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Name: Shallon Olsen
DOB: July 10, 2000 (Senior in 2016)
Gym: Omega Gymnastics Academy
Coaches: Svetlana Lashina & Vladimir Lashin
With a Double Twisting Yurchenko, a Full In floor mount and a beautiful piked Jaeger, one would expect Shallon Olsen to be a seasoned veteran rather than a mere 11 year old from Canada.
After starting at a YMCA at age 3, Shallon was a natural at the sport, reaching "novice elite" status by 8. When she made her international debut in Belgium last fall, Shallon quietly seized the attention of fans all over the world for her fantastic Double Twisting Yurchenko.
To my knowledge, the youngest girl in the USA to perform a Double Twisting Yurchenko on an Elite stage was Lexie Priessman in 2009 who had turned 12 the previous January. Shallon first competed the vault at age 10, in a field where she was one of the youngest.
If her vault (for some bizarre reason) doesn't impress you, check out this floor routine that looks like GAGE choreography met CGA tumbling & music.
Here are a few questions to help us get to know Shallon a little bit better...
What do you see as your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
"My greatest strength is my ability to focus and be mentally tough. My greatest weakness is that I get very frustrated when I can't do something."
Who's a gymnast who you look up to?
"My favorite gymnasts are Jordyn Wieber and Aliya Mustafina and I admire both of them."
Can you tell us about a funny/embarrassing moment you've had in gymnastics?
"I pulled a wedgie in my beam routine [and got a] deduction. When I got off, my coach was imitating me in an exaggerated fashion. ... It got captured on film!"