World Championships Qualification Interviews

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Thanks to the fabulous Kensley Behel, we have interviews available with several of the women who competed at qualifications over the weekend. Enjoy!

BRENNA DOWELL, United States

“My coach told me if I ever had a problem with music to step off the floor and gather my composure, but apparently the clock had already started and I heard Martha say ‘go, go, go’ so I went.” – On competing with no music

“It’s not exactly how I wanted to start, but I got the double pike named after me, so that’s pretty cool.” – On how her floor routine went

“I’ve been hitting a lot of routines outside of today so it’s a disappointment to me, but it is what it is.” – On her bars performance

MAGGIE NICHOLS, United States

“I was so nervous but excited. This has been one of my biggest goals for so long. I wanted to show that I could help the team.” – On competing at her first world championships

“I like showing my personality. I’m also glad that I was able to prove to myself that I can do it.” – On what her favorite part of the competition was

“All I could think was oh, God, I hope that doesn’t happen to me.” – On Brenna Dowell’s floor routine

“We knew, but we were focused on ourselves.” – On whether they knew about Romania the day before

“The Swag-o-Meter is really high right now!” – #JustMaggieThings

SIMONE BILES, United States

“It was pretty stressful, but better than podium training. I wanted to rock it, but I had some mistakes.” – On how the day went for her

“It was great to start out with a bang, but we really like ending on that note.” – On the team’s floor performance

“I only watched my scores.” – On whether she followed her team’s progress throughout the meet

GABBY DOUGLAS, United States

“I think today went pretty well. I just tried to stay grounded.” – On how her day went

“I wasn’t nervous. I just wanted to be sassy. But my mom told me to smile.” – On her personality in her floor routine

“It has been a long road back. It was nerve-wracking. Even though we are a team we are also individuals. Either way, I would’ve been happy [referring to making all-around finals].” – On the difficulty of coming back

“I was cheering Aly on the whole way through beam.”

ALY RAISMAN, United States

“I just want to die in a hole right now because I feel like I let everyone down. I was crying to Mihai because I feel like I let him down. I’m nervous to see Martha.” – On how she felt after the performance

“I have to be more confident. I hate the number four, but I always end up fourth. It was one of the worst meets of my life and I’m still fourth in the world, which is crazy. I mean, I’m fourth for now…there are still more rotations.” – On her all-around placement

“Mihai actually said that was one of the best vaults of my life. I just ran out of it. I’m just thankful it’s not the Olympics. I mean, this is still really important, but I hope Martha still wants me after this.” – On how her vault went

“I’m excited to see Viktoria Komova’s bars. I mean, I know I’m not making bar finals, so watching her doesn’t make me nervous.” – On what she’s looking forward to seeing

KYLIE DICKSON, Belarus

“It was really cool. It’s definitely different but I’m honored to be here. I’m representing a country with a great history.” – On competing for Belarus

“It’s just a sweatsuit.” – On whether it feels weird to wear a different country’s uniform

“We’re just letting it play out.” – On what the next steps are

“I wanted to compete internationally.” – On her motivation for competing for Belarus

“No.” – On whether she has ever visited the country

ALAINA KWAN, Belarus

“Honestly, I don’t pay attention to the flag on my suit. I just go out there to compete.” – On whether it’s odd wearing another country’s uniform

“We will train there with the team. I’m just not sure when.” – On whether she will actually ever train in the country

“I know people have their opinions, but in my heart I’m still a U.S. citizen. I just want to see how far I can go with this.” – On how she’d feel seeing the Belarusian flag raised if she won a medal

“I’ve heard some things from people but I’m trying to block it out and compete the best I know how to.” – On whether she’s heard talk about her situation

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He wants me to see the world like he did and enjoy the opportunities.” – On whether her dad, who competed for Hong Kong, had any advice

“We are here to make the team stronger. We are not replacing anyone. We were just put here to see how we would do on the international stage.” – On taking the spots of the girls on the nominative roster

“I would accept it for the good of the team.” – On how she’d feel if the situation was reversed

ROXANA POPA, Spain

“I am proud of my team, but disappointed in my performance because I failed on bars. But that’s gymnastics.” – On her performance

OKSANA CHUSOVITINA, Uzbekistan

“My goal right now is to go to the next Olympic Games. I don’t have a set time to be done with gymnastics.” – On whether she knows when she will retire

“Everyone is so friendly here. Gymnastics is one of the friendliest communities.” – On her favorite thing about being at world championships

“I have been training the Produnova for three months. My goal here is to medal on vault and not have to compete at the test event.” – On her goals for world championships

ELLIE BLACK, Canada

“When I was younger, I was better at front tumbling skills. From there, my coach encouraged me to learn skills that aren’t competed as often to stand out.” – On her unique repertoire of skills

“I was happy with both my individual and team performances in Toronto, but I try to keep each meet separate. I feel that it was a great stepping stone leading to these championships, though!” – On whether Pan Ams gave her confidence for worlds

BRITTANY ROGERS, Canada

“I am ecstatic today. I’m so happy. For me personally, my vault couldn’t have gone better. It’s my first time in three years competing for Canada on this stage.” – On how it felt to be back

“I feel like college is a lot about the team and I feel like I’ve brought that to Canada and have stepped into a leadership role, especially being the oldest at 22.” – On how NCAA has helped her elite career

“I like it better. It’s different, but it’s nice not being able to see them when I compete.” – On the placement of the judges in the arena

“Potentially. I can’t say yes, and I can’t say no. Today I had great success with the DTY and I think it’s important to bring that consistency to the competition. It might be better to have a few more numbers under my belt, but we’ll see.” – On whether she’d compete the Amanar at worlds

“I’ve really been looking forward to my senior season and I didn’t want to separate from my class. We are all really close. I feel like competing in NCAA will make me a better competitor next summer. I miss my teammates so much and being away from them this semester has been hard. I’m looking forward to my last season at Georgia!” – On her decision to compete both elite and NCAA instead of deferring

Interviews thanks to Kensley Behel

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