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<< Sports >>

2012 London Summer Olympic Games

Tuesday, 4 September, 2012 5:49 PM

Jordyn Wieber returns home from Olympics; hopes to attend UCLA

Wieber biting her gold medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

|

DeWITT, 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.

"When 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."

How did you find out that you made the U.S. gymnastics team for the London Summer Olympic Games and what was your reaction?

"I 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."

What was your thoughts on Shawn Johnson's decision to not compete in the London Olympics?

"It 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."

During the Olympic games, Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around final. What went wrong in that event?

"In 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."

Wieber 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?

"It 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."

Jordyn Wieber

Age: 17

Hometown: DeWitt, Mich.

Favorite Music: Pop, hip-hop, rap, country

Favorite Singer: Justin Bieber, One Direction

Favorite Movie: "The Notebook"

What was your return to your hometown of DeWitt, Mich. like?

"I 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."

Wieber said people are treating her like a celebrity and are noticing her around town.

"Yeah, 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."

She had the rare opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

"It 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 fun."

The 17-year-old is already making plans for her college career.

"I'm thinking about attending UCLA."

And she won't have to pay that much. The university has already agreed to make her an assistant gymnastics coach.

What's next for your gymnastics career?

"I'm 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."

What other Olympians or Olympic sports did you enjoy seeing?

"I 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 watching."

For girls who are dreaming of being an Olympic gymnast like you, what would be your advice to them?

"I 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."

For more information about Jordyn Wieber, visit her official website at www.jordynwieber.com, her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Jordynwieber and her Twitter page at www.twitter.com/jordyn_wieber.

Related Story: Golden Girl Still Glowing at Olympic Homecoming

 

 

Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieer, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross celebrating after their team final win.

 

The "Fierce Five" members on the podium with their bouquets and gold medals.

 

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