Q: Do you have a nickname?
“Lolo or just Lo.”
Q: When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
“I was 6 years-old and my mom wanted to find something for my sister and I to do, so she signed us both up for gymnastics.
Q: Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
“My very first competitive meet was a Level 5 meet. I forgot my floor routine and did the wrong tumbling pass.”
Q: When did you decide you wanted to compete? What about competition appeals to you?
“When I was a ‘hot shot’ at 7 years-old. Watching the older girls practice and compete was what drew me in.”
Q: What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
“I train six days a week, five hours a day, except for three hours on Saturdays. Since I started gymnastics at Gold Medal in the competitive group, it was not a huge change in how I was training, just added a few more hours.”
Q: What is your favorite event?
“I would say the vault is currently my favorite because it comes pretty naturally to me.”
Q: What is your favorite skill?
“My favorite skill is my full-in on the floor.”
Q: Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
“Amanda Borden is my favorite gymnast! She has been my coach for half of my life. She is like a second mother to me and is a truly amazing person. She’s encouraging, dedicated to all the girls in the gym and sees my true potential when I don’t always see it. She keeps me on track.”
Q: How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
“I have grown in many ways, but learning to be patient with myself and my skills has been my biggest area of growth.”
Q: How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
“Mentally I have become more focused. I have let go of my fear of certain skills and of failure, and I really found out what kind of gymnast I can be by working hard, making corrections and staying on top of my game.”
Q: If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
“Gymnastics has taught me several life lessons. The biggest on is that failure or giving up is not an option. I believe in the following quote and try to do this daily: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Q: What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
“My biggest accomplishment at this point in my career would be qualifying for the Nastia Liukin Cup three years in a row.”
Q: Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
“Yes, it’s one of my major goals at this point.”
Q: What are your favorite subjects in school?
“English and science.”
Q: If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
“Right now I would like to study sports medicine.”
Q: What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
“I would like to get a college scholarship and get a degree. Then I have thought about getting into coaching.”
Q: When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities?
“I love hanging out with my family and friends. I also really enjoy going to the mall and the movies.”
Q: What is your favorite food?
Q: What is your favorite movie?
“I love watching the Notebook. Stepbrothers is my favorite comedy.”
Q: What is your favorite book?
“I don’t really have one.”
Q: Who is your favorite musician?
Q: Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
“My dad played football and my mom played badminton. My little sister, who is 6, is currently involved in gymnastics.”
Q: Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
“Not really, just to listen to ‘pump-up’ music.”
Q: What’s on your iPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
“I actually use Pandora, but I listen to Dark Horse radio to get my competition mojo together.”
Q: If you had to pick three words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
“Dedicated and hard working.”
Q: What three words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
“Adventurous, social and mature.”
By Erica Rath
Lauren Ramirez is 14 years old and from Chandler, Ariz. She trains at Gold Medal Gymnastics in the same town under coaches Amanda Borden, Craig Keaty and Kristin Fanning.
Lauren started gymnastics eight years ago when her mom wanted her to get involved with something. She chose gymnastics, and Lauren fell in love with the sport.
Right now, Lauren’s focus in on gymnastics. She loves the competition of other gymnasts and competing in different things. Her favorite event to perform is the floor exercise because she says it just comes easier to her.
At this point in her career, Lauren says her biggest accomplishment is qualifying for the Nastia Liukin Cup. She has overcome some injuries in her career to get to where she is now, including a fractured hip. Outside of qualifying for the NLC, Lauren also placed first in vault in the 2011 Level 9 Western Championships.
Lauren enjoys studying language arts at her charter school where she attends daily with other gymnasts. The group of them carpool to the gym after school, too, so she has the support system any competitive athlete needs to succeed. Once she graduates, Lauren want to be a gymnastic coach so she can remain in the world of competitive gymnastics.
By Josh Weinfuss
All Lauren Ramirez was focused on when she returned to the gym from an avulsion tear was making sure she didn’t lose too much being away from gymnastics.
The Nastia Liukin Cup wasn’t a priority in late December.
Eight weeks away from gymnastics left Ramirez rusty. When she returned just before 2011 turned into 2012, Ramirez’s skills were still there, the 13-year-old said, but she lost most of her strength. Her injury was diagnosed in November, after she competed throughout 2011 with the injury. Ramirez said she couldn’t run or any splitting.
“I couldn’t put any weight on my legs,” she said. “So I couldn’t do anything.”
After almost two months of being back in the gym, Ramirez found the strength and rhythm she lost. In her first meet back after the avulsion tear, Ramirez qualified for the Nastia Liukin Cup.
“I wasn’t even really trying to qualify for it so it was really a surprise,” Ramirez said. “I was really nervous just because it was my first meet and I hadn’t competed in a long time, and it was my first Level 10 meet.”
Helping Ramirez back from injury was her coach, Amanda Borden-Cochran, a member of the 1996 gold-medal winning United States Olympic Team. Borden-Cochran started coaching Ramirez when the latter was 6 years old and has been her only coach.
She said that the young gymnast had a natural gift and has worked with Ramirez to cultivate it.
“I think that’s one of the coolest things as a coach,” Borden-Cochran said, “to watch these kids grow up not just a gymnast, but grow up as kids.”