Lakeland sophomore Amanda Grigas is a member of the Lakeland/Panas gymnastics team. She will compete at states in the uneven bars on Feb. 27 at Shaker High School in Latham.
How old were you when you first started gymnastics and how did you get started?
My mom decided to put me in a recreational class at Dynamic Gymnastics at four years old because I had so much energy. After 11 years of being at Dynamic I feel like it’s my second home.
What do you think are your strengths as a gymnast?
I am always willing to try new skills and I love performing my floor routine — especially the dance parts.
You competed in the state championships in eighth grade but missed last year with a back injury. What was your experience like at states and how do you want to improve this year at states?
It wasn’t my best performance but I loved making new friends from different teams and competing with my closest friends. I am focusing more on perfecting my skills and sticking my landings.
What is your favorite team activity, pre-game or post-game ritual that you share with your teammates?
After a home meet, the whole team likes to go eat at the Mohegan Diner.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My mom has always been my role model because she has been the best supporter at my competitions and has always been there when I need her.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
My family thinks the color green is bad luck. You will never see me in anything green.
Do you plan on continuing gymnastics in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you decide on that college?
I would love to continue doing gymnastics in college. Right now I am in 10th grade and I am just starting to look at schools now.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I am interested in studying sports medicine because I have come to appreciate how much a sports medicine doctor can mean to an athlete. During my gymnastics career I have had many back injuries. Last year I had a stress fracture which prevented me from going to states. My doctor has helped me so much with all of my injuries I have had throughout my gymnastics career. I love the fact of helping athletes overcome their injuries in the future.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?
My favorite professional athlete is American gymnast Simone Biles and my favorite college team is the Florida Gators gymnastics team.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
I listen to any type of music but before a competition I listen to upbeat songs to get me pumped to compete.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I would love to be in two places at once because when I am in school I could also be at home sleeping.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
I have always wanted to go to Hawaii because it looks like paradise and I want to learn how to surf.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
Before a competition I like to eat a salad and after a competition I will eat almost anything cause I am usually really hungry.
Best place to eat in Shrub Oak and why?
Bob-B-Q’s because it is in walking distance from my house and I love their french fries and wraps.
What advice would you give to a young gymnast growing up in Shrub Oak?
Some advice I would give to a young gymnast is to start at a young age and be willing to dedicate yourself to the sport 100 percent.