Jan. 24, 2013
By Mitch Praxl, student assistant
The Gophers host Air Force on Saturday in their first home meet of the season at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Sports Pavilion. We caught up with Minnesota's lone senior Adam LaFleur in advance on this weekend's competition.
GopherSports: Both of your parents were gymnasts for the Gophers and your dad was even awarded the Nissen Emery Award. Do you feel you were born to be a gymnast?
Adam LaFleur: I was kind of born into it, I guess. I don't know if I would say I was born to be a gymnast. I've been going to the gym with my brothers and sisters since I was like two years old and my dad was coaching so I pretty much grew up with it and learned to love it.
GS: Did you always want to be a Golden Gopher?
AL: Yes, I did growing up but I was willing to look at other schools too. I think Minnesota gave me the best opportunity to not only be a successful gymnast but also work toward my career goals too.
GS: As the only senior on the team, do you feel a need to be a leader?
AL: Yeah, of course. Experience is a lot of what goes into gymnastics, just having the confidence to go into your routines each week and calm some of the younger guys down who haven't been there yet.
GS: What do you feel is your best event?
AL: Probably floor exercise.
GS: Why is that?
AL: Consistency, I've been doing pretty much the same routine for four years now so it's becoming sort of an easy thing to do.
GS: What are some of your best memories from your collegiate career?
AL: Probably my first meet at the Windy City Invitational when I was a redshirt freshman. That was a big meet, as I was finally a college gymnast. And then just all the people I made friends with, all my teammates, that was a lot of fun.
GS: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
AL: We want to win Big Tens, It's the same goal every year. Big Tens is the most exciting meet of the year.
GS: Any personal goals?
AL: I want to make Big Ten finals on two of my three events at least.
GS: Did you play any other sports growing up?
AL: I played baseball all through high school.
GS: Did you enjoy baseball more or less than gymnastics?
AL: Probably the same, I just didn't have the physical attributes for it.
GS: What do you like to do in your free time?
AL: Just hang out. There isn't a lot of free time, but in the summer I like to wakeboard. I'm looking forward to getting back into snowboarding. I haven't been able to do it for the last four or five years. It's a little too dangerous.
GS: The coaches probably don't want you doing that kind of stuff…
AL: Yeah, I get a little too ambitious.
GS: Is there any particular lake on which you do your wakeboarding?
AL: Long Lake in New Brighton.
GS: What kind of music do you listen to?
AL: A lot of stuff, pretty much anything besides country and hardcore rock I guess.
GS: Do you have a favorite artist?
AL: John Mayer
GS: Training for gymnastics is obviously very intense and you have to be disciplined, but is there one certain food or weakness that you indulge in every now and then?
AL: I don't know if there is anything in particular, but probably just getting a bag of chips every now and then.
GS: What is the plan after graduation, that's coming up pretty quickly?
AL: I have a lot of job interviews lined up. I'm in the process of a lot of them too, anywhere from in-state to out-of-state.
GS: What's your major?
AL: Electrical engineering.
GS: Who do you consider to be your biggest rival and why?
AL: I guess this year it looks like Michigan is going to be tough so they're probably going to be our biggest rival.
Local Talent Makes Impact on Gophers' Roster
University of Minnesota men's gymnast, Ryan Bergman, has become a staple competitor for the Gophers in the Parallel bars lineup and hails only 30-minutes down the freeway from the U.
Shashank's Redemption: Journey to Most Improved
University of Minnesota men's gymnastics sophomore Shashank Yallamraju was named the Gophers' Most Improved Gymnast of the 2016 season.
Wittenberg's NCAA Address
Alex Wittenberg was chosen as the student-athlete representative for the 2016 Men's Gymnastics NCAA Championships.