As the USA gymnasts begin the Worlds Selection Camp at the ranch, Full Twist contributor Anna Rose Johnson shares her conversation with Felicia Hano before she departed for Texas.
Felicia Hano is a rising star in U.S. gymnastics. She began gymnastics at age three and was originally a trampoline and tumbling gymnast at West Coast Elite Gymnastics. Felicia was one of the best in her discipline, winning a silver medal in Double Mini-Trampoline at the 2009 World Age Group T&T Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. “It was pretty easy making the transition into artistic gymnastics because I was simultaneously doing both T&T and artistic for about 2 years,” Felicia told Full Twist. “It was nice being able to focus on artistic gymnastics.”
Felicia followed her T&T success with an amazing Level 10 career in artistic gymnastics. Her accolades included competing at two Nastia Liukin Cups and winning back-to-back all-around titles at the J.O. National Championships in 2012-13. Once she qualified elite, Felicia became one of the top juniors in the United States, finishing seventh on vault at the 2013 Secret Classic.
In January 2014, Felicia decided to make another change—this time, switching to Gym-Max, where 2012 Olympic Champion Kyla Ross trains. “It is amazing being able to call Kyla not only my teammate, but also one of my best friends,” said Felicia. “She helps motivate me to be a better gymnast and is always there when I need her.”
In her first competition of the summer season, Felicia finished seventh on floor exercise at the Secret U.S. Classic on August 2nd. She followed up her performance with a strong outing at the P&G Championships, tying for 9th on balance beam and 7th on floor exercise. “This year I went into Championships a lot more confident, and with a stronger mindset,” Felicia noted. “My goal was to hit all my routines and to have fun while doing it!”
On August 24th, Felicia was named to the U.S. National Team and received her first artistic international assignment, the Pan American Championships. “It was an incredible feeling being named to the Pan Am Team!” said Felicia. “I was so honored to be able to wear USA on my chest.”She headed to Toronto, Canada with her teammates Madison Desch, Amelia Hundley, Madison Kocian, Ashton Locklear, Maggie Nichols, and MyKayla Skinner. “Training went really well!” Felicia remarked. “Overall, it was a lot fun working with other countries, and getting to know the other competitors.”
The USA came away with the team gold medal by 6.75 points. “Unfortunately, I was unable to compete because I was the alternate,” said Felicia. “But it was a great learning experience. I was so proud of the team and all they accomplished!”
Now Felicia is preparing for the next step in her gymnastics journey: the World Championships selection camp, which will begin on September 15th. “My goals for world selection camp are to hit all my routines and show the selection committee that I’m a contender for Worlds, and for future international assignments,” Felicia told us. The U.S. women’s World team will be announced on the 17th.
Felicia’s countless fans will be rooting for her to make the World team. In Part 2, we’ll talk with Felicia after the World selection to discuss her experiences at camp—stay tuned!
Special thanks to Felicia for chatting with Full Twist!
Image via USAG on Facebook