by Aminah Khan, staff writer
A sophomore at Fountain Valley High School, Hoangsa Nguyen (‘19) has a lot on her plate. She’s juggling rigorous academic courses while maintaining all A’s, a member of Academic Decathlon and a competitive gymnast. At age 15, Nguyen has already placed in over 20 competitions.
Captivated by the grace and elegance of dancers, Nguyen was keen on becoming a gymnast as well. However for such a successful and competitive gymnast, Nguyen’s decision to start gymnastics came on later in her life. She started her first gymnastics lesson at age 10, and only five years later with hard work and dedication, Nguyen has placed in every single competition she has competed in.
Her passion took off when she realized how independent the sport was and did not require the help of a team. Because of such a late start, Nguyen has dedicated much needed time and effort into her newfound passion.
“It wasn’t like a team sport where you have to deal with the people but its individualistic,” said Nguyen. “Usually people start when they are three in ‘Mommy and Me’ classes or when they start walking,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen explains the most challenging obstacle in her competitions has always been the beams.
“I think beam is the hardest because there is something different about it because I think I am more of a powerful gymnast so I don’t really have that grace and balance and flow that you kind of need on a beam,” she said.
The beam proves to be more of an emotional obstacle for Nguyen as she needs to build confidence and trust in herself, instead of relying on sheer athleticism.
Her hard work has paid off as Nguyen recently placed 1st overall, 1st on floor, 1st on vault, 1st on beam and 3rd on the bars at Glider’s Invitational Competition in February and moved to state competitions. At the State Championships, Nguyen received medals in the following categories: 2nd place overall, 2nd bars, 3rd on beam, 3rd on vault and 2nd on floor, thus advancing herself to the Regionals Competition.
Gymnastics has proven to be very time consuming for Nguyen but she has managed to maintain her good grades all the while competing in various competitions.
“One of the biggest obstacles is just how time consuming the sport is. I want to balance my classes, I want to balance my extra curriculars and I also want to balance my sport as well,” said Nguyen.
Although Nguyen will not be pursuing gymnastics as a career in the future, she believes that gymnastics can pave a way for new opportunities for herself.
“I’m not taking gymnastics all the way to college but it can open doors for me like getting a part time job, getting an actual job maybe,”said Nguyen.
To aspiring gymnasts, Nguyen has some advice. “I want to tell them that it’s never too late because even if I started late, as long as you have that good mentality, as long as you kind of have that zeal and determination to do what you want to do, you’re going to get it done.”