City of Jesolo Trophy Champions

Action photos by John Cheng and Scott Einuis

The USA seniors and juniors won the team title and swept the all-around at the 2011 City of Jesolo Trophy on March 19 in Jesolo, Italy. McKayla Maroney of Laguna Niguel, Calif./All Olympia won the senior all-around crown, with Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym Max earning the junior all-around title. The USA also won 20 individual event medals for the juniors and seniors combined.

The seven members of the senior U.S. Team include: Bridgette Caquatto of Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics; Gabriella Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics; Amanda Jetter of Milford, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics; Maroney; Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics; Sabrina Vega of Manhattan, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Twistars USA.

The seven members of the junior squad include: Ericha Fassbender of Katy, Texas/Stars Gymnastics; Sarah Finnegan of Lake Latawanna, Mo./GAGE; Madison Kocian of Dallas/WOGA; Katelyn Ohashi of Newcastle, Wash./WOGA; Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes; Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics; and Ross.

USA Gymnastics has talked to all 14 gymnasts about their trip to Italy and future goals. The senior interviews follow. To view the junior stories, click the link below.

SENIORS | JUNIORS


McKayla Maroney

What was in like competing for Team USA and winning the gold medal?
Maroney: Competing for USA is always a great honor because I'm doing something that I've always dreamed of, and I'm doing it for my country, and winning the gold medal for Team USA just makes it that much better!

How did you do individually?
Maroney: I got first on vault and in the all-around.

Were you competing anything new at this event?
Maroney: Yes, I did a fairly new bar routine, and I added a couple of new skills on beam. I also did a brand new floor routine that I hope everyone likes.

What was it like traveling to Italy?
Maroney: Well first of all it was a long flight, but we all handled it pretty well. It was a gorgeous country, with great people. It was an experience of a life time.

What was the best part of the trip?
Maroney: The best part of my trip to Italy was visiting Venice, it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The whole time I was there I felt like I was in a movie. We went shopping, and road on the gondolas, and did all of the stuff that tourists would do. It was so much fun and I would definitely love to go there again.

Was this your first international trip?
Maroney: No, this one was actually my second.

What did you learn from this experience?
Maroney: I learned how to deal with huge time differences, and I got used to going on long plane flights and having to train a couple of hours after you get off the plane. It was hard but you have to do that to adapt to the time change faster.

Who did you room with? What was it like hanging with all of the girls?
Maroney: I roomed with my bestie Gabby Douglas!!! Oh it was so much fun. It was a huge group of girls, and we are all so close and love each other so much! We have the best team you could ever ask for!!!

How long were you gone and how did you handle school work during that time?
Maroney: I was gone for two weeks, counting the selection camp before Italy. I usually try to get ahead in school work so I won't have as much work to do when I'm gone, but I just bring all of my work and books along with me and whenever we have breaks all of the girls will start doing their homework.

What were you most looking forward to when you got home?
Maroney: I was just really excited to sleep in my own bed because the beds in Italy were really hard, and tiny.

What is next for you in gymnastics?
Maroney: I'm just working on upgrading my skills on everything, and staying healthy for our upcoming season.

What are your goals for 2011?
Maroney: My goals for 2011 are to stay healthy and make it onto the National Team, and then try to make the World Championships Team.


Bridgette Caquatto

How did you do individually?
Caquatto: Individually I had a pretty good meet! I have been out for a little while so it was a nice meet to get back into the swing of things and come out with a bar title.

Were you competing anything new at this event?
Caquatto: I had three new skills in my bar routine so it was nice to compete them for the first time.

What was it like traveling to Italy?
Caquatto: Italy shows a whole new way of living, which is really special to see. Overall getting there, we took two separate flights and a bus! It took a little while but it was all worth it in the end.

What was the best part of the trip?
Caquatto: The best part was the competition itself and the sightseeing day. There was so much positive energy on the day of the meet and we were all ready to show em' whose boss! Then on Sunday we were able to see Venice, which was beautiful, and ride a gondola.

Was this your first international trip?
Caquatto: This was not my first international trip but it was fun to show around the juniors who had never experienced this before!

What did you learn from this experience?
Caquatto: Every time I go on an assignment I learn more about myself and about my gymnastics. It teaches you to work under pressure and focus on yourself in different situations.

Who did you room with? What was it like hanging out with all of the girls?
Caquatto: Amanda Jetter and I roomed together and it was a blast. The group of girls that went on this trip was really special because we all got along so nicely. We really are all best friends so it's nice to be with them for a couple weeks!

How long were you gone and how did you handle school work during that time?
Caquatto: I was away from home for 12 days so I had lots of school work to do. I go to public school so I get most of my work before I leave, and my teachers also e-mail assignments to me.

What were you most looking forward to when you got home?
Caquatto: Just being on spring break, sleeping in my bed, seeing my family and having home cooked meals. I loved the trip but it was really nice to come home, too!

What is next for you in gymnastics?
Caquatto: To train some new skills and combinations, and to get ready for training camps down at the Ranch.

What are your goals for 2011?
Caquatto: In 2011, I am focusing on raising my start values and staying healthy. Worlds would be nice, too!


Gabrielle Douglas

What was it like competing for Team USA and winning the gold medal?
Douglas: It was a great honor to compete for the USA. I was so proud and happy when we won the gold medal.

How did you do individually?
Douglas: I finished third place on both floor and beam. I also finished fourth in the all-around.

Were you competing anything new at this event?
Douglas: Yes, almost everything was new. On bars, I just learned a new release, a Jaeger, and I added a new eagle grip in my routine as well as new connections. On floor, my first and third tumbling passes were new and all of my connections on beam were new.

What was it like traveling to Italy?
Douglas: It was a long trip, but it was very fun. I had the best time!

What was the best part of the trip?
Douglas: Winning the Team gold medal and sightseeing.

Was this your first international trip?
Douglas: No. Last year in November, I went to Mexico.

What did you learn from this experience?
Douglas: I learned how important it is not to worry and get distracted, especially if you make a mistake while you are competing.

Who did you room with? What was it like hanging out with all of the girls?
Douglas: I roomed with McKayla Maroney. I loved spending time with everyone. We always have a lot of fun together.

How long were you gone and how did you handle school work during that time?
Douglas: I was gone for 12 days. I worked on some schoolwork between training times.

What were you most looking forward to when you got home?
Douglas: Seeing my family and friends.

What is next for you in gymnastics?
Douglas: I am working on upgrading my routines and learning new skills.

What are your goals for 2011?
Douglas: To have a great meet at the Visa Championships and make the 2011 World Team.


Amanda Jetter

What was it like competing for Team USA and winning the gold medal?
Jetter: Winning the gold medal was amazing! There is not a feeling quite like standing up there representing your country!

How did you do individually?
Jetter: I did pretty well! There are some things I definitely need to work on.

Were you competing anything new at this event?
Jetter: Yes, on bars I did a Shaposhnikova to shoot over and that was completely new.

What was it like traveling to Italy?
Jetter: It was very cool. I traveled there before but it was as exciting as the first time I did it!

What was the best part of the trip?
Jetter: The best part of the trip was competing with team USA. We had an amazing team. They are all such supportive and great teammates. We also worked so well together, pushing and cheering each other on.

Was this your first international trip?
Jetter: No. This was my fourth international trip.

What did you learn from this experience?
Jetter: I learned that team USA works so well and hard together; it surprises me every time I am with them because we love each other like sisters, but yet we push each other to get even better.

Who did you room with? What was it like hanging out with all of the girls?
Jetter: I roomed with Bridget Caquatto. I loved rooming with her and I hanging out with all of the girls, all of them are unique in their own ways.

How long were you gone and how did you handle school work during that time?
Jetter: We were at the ranch and then Italy, so we were gone for a total of a week and a half. I did my online lessons there because we had internet access, so I did get some of my school work finished.

What were you most looking forward to when you got home?
Jetter: I was most looking forward to seeing my family and my dogs! I kept seeing dogs around Italy and it was making me miss my dogs at home! I have Oreo who is a Chihuahua mix that will be 8 years old and Bently who is a Papillan and a year and a half.


Alexandra Raisman

What was it like competing for Team USA and winning the gold medal?
Raisman: Winning the gold medal was an amazing feeling. I am really glad that I was able to share the exciting experience with my teammates! I am so lucky to have such great friends like them; we are really close and have so much fun together!

How did you do individually?
Raisman: I finished third in the all-around, first on beam and I tied with Sabrina (Vega) on floor, I also got third on vault.

Were you competing anything new at this event?
Raisman: I didn't put anything knew in my routines because I had just competed some of my new skills at the AT&T American Cup the week before.

What was it like traveling to Italy?
Raisman: Traveling to Italy took almost a day; we stopped in Germany so we got to walk around the airport for a little while. We all slept on the plane as much as possible because we had a workout right when we arrived. I don't mind traveling because I love getting to go to different countries!

What was the best part of the trip?
Raisman: The best part of the trip was the competition. We all had a really good time and the energy was great. We all cheered for each other and our main goal was just to enjoy the meet. We all realized that when we enjoy the competition we all end up doing so much better! The day prior to competition we all had our best workout -- so we all felt so ready!

What did you learn from this experience?
Raisman: I learned that the execution part of my scores need to improve, I really want to continue working on my flexibility and my dance.

Who did you room with? What was it like hanging out with all of the girls?
Raisman: I roomed with Jordyn, she was so much fun to room with! All the girls and I had such a great time together, I really enjoyed getting to know the juniors because I didn't know all of them.

How long were you gone and how did you handle school work during that time?
Raisman: I was gone for the AT&T American Cup for a week, I came home for about three days, and then I went back to camp! After camp I went to Italy. All together I was gone for about three weeks. I tried to do as much homework as I could while I was gone, nut it is hard to do homework because there isn't that much down time.

What were you most looking forward to when you got home?
Raisman: I just got my license a few weeks ago so I was very excited to get home and drive by myself!

What is next for you in gymnastics?
Raisman: Right now I am just training and trying to perfect everything, I just want to continue working hard and keep my confidence up.

What are your goals for 2011?
Raisman: My goals for 2011 are to improve all of my skills, and I would love to make the world team again!


Sabrina Vega

What was it like competing for Team USA and winning the gold medal?
Vega: It was a privilege to be part of the team competing in Italy. Once again it was amazing winning the team gold medal and I am honored to be part of such a great team representing USA.

How did you do individually?
Vega: I did very well. I won floor and placed second on bars and third on beam.

Were you competing anything new at this event?
Vega: Yes, I competed my switch-leap half on beam.

What was it like traveling to Italy?
Vega: It was great. We had a pretty smooth traveling day to Italy. We had a nine-hour flight to Germany and then a two-hour flight to Italy.

What was the best part of the trip?
Vega: The entire experience was great, especially being an official senior this year. The competition was awesome and I really enjoyed sightseeing and shopping in Venice on Sunday.

Was this your first international trip?
Vega: No this was not my first assignment -- this was actually my seventh.

What did you learn from this experience?
Vega: I learned that even if you do not compete in all four of the events you can still be a helping hand to the team.

Who did you room with? What was it like hanging out with all of the girls?
Vega: I roomed with Kyla Ross. Kyla and I have roomed together so many times that we are like best buds! It is always great hanging out with all of the girls because we get along great.

How long were you gone and how did you handle school work during that time?
Vega: We were first in Texas at camp for 4-5 days and then in Italy for about a week. I am homeschooled and I do my classes online so I just brought my work with me and did it whenever I had internet.

What were you most looking forward to when you got home?
Vega: I really just wanted to spend time with my family. I am a family person so I miss them very much when I am gone.

What is next for you in gymnastics?
Vega: I want to use this time to upgrade and polish up all of my routines.

What are your goals for 2011?
Vega: My goals for 2011 are to make it back on the National Team now as a senior and make the 2011 World's Team.


Jordyn Wieber

What was it like competing for Team USA and winning the gold medal?
Wieber: It was such an honor to compete for the USA. We all did our best and to end up with a gold medal was awesome.

How did you do individually?
Wieber: It wasn't my best meet but I was able to compete well on three of the events. I finished strong on vault and ended up second in the all-around.

Were you competing anything new at this event?
Wieber: I didn't compete anything new at this event because I just came from the AT&T American Cup where I competed a new combination on bars.

What was it like traveling to Italy?
Wieber: Traveling to Italy was a fun experience. I went to Italy in 2008, but being able to come back was awesome. The people are so nice and welcoming to us.

What was the best part of the trip?
Wieber: The best part of the trip was the competition because we had such a big team that we were all cheering for each other and the energy was very high. We had a lot of fun and it helped us do well as a team.

What did you learn from this experience?
Wieber: From this experience I learned that it is such an honor to compete for the U.S. and represent our country.

Who did you room with? What was it like hanging out with all of the girls?
Wieber: I roomed with Aly Raisman. It is so much fun to hang out with all of the other girls because we like to laugh and have fun. We all have a lot in common and we get along well.

How long were you gone and how did you handle school work during that time?
Wieber: I was gone for 10 days because we started at the ranch and then went to Italy. I did some of my schoolwork while I was on the trip and made up some of it when i got home. My teachers were very supportive and gave me some extra time to finish assignments.

What were you most looking forward to when you got home?
Wieber: I was most looking forward to seeing my family and my dog. Whenever I am gone for a long time I miss them a lot and I always like to spend quality time with them when I get home.

What is next for you in gymnastics?
Wieber: Right now I am focusing on training in the gym and preparing for the Visa Championships this fall. I am working hard to increase some of my difficulty, also.

What are your goals for 2011?
Wieber: My goals for 2011 are to do well at the Visa Championships and then, hopefully, make the World Championship team. Staying healthy is also a huge goal for me.