TAYLOR MCDANIEL | Reporter
This week’s spotlight athlete, Andavea Alexander, was the first to score a 10.0 in Lindenwood Gymnastics.
Name: Andavea Alexander
Major: Athletic Training
Q: When did you start playing your sport?
A: “I started gymnastics when I was 7 years old.”
Q: How did you get started in your sport?
A: “My grandparents were actually the ones who told my parents to put me in it. I was always running around and climbing on the furniture when I was younger. Once I started taking classes, I fell in love instantly. At first, I loved just being with my friends and learning new tricks. Later on, my sport became my teacher. I loved how I learned discipline, to be strong and fearless, to trust myself and push myself to new limits.”
Q: What is your biggest strength in your sport?
A: “I am determined. I have never been one to give up, and in this sport that is really important. Gymnastics comes with a lot of struggles. Sometimes you get injured, while other times it just gets really difficult. I think staying completely determined is really important.”
Q: What was your most embarrassing moment in your sport?
A: “One time when I was trying to score out of level 7 I had a really bad competition on beam. My coaches forgot to tell me to compete the easier skills instead of the ones I had been training to use for the season. There was a deduction for competing skills that were too hard, and I had fallen, so there was a deduction for that as well. I ended up getting my all-time low score, and it was really embarrassing.”
Q: Why did you choose to play for Lindenwood?
A: “During my recruiting trip I felt really comfortable on campus. It was so pretty here, and the girls were so welcoming to me during my visit. When I got the offer, I could not have been more thrilled. My coaches are amazing, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
A: “I would say making it to college gymnastics has been my greatest accomplishment. During my time here I got the school’s gymnastics first 10.0 score flash, and it was a pretty big honor.”
Q: What do you like most about your sport?
A: “I like the artistry that goes along with gymnastics. The sport is both power and grace. You have to be confident and strong in your routines, but you also have to be flexible and graceful.”
Q: Do you have any game day rituals?
A: “I am the world’s biggest coffee drinker. I always have a day before Dunkin [Donuts] and a day of Dunkin. So I just drink a large coffee the day before a competition and the day of the competition.”
Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies?
A: “I really like to draw and paint if I ever have free time. I find it relaxing and fun to create something new. Watching a blank canvas turn into an entire picture or painting is very satisfying. All of the posters in my room are things that I have drawn.”
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: “Misty Copeland.”
Q: Who do you look up to in your sport?
A: “I really admire Shawn Johnson.”
Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: “I do. I always have a goal in mind, and my own ambitions drive me to keep going.”
Q: What are three things you could not live without? Why?
A: “My car; I love to go places when I want to go places. Coffee; I need a steady supply of this at all times. I love all different kinds of coffee. My blanket; I have had the same blanket for as long as I can remember, and I can’t lose it.”
Q: If you could have dinner with any three people who would they be?
A: “Eminem; I think he really speaks his mind and has a lot to say. I respect his care-free attitude. Johnny Depp; I feel he has played so many different people that I wonder what he is truly like when he is not acting… is he a little of everyone? Audrey Hepburn; I think she is an outstanding and classy woman.”
Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “‘Good, better, best, never let it rest. Till your good is better and your better is best.’ -St. Jerome.”
Q: Do you have any advice for young athletes?
A: “Stick with it, and never give up. There are always going to be setbacks and bumps in the road along the way. Keep moving forward and giving it your best, and you will achieve your goals. The sacrifice is worth it.”
Q: What are your plans after college?
A: “I am really interested in perusing Cirque Du Soleil after college and then hopefully coaching college gymnastics in the future.”