National Spotlight Series

Victoria Lopes & Emily Anderson

Best friends, training partners and now national champions. Victoria and Emily have worked hard to manage gymnastics with their education and social life, and it all came together at the recent Australian Championships, where they won gold in the Level 7 Intermediate Multiple event in Aerobic Gymnastics. 

Interview 

When did you first start gymnastics and why?

Victoria: I started aerobic gymnastics 5 years ago and I joined aerobics gymnastics for something different.
Emily: I started gymnastics 8 years ago, when there were signup sheets to join a club at my school. I didn’t really know what gymnastic aerobics was but my mum always told me to join a sport, so I would come out of my shell.

How often do you train?

Victoria & Emily: We train 3 times a week. 

Do you do any other sports or types of training?

Victoria: I race Go Karts with Karting Australia, outside of aerobics. People get quite confused considering Gymnastics and racing Karts are very different. 
Emily: I attend gym regularly, but I don’t have any other commitments.

Who is your gymnastics idol?

Victoria: Simone Biles is major idol but recently it’s been Anna Bullo which is a amazing Aerobic Gymnast from Italy. Emily and I are always watching her routines. 
Emily: Victoria and I are obsessed with Anna Bullo, she is an Italian gymnast, she is such a motivation as she competes internationally and is so talented.

What is the best experience you have had in the sport? 

Victoria: Best experience is obviously having making so many life long friends that I consider family. Everyone is so supportive and so encouraging making the sport so fun and enjoyable. 
Emily: The atmosphere at competition is always amazing, but national competitions are 100 times better. Going to nationals each year with my closest team mates is one of the best experiences I’ve had in the sport. I look forward to it every year, its just so fun to be together with your closet friends doing something we all love.

What was the best thing about National Championships 2019? 

Victoria: My best highlight was obviously winning Gold in the Pair with Emily and having to be on the top step wearing the NSW tracksuit is amazing.
Emily: Definitely winning gold in my pair division with Victoria, something I’m going to remember forever.

Who would you thank the most for helping achieve your goals at National Championships and why? 

Victoria: I would personally thank Emily. She’s one of my best friends and having to perform a pair with her makes training and competing so much fun, without her we wouldn’t be where we are now. We both go to school and training together, we are always by each others side no matter what. Juggling school work and aerobics can be hard sometimes and Emily is always positive and ready to take on anything. She helps me push through them tough training days on our individuals and pair routines, Emily is always so motivating and cheering me on. 
Emily: I would thank Victoria the most, because during the whole process preparing for nationals she always tried to remain positive and pushed me to be the best athlete I can. She always reminds me to be confident in myself and has supported me no matter what.

What is your goal for the next 12 months in Gymnastics?

Victoria: My goal is to just improve as much as I can.
Emily: My goal for the next 12 months is to perfect my routines and make them even better for the next competition season, but also to keep improving and trying new skills.

What has been the hardest thing to overcome so far in Gymnastics and how did you get through it?

Victoria: Hardest thing is having injuries. Experiencing a lower back strain was a hard stage throughout competition season, it was a challenge and having to have days off training was a concern for me.
Emily: Having anxiety and competing in the sport has definitely been a challenge, especially around competition season. The only way I have gotten through it was with the support of my team mates, family and coaches. They have helped me in every way possible. Its still a challenge that i still have to overcome but from the support I’ve been given and trying my best to remain positive in the sport has helped me through it.

What do you do outside of the gym? 

Victoria: Training 3 times a week is basically most of my time gone. The girls at KFF I train with are amazing and when we aren’t training we are always socialising outside of training.  However having working on school assignments and exams is a priority. On weekends rain hail or shine I am always at the Go Kart track no matter what.
Emily: I don't really have enough time in the week to completely devote my time to anything else but gymnastics, but with the rest of my time out of training, I always try to focus on school, and my education by reading a lot of books, but also spending time with my family.

What do you love about gymnastics?

Victoria: I love competing. Getting dressed into your leotards and having makeup all done up is a great feeling.  Attending nationals and wearing the New South Wales tracksuit is always a highlight. 
Emily: I love the fact that you can always improve and develop, no matter what level, you can always develop and be a better athlete. But it is also such a unique sport, and so expressive, there is room to be different and have a unique routine.


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