Q&A with Lisa Wang
posted on 03/04/2008

Lisa Wang, 19, won her second consecutive Rhythmic Challenge all-around titles at the 2008 Rhythmic Challenge held in Colorado Springs, Colo. She trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Illinois. She’s coached by Natasha Klimouk and Dani Takova.

We talked to Lisa about her recent win and here’s what she had to say!

Q: How did it feel to win your second consecutive Rhythmic Challenge title?
Lisa Wang: It felt incredible. After such a demanding and stressful season last year, I was extremely proud of myself for being able to continue competing so strongly. I went onto the carpet feeling calm, confident, and completely ready to show off my routines.

Q: Did you perform new routines at this competition? If yes, can you tell me about them?
Lisa Wang: Yes, I have a brand new rope routine and a brand new clubs routine. My rope music is very unique; it is a fast-paced blend of techno, Bulgarian beats, and voices. My clubs music is a bit eccentric and funky. My routine was choreographed exactly to hit all of the accents and it's an amazing feeling when I am able to hit them all. I absolutely love both of my new routines, and I think it shows.

Q: What is next for you in terms of competition?
Lisa Wang: In a few days, I'll be packing my bags again and flying to Moscow for a Grand Prix competition. At the end of March I will be competing at Pacific Rim Championships in San Jose. In April, I will be overseas basically the entire month with World Cup competitions in Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

Q: I know you graduated high school in Jan. 2007 and took a year off to train. How are things going?
Lisa Wang: They've been going really well. I have a lot more freedom to explore new things and in the process, I have learned a lot more about myself. I have to be much more independent as well, since I am currently not living with my family in order to train at my gym in Chicago. But overall, I enjoy being able to focus completely on gymnastics without the constant stress of school deadlines!

Q: I read that you've been accepted to Yale University. When will you go and what will you study?
Lisa Wang: I will be beginning freshmen year at Yale University in September of 2008, and I'm so excited! I'm very interested in international studies-- perhaps due in part to all the places I've traveled through gymnastics but never really got to experience! But, I'm not quite sure what exactly I want to do with it. I'm open to anything from International journalism to International politics!

Q: What is your most favorite part of rhythmic gymnastics?
Lisa Wang: When I get on the mat, whether it be at practice or competition, and I complete a great routine, the feeling is like none other. It is the greatest high when all of your hard work pays off. Moreover, I believe that rhythmic gymnastics is simply the most beautiful sport in the world-- the only sport that can literally take my breath away when I watch a great routine.

Q: What advice do you have for other girls who want to do rhythmic gymnastics?
Lisa Wang: Work hard, dream big, and never let anyone make you feel inferior. You have to believe completely in your abilities and your dreams before anyone else can. Once you know what you want to achieve, pursue it with 100 percent passion and determination because a hard-earned, well-deserved accomplishment is the best type of success.

Photos by Steve Lange