Gymnastics Athlete Profile: Lilly Ko


Picture courtesy of Lilly Ko

Sophomore Lilly Ko does a vault at TJ Gymnastics’ most recent meet at Falls Church High School in Falls Church, VA on Dec. 7, 2015.

Millan Welman, Staff Writer

Sophomore Lilly Ko has been an active member of TJ Gymnastics for both her years at TJ. After starting in 5th grade, Ko put down the sport after injuries in middle school, but returned to it freshman year to compete for Jefferson.

What got you interested in gymnastics when you were younger?
I actually learned many of the floor moves that I use today when I was younger from watching YouTube. Even though I’ve moved to other events since then, it’s still something I do very often.

Is there a favorite event that you like to do?

Bars has always been my favorite events, especially uneven bars, even though I don’t go on the higher bars. I started mostly with floor gymnastics because I did not need equipment to do it, but once I began to do gymnastics seriously, I was able to take advantage of the equipment that was available to do bars.

What is your favorite aspect of the sport as a whole?
I’ve always found that I really enjoyed trying new skills, and working up to new levels of ability. A lot of gymnastics is trusting yourself. If you’re doing something like bars, for example, you have to tell yourself you aren’t going to fall, and have confidence in yourself. If you don’t commit to a skill, you will fall from lack of practice, or it just will not work for you.

Is there anything specific that you do in preparation for competitions?
Generally, during practices, we have people run through their routines, and then we get down to working on specifics parts of, for example, the floor routines, such as their dance, or connections such as tumbling. If the athlete is close to learning a new skill, our coaches will have us practice that skill, so we can make use of it at the next meet. This is what takes most of our time in the lead-up to competitions.

Are there any goals you have for gymnastics, both in and out of school?
Mostly, I’m focused on improving my skills, and trying to expand the variety of options I have for performances during competitions. There are two more difficult maneuvers in particular, the round off and back tuck, which I want to learn so I can use them in the next few years here.

TJ Gymnastics’ next meet will be on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA.