Isabela Onyshko’s Fantastic Year

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It didn’t take long for Isabela Onyshko to go from baby of Canada’s program to one of the team’s most fearless leaders. After her senior debut in 2014, this year was all about rising to the occasion for the 17-year-old, who competed almost monthly with great results, solidifying herself as her country’s best on bars while bringing consistency and style to everything she does.

We talked to Bela to get her take on her fantastic 2015, Canada’s situation going into the Olympics, and a little bit about her own future in the sport.

Congratulations on a great year! I think you were one of the busiest international elites in 2015 and you had some great results. What would you say your favorite meets were? Your highlights? And which competitions were you most proud of?

Thank you! My favorite meets were the Mexican Open and Pan Am Games. I would say that the highlights of this year were helping Canada qualify a team to Rio and the team silver my team mates and I won at Pan Am Games. Out of all of the competitions this year the one I would say I am most proud of is the first day of competition at the Jesolo City Trophy competition.

More congrats are in order for your win in Mexico, and with one of your highest all-around scores of the year! The vibe of that meet seems so cool…how do you think your competition went there, and did you enjoy performing in the gala performance?

Overall my competition went very well. I am very proud of the floor routine that I performed. As for the gala, it was very exciting. It was the first time I had ever done anything like it and it was a great experience. I enjoyed performing routines to music on beam and bars.

You competed at your second worlds this year and had an excellent competition, placing 16th in the all-around. What would you say were the most important lessons you learned in Nanning that you took with you going into Glasgow?

My experience in Nanning really taught me that you have to just go out onto the competition floor and show off. You can’t hold back. I really tried to do this while competing in Glasgow. In Nanning I also learned that you have to take some time to enjoy the experience. You may never be in this situation again, so soak everything in while you can.

Team Canada had a nice mix of Olympic veterans and young seniors. We know this was only your second year as a senior, but you have so much experience…how much does that come in handy at a meet like worlds, especially in the team competition?

My previous experiences are definitely beneficial in competitions like Worlds. I was able to go into the team competition relatively calm and relaxed. My past experiences are also teaching me how to pace myself so that I can perform after numerous days of competition. I found this exceptionally helpful this year.

Canada also had an incredible team finals finish after not making finals last year, placing 6th ahead of Italy by a tenth. What was your goal as a team and were you happy with the result?

As a team we just wanted to go out onto the competition floor and do our best. We went into the competition focusing on the process not on the outcome, and this obviously paid off. Being seventh as a team was amazing and to move up a place [in team finals] was even better. We were all exceptionally happy.

In 2011, Canada missed direct qualification to the Olympic Games and had to qualify at the test event. Does it take a lot of pressure off going into 2016 knowing you have that in the bag already? As a team, what are the biggest goals now for next year?

For sure, I know for me I can relax a little now knowing that we still don’t need to qualify a team to the Olympics. As a team, we just need to keep working on our execution and difficulty.

What about your personal goals? What do you think your biggest strengths are and how do they fit into an Olympic team picture?

For the next year I really want to increase my difficulty on some events. Right now I would say my biggest strengths are bars and beam. I feel like these events will be important in deciding who will be on our Olympic team.

We are obsessed with your bars and loved seeing the major improvements since 2014! What were your biggest upgrades in the past year? Do you have anything you’re working on that you hope to add on any event?

Wow – thanks for the kind words. Adding a Tkachev on bars was a pretty big upgrade. However, I would say that focusing on my execution is what has led to my bars improving over the past year. I am working on some new connections on bars and beam, some new tumbling passes, and a new vault that I hope to add sometime this year.

You’re still in high school, correct? Have you thought at all about NCAA when you finish?

I am still in high school. I have given some thought to NCAA gymnastics; however, I’m still deciding if it fits into what I want from gymnastics right now.

Who are your biggest role models in the sport and why do you look up to them?

My biggest role model in the sport is Nastia Luikin. I love the elegance and poise she had when she performed. I try to emulate these characteristics in my gymnastics.

What are you usually up to when you’re not training or competing? What are your favorite ways to spend that time off?

I’m usually doing homework when I’m not training or competing. However, when I have the time, I like to read and spend quality time with my family.

What’s your favorite thing about competing? And your favorite thing about the sport of gymnastics in general?

I really enjoy the feeling of showing people what I do in the gym. As for the sport of gymnastics, I love the challenge it presents. You always are learning something new and improving what you already have. It’s such an exciting sport.

Thanks so much, and best of luck in 2016!

2 thoughts on “Isabela Onyshko’s Fantastic Year

  1. Pingback: Canada – new Seniors 2016 | Excellent Liquid Chalk for Weight Lifting

  2. Pingback: Meet the competitors of the Stuttgart world Cup – illusion turns

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