Freshman Roger Pasek
Feb. 11, 2008
Throughout the 2008 season, Illinois gymnasts will walk Illini fans through the entire season, giving in depth looks into the team and the season, while also giving gymnastics enthusiasts a closer look into the six different events that make up a gymnastics meet. Overall, the Illini, who have finished in the top five at NCAA Championships the last five straight years, hope to give Orange and Blue fans an exciting ride through the 2008 season as they vie for the programs 10th national title this season.
In the fourth edition of the Illini Weekly Q & A, freshman Roger Pasek talks about the adjustment from high school to college and what he has to look forward to this season.
What's the difference between competing at the high school level and at the college level of gymnastics?
"In high school, I competed at the individual level and then in college its much more of a team sport, obviously. You have a lot of people with you all of the time and the skill level is insanely different. College gymnastics is more intense, the skills that everyone is doing is way harder, but at the same time it's a lot more fun."
What do you enjoy most about gymnastics?
"When I perform on floor. The fact that a lot of people don't do it, it sets you apart from others. It's just a fun sport in general, just being able to do the stuff that we do. Its awesome to show that off and be able to do stuff that a lot of other people can't do."
What do you like most about floor?
"It's just fun, flying through the air. It's my best event and I work on it the most, so it all comes together."
How do you prepare before each meet?
"I like to just listen to music, mostly classic rock but really anything that's on my Ipod. I just try to keep my mind off the meet so I'm not nervous all day. I try to eat good, all the normal things to prepare for competitions."
What are you looking forward to this season?
"NCAA's. I really want to go to NCAA's. Everybody says that it's awesome and a lot of fun and just being able to be on an NCAA team is just going to be incredible and I can't wait for that opportunity."
What do you like most about the team?
"The fact that we all get along so well. All of personalities go well with each other. There's nobody on the team that gets singled out. Everybody gets along great. I feel like I can talk to any of the guys about everything, we're really like a family."
What are some interesting facts about yourself that others don't know about?
"My twin brother plays football at the collegiate level in Wisconsin, that's probably the most surprising thing. Other than that, I'm a big nerd. I love video games. I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan. A lot of people don't expect me to be a big geek."