Behind the Scenes: The American Cup

AT&T American Cup:  March 5, 2016 - Newark, NJ

If you're a gymnastics fan then you know the American Cup is a very prestigious international gymnastics competition. Being chosen to compete in this event is an exciting moment and even more so in an Olympic year. ...And if you didn't know that, well now you do. :)

This competition holds a special place in my heart because not only did I get chosen to compete in it twice, but I won both times. That was pretty sweet!

I flew up to Newark, New Jersey the other week to attend the competition and I wanted to give y’all a behind the scenes look at my trip to the AT&T American Cup.

Day 1: I arrived at the venue where the competition was being held and most of the athletes had just finished training. Media started to swarm around them. It was fun to see all the reporters gathered around the athletes, ready to get the latest scoop. I remember that being me when I was 15 and 16 years old. I thought it was so cool that they even wanted to talk to me!

After I was done there I had a few stops to make at gymnastics facilities to do a little promotion for the competition. That's always fun because I get to talk with the kids and let them ask questions. One girl asked if I knew what a buttahara was?! Apparently I didn’t watch the movie “Stick It” close enough!

 

Once we finished up, it was off to stay in Manhattan for the night since I had the Today Show bright and early the next morning. I barely slept a wink. I was too excited and nervous and scared I might miss my alarm!

 

Day 2: My 4:30a.m. alarm came way too quick! First on the agenda was the Today Show! Mary Lou Rhetton, Nastia Liukin and I were there to talk about the AT&T American Cup as well as looking forward to the Rio summer games! I was pretty nervous since I hadn't been on their show in 4 years. They are always so sweet to us when we are there!

 

It all went really well and was super fun! We even got to meet sweet Wrangler, the Today Show’s guiding eyes lab. Made me miss my pup back home. Country music legend Loretta Lynn was performing that morning so it was so awesome to watch her sing! I should have gotten a picture, but I was too nervous and starstruck! 

 

After that Mary Lou and I got to be silly on an episode of Chica & Tim on Sprout (my 2.5 year old nephew Jake loved that!). You can watch it here.

Next was a live Facebook chat followed by more media interviews throughout the day before heading back to Newark to sign autographs and watch the Nastia Liukin Cup that night.

By the end of this day you better believe I couldn't wait for my head to hit the pillow! (Did I mention how many cups of coffee I had that day?!)

Day 3: The day of AT&T American Cup. I had a "floor tour" with some young gymnast and parents where we took them around the competition floor and they get a closer look at everything going on. They even get to see the gymnasts warming up, it’s pretty cool.

The competition was getting ready to start so I took my seat and got to sit back and watch some amazing gymnastics!

It ended up being a very exciting competition because the reigning all-around Olympic champion Gabby Douglas won her first competition since making her comeback. Second place went to the U.S.’s Maggie Nichols. It’s awesome when the U.S. finishes first and second like that!

I presented them with flowers, gave them both a hug and said congratulations. It was a great trip, but it was time for me to head to the airport and get back home. Trips like these are always so fun and exciting, but nothing beats getting home and sleeping in my own bed:)