Sports

Athlete of the Week: Zanelli ’11 vaults to success

By
Sports Staff Writer
Thursday, April 16, 2009

This past weekend, Victoria Zanelli ’11 competed at the USAG Collegiate National at Southern Connecticut State, scoring a personal best of 9.725 on the beam and thereby earning USAG All-American status. Posting a 9.375 on vault, a 9.250 on the bars and a 9.075 on floor, her total of 37.425 was one spot shy of USAG All-American status in the all-around.

This season, Zanelli earned Second Team All-Ivy Classic honors on the bars, beam and in the all-around. She tied two previous career high scores, posting a 9.725 on bars and a 38.000 in the all-around.

For her outstanding performance, The Herald has named Victoria Zanelli our Athlete of the Week.

Herald: When did you first pick up gymnastics and why?

Zanelli: I started when I was seven, after the 1996 Olympics. I would always do cartwheels and handstands when I was in soccer and ballet, so it just seemed to fit.

How often did you train in high school?

Five hours a day, six days a week. It became so routine — leave school early, practice, dinner, shower, homework, bed.

Wow. With such a demanding schedule, did you have any free time apart from gymnastics and school?

Barely. I don’t even know how I managed to get everything done.

Who is your favorite gymnast of all time?

Alicia Sacramone (’12).

Did you have any gymnastics dreams as a child?

I was determined to go to the Olympics when I first started, but then you realize that it takes way more time and work than you would anticipate.
 
Do you have a favorite event?

I would have to say beam because it’s the least impact on my body and requires the least endurance. Once you get over the fear of being on four inches, you’re good to go.

How about a least favorite?

Vault. Everything happens too fast so it’s harder to fix or adjust yourself.
 
What goes through your head while you’re competing?

I try not to listen to the floor music or the other teams cheering in the background. I talk through the motions and visualize the best routines I’ve competed.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while competing?
This happens to every gymnast, but your leotard rides up and you can’t fix it because you’d get a
deduction.

Now that the gymnastics season is over, what will you do during your free time?
I catch up on my social life. I actually go to class now, and get a reasonable amount of sleep.