Brittany Rogers: Keep The Dream Alive Part 2

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Brittany Rogers performing "The Rogers"
Credit: All Flipped Out


Part 2 of an interview with Brittany Rogers. Here, she talks about her time at UGA and her goals for the future. Read Part 1 here.

So, what's the team like at Georgia?
Oh my gosh! I've never felt more connected to a group of girls before besides my teammates at home. You hear stories about people saying, "Oh, yeah, we're like a sisterhood." No, we're a legitimate family, especially coming in the winter. It's hard to put yourself out there in front of 14 other girls but they accepted me and I accepted them through thick and thin. Literally, we're like a pack. It's so cool.

Was it hard coming in January?
It was challenging because I was thrown at so many different things - I had been out of school for a year and a half, being away from home and having to live with people I didn't know. Those little things were challenging but .. it's just non-stop. I don't think you have time to realize how much you're adjusting to. I think that helped me adjust quicker because I had to adjust. I wanted to so it was all fun. The 4 freshman are in an apartment style dorm room - 4 separate rooms, with a kitchen, common area... We're super spoiled. Next year, I'm rooming with one of my classmates so we're branching off to 2 and 2.

What's it like being back on the 10.0 scale?
I didn't know what a good score was. Obviously, perfect 10 is what you aim for. It's like elite too - is 14 good, is 15 good? It took a while to adjust but then you realize, let's shoot for 9.9. 9.9 was always in the back of my mind and a 10 would be nice. It's hard not to think about the outcome score because it is quite different than what I'm used to. I just did my thing and see how it turned out.

How was it adjusting your routines for NCAA?
It's a lot easier than let's say, going from college to elite. I have like 3 skills in my bar routine. I was a little iffy to the fact that I had to downgrade because I don't like to downgrade because I know what I can do and what I had done in the past. I know that it's the right amount for college and that's exactly what they need so I'll do what they need. I'm still working on elite routines to keep it up, because I don't think I'm done with elite yet.

How was it adjusting to a group of girls cheering you on and running down the vault runway to congratulate you?
I talked to my coach a few times because I don't know if I can handle that because it's just so much cheering! With elite it's, like I said, poker face, and you can't act like you're happy for someone even if they're your teammate. It's hard to act genuinely happy. But in college they're all happy for you and you know that they're happy so that totally helps when you see them all smile and know that you did a good job no matter what running down. At first I was like, "No no no no, don't do that!" It's like this swarm of heat coming towards me. Afterwards, it was so cool.

So, I know you love Miley Cyrus and got to have her music in your floor exercise. Could you talk about that?
It was so hard, oh my goodness! I cannot give enough credit to floor routines in collegiate gymnastics. You're trying to have fun, and concentrate, and bounce around every 3 seconds. It is intense! I think we, me and Russell, the choreographer, finished it in 2 days and I could not get it for the life of me. That's why it took me so long to get into the floor lineup because I would just die at the end of my routine because it was so hard! I'm not a big floor person and had very moderate routines, especially the ones at Nationals. They were very slow because I liked to take my time and liked to breathe. This was definitely one of the biggest adjustments but Miley incorporated definitely helped!

Brittany scores a 9.9 on FX


What was NCAA Nationals like for you considering the history and the reputation that Georgia has?
I actually didn't know they hadn't qualified to Super Six since we'd won Nationals. It was kind of like a replay of the Olympics. Like, we hadn't made finals in so long or ever for Canada. It was really cool being a part of that and just knowing that you made the next step into our ultimate goal, winning NCAA Championships. It was nice getting our foot in the door and showed everyone that we're back on track. It was cool to be a part of that time because it was the first time seniors had made the Super Six so it was a super emotionally tearful that day.

What was the atmosphere like?
Honestly, I thought there would be a lot more people in the stands. There were a lot of Gerogia fans, I think we had 30 people there. I'm basing everything on the Olympics, with 20,000 people in the stands. Home meets for me have 10,000 people. It's nothing compared to that but we bring our own atmosphere and our own cheering section. You know that your teammates are always gonna cheer for you. You don't really concentrate on that anyway because you're in the middle of flipping around.

Could you talk about Super Six?
We went in there with nothing to lose. I think we doubted ourselves a little because we'd never been there before, no one on the team had and didn't know what to expect. I think we learned from that and learned for next year. We are a talented team if we can get into the Super Six so we're going to take that and run with it. I think we did a really great job considering it all. You learn from your mistakes and take them and build them for a better team next year.

Do you hope to do the all around next year?
That's definitely the goal. Coming into college, I wanted to do AA but with that deathly floor routine it took a while. Plus, I'll be training with the girls in the fall so I'll know what I need to work on to get into the AA lineup this time.

Could you talk about competing the Rogers in front of an NCAA crowd?
Another thing people say, "Are you the girls that does the weird things on the beam?" Uh, yeah, that's me! Literally, when I do that, and stop, I'm smiling, literally, in handstand because of the reaction from the crowd and how in awe they are. That is my favorite thing to do. It's also the most nerve wracking thing to do because I don't wanna screw it up.  "Oh, that girl tried that weird thing and screwed it up." I do not want that to happen! It's cool that it pays off and the crowd is just ... in awe.

So, are you thinking of doing elite again?
Again, I don't feel finished. I don't feel done with elite. I think because I took that year off of competing at all because of my foot, I feel like I still have so much more to give. I think I've learned the meaning of team now and I just want to be able to help Team Canada out again because we've had so much success in the past and I just feel like my bodies not... you know, not 20 years old yet. It's still wanting to learn new tricks. I've been doing those skills on bars and working new tricks on beam and working on my tumbling. I just want to do more. I was going to compete at Nationals in Canada but I think I kinda pushed myself a little bit too hard. I think my boides just worn and torn right now. I'm gonna give it another year and hopefully try again for 2014 Nationals and see where that takes me.

So we're looking at Worlds 2014 and Rio 2016 is not ruled out?
Oh, Rio is definitely not ruled out! I think Rio is my ultimate goal. If I could help at a World Championships, then I would absolutely love that. If they need me on vault and bars, then I will go for vault and bars. I'm gonna train everything but, again, if they don't have as much depth as they did then I will certainly step in and help them out if they need me.




What have been the highlights of your career?
My freshman year - probably winning beam and bars title at SEC. Especially sharing it with Shayla [Worley] on beam. Shayla is literally my idol and growing up, that's who I - her, Nastia [Liukin], and Shawn [Johnson], that's who I idolized. Having her by my side and being able to share a title with her was pretty sweet.
Gymnastics career - definitely the vault finals. I mean, it's unreal to me still. If you could see my face right now, it's scrunched up and one eyes shut. "Like, what?! Did I really?!"

Brittany winning the beam title at SEC Championships with a 9.95. The Rogers at 0:30




Who are your role models in and out of the sport?
In the sport - Nastia, Shawn, and Shayla. I don't know - the whole American team is unreal and amazing. One fellow Canadian, Kate Richardson, who has the best ever finish for Canada in the all around. She came from my curent coach, David Kenwright, and she's just honestly, one of the sweetest girls I've ever met and an amazing athlete and I've always looked up to her. Outside of gymnastics - Terry Fox. He was a Canadian hero. No one in America has ever heard of him. He lost his leg to cancer and ran across Canada to raise money for cancer. I've always been inspired to do more because of what he's done and how he's helped, and how he's so selfless. That's my goal, to be selfless in life, I guess you could say.

What's it like being a Canadian gymnast interested in NCAA?
Georgia was the only school I looked at because it wasn't always a dream of mine, getting a scholarship, because it's kind of rare for Candians to come to school. It wasn't always "Yeah, I'm training for a scholarship" it was "I'm training for the Olympics" and if a scholarship knocks on my door, I'd take it and run with it because that's an amazing opportunity. But I get a lot of questions from other athletes and other students like, "Why are you here? What are you doing? Why Georgia?" Once you experience it, you're just like "Wow, this is incredible." You're getting your post-secondary tuition paid for and you get to do a sport you love. I would encourage it to anyone in the world to do NCAA.

In the US, a lot of athletes become professional and give up their NCAA eligibility. What's it like for a Canadian athlete in terms of becoming a professional athlete?
I know we had a very low budget going into the Olympics for Canada. I don't think that anyone can even come close to being professional because, again, gymnastics isn't a very well known sport in Canada and we don't get the publicity and stuff that Americans do. Like American gymnasts can't go outside without being swarmed but we can walk around and nothing even happens. It's totally different so I don't think it would be beneficial for someone to accept money because it wouldn't be very much and it wouldn't add up to the amount that we get for scholarship.

Blitz
favorite event - bars
least favorite - depends on the day, varies between beam and floor. Probably floor
skill that took you the longest to learn - yurchenko double twist on VT
favorite TV show - Friends
favorite song of the moment - ooh, I'm so into country right now! That's hard. I guess, country the genre.
favorite movie - Bridesmaids
last movie you watched - Safe Haven
most embarrassing gymnastics moment - I think I was 10 maybe and I hit my head on the vault. I was doing a Yurchenko 1.5 and I came under too short and hit my head on the vault and got knocked out. So that was a little bit embarassing. Got like a whole black eye from that. That was good...
proudest gymnastics moment - representing my country at the Olympics
travel anywhere - probably Australia again. I loved Australia. I think it resembles Vancouver a lot but it's a lot warmer and a lot more tropical which helps because you're not in downpour rain all the time. The people are super nice and it's a nice place!
celebrity crush - ooh. umm. Am I allowed to say Miley Cyrus? [APF: Yes, of course!]
guilty pleasure - cupcakes. I have this day that I just spend going shopping, getting a cupcake and sitting on the beach and I devote my day to that.
sport other than gymnastics - oh my gosh! You know, I'm not very athletic. I have poor coordination and I actually don't even like sports. I think I'd be an actress or be in performing arts. That's what I want to do after I graduate.
songs on workout playlist - Party in the USA, umm, Miley pretty much

Winter or summer? summer
Ocean or mountains? ocean
Tea or coffee? coffee
High heels or flats? High heels
Justin Timberlake or Justin Bieber? Bieber!!
Jennifer Anniston or Jennifer Lawrence? Jennifer Anniston
Hunger Games or Harry Potter? Hunger Games, I don’t like Harry Potter

Anything else you wanted to share to your fans or young gymnasts who look up to you?
It's so cool that I'm looked up to, I don't realize that. I think just keep the dream alive, that's what I did. Never give up, no matter what's thrown your way. There's going to be very many things thrown your way that you don't want thrown your way but just keep a straight face at what you want and go after it.

Thank you so much for the interview, Brittany, and best of luck in the future!

Follow Brittany on twitter: @brittyrogers

2 comments :

  1. Great interview. What a pity that Brit isn't on the Universiade team!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think she's resting and healing this summer after a busy Olympic and freshman year but maybe we'll see her do a few elite meets next summer.

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