2005 World all-around champion and 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist Chellsie Memmel will be on hand next week at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – Gymnastics in San Jose, Calif., to promote the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions, as well as meeting fans, signing autographs and participating in fan activities at the Visa Fan Fest.
USA Gymnastics caught up with Memmel recently about her current plans. Check out the Q & A with Chellsie below.
USA Gymnastics: What are you up to these days?
Chellsie: Since the U.S. Classics in Chicago, I've been in the gym conditioning and warming up with the girls so that I can stay in shape for the upcoming Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions. I'm also doing a few summer camps and working around the house, and also thinking of what I want to do long term, like college, etc.
USA Gymnastics: What do you like about working summer gymnastics camps?
Chellsie: I enjoy summer camps because I get to meet younger gymnasts and see how excited they are to be part of the sport. Gymnastics has been such a big part of my life since I was very young (and my family!) and I get to share that with others. Even though I won't be competing at the Olympics in London, it keeps gymnastics an active part of me. Gymnastics is my passion and I hope I can inspire some of the kids I get to meet through the camps to reach their goals.
USA Gymnastics: You mentioned the upcoming Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Are you excited to be a part of the cast?
Chellsie: I'm very happy to be a part of the tour. Tours are so much fun. There is not as much pressure as in competition so everyone's personality can really come out. We can have more fun, interact with crowd and enjoy ourselves. We can celebrate the sport. I've been on two tours in the past and, although they were both a little different, they were a lot of fun.
USA Gymnastics: What's the best part of participating in the tour?
Chellsie: The performance is the best part for me. You get to dress up versus just wearing a normal leotard. Plus, you get to spend time with the entire cast. You can hang out and form great friendships. The other athletes have been my teammates, friends, biggest supporters and believe it or not, some of my biggest motivators for so many years. Competing with these girls on such a high level always pushes us to work harder. On the Tour we get to relax a little more. We travel across the country and have the opportunity to interact more and personally thank all of the fans and supporters on a different level.
USA Gymnastics: I know you passed your judging exam, and you are a brevet judge now. What was it like being involved with Visa Championships from the judging side?
Chellsie: It was different – a very different perspective seeing the meet from that angle. I was a timer on the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise throughout Visa Championships. It was definitely hard not to be the one up on the bars or beam actually performing and competing for the first time. I wish I was able to compete but I'm glad I still got to be a part of it in some way and support my teammates. No matter what happens, I will always be there to support my teammates.
It was great to get experience judging first, instead of jumping in to give scores though. Judging will be something that keeps me involved with gymnastics.
USA Gymnastics: How do you like judging?
Chellsie: I'm not sure yet how I will like judging. Competing is a completely different pressure, but there is also pressure involved with judging. I want to give it a try to see if I would like to do it.
USA Gymnastics: What made you want to take the judging test?
Chellsie: Kathy Kelly had been talking to me about it for a few years. I know they look for high-level gymnasts to go into judging. I took my test the end of November last year while I was recovering from my shoulder injury, so it was a great time for me. It's another avenue to pursue to see if it is something I like to do.
USA Gymnastics: What will you be doing at the Olympic Trials?
Chellsie: I will be in San Jose on Thursday evening and I'll be promoting the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Again, it's really important to me to be there to support my friends and teammates that have worked so hard to get to where they are. I am SO proud of all of them!
USA Gymnastics: Do you have future plans?
Chellsie: I'm thinking of taking college classes. I wouldn't be able to start until January 2013 due to the tour, but school is something I'd like to do – I like to learn. I'd like to try that world.
USA Gymnastics: We heard you have a new dog?
Chellsie: Yes, his name is Dexter and he's a yellow Lab. I got him last week. He's four months old. I've only had little dogs in the past so this one is very different. I love dogs. Dexter definitely needs some training though.
USA Gymnastics: Anything else new and exciting going on in your life?
Chellsie: I'm spending a lot of time on the lake. I'm also trying to buy my mom and dad's older lake house, which is across the street from the lake. So that's keeping me pretty busy these days.
Good luck to Chellsie, and we can't wait to see her on the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions, which runs September through November, in a city near you. To see what stop is close to your home, go to www.KelloggsTour.com.