Mich. -- Jordyn
Marie Wieber was born on July 12, 1995 in the small town of DeWitt,
Mich. It is about eight and a half miles north of the state capital
of Lansing. Wieber is the daughter of an emergency room nurse
and exercise physiologist and a director of a health-care subsidiary.
The 5-foot, 2-inch gymnastics star likes to be called simply,
"Jo." Earlier this month, she was a part of the Fierce
Five at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. It was a roller
coaster ride for her after failing to qualify for the individual
final and then winning the gold in the team final.
I was very young, my parents kind of noticed natural muscle definition
even without training or anything like that so they decided that
gymnastics would be a good fit for me," Wieber said in an
exclusive interview. "They put me in it and I just loved
it. I've had this passion for the sport after that."
you find out that you made the U.S. gymnastics team for the London
Summer Olympic Games and what was your reaction?
competed in the Olympic trails," she added. "Then, we
went back into our separate room with the selection committee.
When they decided, they came in and told us. It was just an overwhelming
moment. I think we all started crying when we walked up on the
floor for the trials. Everyone was cheering and it was such an
amazing feeling. I just loved it."
your thoughts on Shawn Johnson's decision to not compete in the
was amazing that she came back and started competing again,"
the 17-year-old explained. "I think that's really inspiring
and I'm proud of her. At some point, she just decided she wanted
to stop. I don't really know much about it."
the Olympic games, Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around
final. What went wrong in that event?
the qualifications, we all competed and then the top 24 qualified
to the all-around competition," the gymnast answered. "But
you can only have two per country and I happened to be the third
from the United States. I didn't qualify for the all-around competition."
competed with Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and
Kyla Ross as part of the "Fierce Five" in the team final.
How did it feel to come back and win the gold medal?
felt amazing," she answered. "I think we were all just
looking back at all of the hard work we put into the training
that we had done over the weeks and even the years before that.
We're all just really proud of each other. It was all just a team
effort and we really bonded, the five of us. I think that really
helped us win that gold medal."
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was your return to your hometown of DeWitt, Mich. like?
came to the airport and there was hundreds of people waiting
for me," the 17-year-old explained. "I did a little
bit of a speech and then I drove home. People lined my street
in my neighborhood and there were fireworks going off. It
was just a real warm welcome and I was just really happy
to see everyone. I knew that they were supporting me the
whole time I was in London so it was pretty cool."
said people are treating her like a celebrity and are noticing
her around town.
I actually went to the mall and there were people recognizing
me and asking me for my autograph constantly," the
gymnast added. "It's kind of funny."
the rare opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Detroit
Tigers game on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
was definitely a cool experience," she said. "I have
never done anything like that yet so it was a lot of fun. Throwing
a baseball is definitely unfamiliar to me, but I had a lot of
is already making plans for her college career.
thinking about attending UCLA."
won't have to pay that much. The university has already agreed
to make her an assistant gymnastics coach.
next for your gymnastics career?
not sure about Rio yet," Wieber answered. "I'm going
to continue training and see how things play out. Rio is always
in the back of my mind, but it's still four years away. So we'll
just see how things play out until then. Most likely, there will
be more competitions before then."
Olympians or Olympic sports did you enjoy seeing?
think we really enjoyed watching the swimming while we were over
in London," the gymnast said. "We also watched track
like Usain Bolt, basically anyone from Team U.S.A. we enjoyed
who are dreaming of being an Olympic gymnast like you, what would
be your advice to them?
would just tell them to try it out because you never know if you
will love it or not. If you have goals, make sure you work real
hard and dedicate yourself to going to practice everyday so you
can make your goals. Just never give up because it's possible
to reach your dreams."