnastics?
About 15 months ago.
What is your ultimate goal in this sport?
My ultimate goal right now is to make the national team.
Who is your favorite gymnast and why is she an inspiration to you?
Nastia Liukin is my favorite gymnast because she never gave up.
What is your favorite thing about competing in gymnastics?
My favorite thing about competing in gymnastics is the adrenaline rush I get when I do really well and when I learn a new skill.
Do you have any funny stories from competitions or in the gyms?
I love taking blooper videos of my gymnastics!
What is your favorite event to compete? Least favorite? Do you have a dream skill you’d like to compete someday?
My favorite is bars and my least favorite is beam. I would like to learn a one-armed handspring tuck full on beam.
Thank you, Morgan! Coach Glazounov, when did you first notice that Morgan was a special talent? When did you realize she had the potential for the elite level?
From a very young age, Morgan has always displayed a strong work ethic. Combined with her size and talent, the elite path was an easy decision.
What has the elite process been like for you as Morgan’s coach so far?
Very enjoyable. She comes into the gym everyday eager to learn.
Since Morgan qualified straight to nationals at the ranch, what is your expectation or goal for her at Classics?
Morgan’s future shows great promise. We want Morgan to enjoy herself and to show what she’s capable of.
Morgan’s interview with her favorite gymnast, Nastia Liukin, at the Nastia Liukin Cup
Thanks again to Morgan and her coach for taking the time to chat with us! Morgan is currently leading the race in our “which new elite are you most excited to see?” poll in The Gymternet’s “12 New Elites to Keep Your Eye On” and we can’t wait to see her shine this summer!
Article by Lauren Hopkins