Acro Highlight - May
posted on 05/10/2007
The USA was well represented at the 2007 World Cup Finals in Puurs, Belgium. Senior Mixed Pair, Xiau-Ling Wee and Andre Solodar and Senior Women's Group, Mariah Henninger, Ally Kidd and Tisa Penny were awarded the bronze medals. Without a World Championships in 2007, the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Cup Finals was the most prestigious competition this year. This month, we have the special privilege of featuring all of these athletes in our Acro Highlight.

Q: What does it mean to represent the U.S. at a world-level event?

We are very happy and proud to be given the opportunity to represent the U.S. at a world-level event. It's a great honor to be chosen for this privilege.

•  What was your most memorable moment of World Cup Finals?  Why?

Andre: My most memorable moment at WCF was probably when we stood on the podium to receive our medals. This is when it actually hit me that we won a medal. It was very exciting!

Xiau-Ling: My most memorable moment was when I found out that I placed third after the final scoring! I was so happy that I would be bringing home a medal!

Q: Did you exceed your expectations for success?  If so, how did it differ from what you expected to what you achieved?

Going to WCF, we knew that there would be many talented athletes from many different countries.  We knew it would be a tough competition so we didn't want to get our hopes up too high.  We went to Belgium with a goal to make finals, not really thinking about placing.  So getting a bronze medal at WCF was great. We believe we exceeded our expectations. 

Q: Explain how training and mind-set differs for a world-level event vs. an international event?

We believe that training and mind-set should not differ for any competitions, be it a world-level event or international invitational. We always train hard no matter what. Of course a world-event adds a heightened sense of importance, but the result is the same. You produce what you provide, and we did our best at the time.

World Cup Finals was a great opportunity to test our capability with years of partnership and training behind us. We are grateful for the support of our families, our coach, and everyone who believed in us.

•  What does it mean to represent the U.S. at a world-level event?

It is a HUGE honor to be allowed the opportunity to represent the U.S. at a world-level event. The fact is that only a very small percentage of U.S. athletes ever get the chance to compete internationally, and an even smaller percentage ever get the opportunity to compete and represent the U.S. at a world-level event such as World Championships or World Cup Finals. We have now had the opportunity to represent the U.S. at both. The U.S. has worked extremely hard for many years to create a name for itself internationally. Due to the success of Arthur and Shenea, along with many other U.S. athletes, the U.S. is now well known on the world scene. We hope to add to that growing reputation.

Q. What was your most memorable moment of World Cup Finals?  Why?

Our most memorable moment of World Cup Finals was standing on the podium, receiving our medals and watching the US flag being raised along side Belarus and Russia. Having never received a medal at that level of competition it was an amazing feeling.

•  Did you exceed your expectations for success?  If so, how did it differ from what you expected vs. what you achieved?

ABSOLUTELY! We exceeded our expectations for success!  We walked in just striving to hit 3 clean routines.  We new that the caliber and level of this meet was extremely high and our competition was fierce.  We walked off the floor after all three routines extremely happy with our performances.  The fact that we earned a medal with the consistent routines we produced made us very proud of ourselves.  Again, we knew what we were up against from the beginning and didn't have any expectations of medaling.  We just wanted to perform clean routines and represent the U.S. well.  After earning a bronze medal at World Cup Finals, we now feel we achieved that.

Q. Explain how training and mind-set differs for a world-level event vs. an international invitational.

Training for any international competition is much more physically & mentally intense than local competitions.  Not only is the level of competition harder, but your mind-set needs to be much more focused.  International invitational's, such as Flanders, is a great way to gain experience internationally.  When competing at an invtiational such as Flanders, you are representing the US and of course want to do well.  Competing at events like this are necessary preparation for qualifying and gaining experience to compete at world-level events such as World Championships where you are not just representing the U.S., but also making a name for your individual group on the world-level scene. 


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