Freshman Paul Ruggeri
March 31, 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 in 2008.
In the tenth edition of the Illini Q & A, freshman Paul Ruggeri talks about his hobbies outside of the gym and his personal goals for the upcoming Big Ten Championship meet.
What are your hobbies outside of gymnastics?
"Back at home I used to go snowboarding in the winter. During the summer I loved going waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and kneeboarding. Basically, just anything that involves chilling in the sun. I like to relax."
In your bio it mentions that you enjoy art...Have you been able to continue that hobby?
"Since high school, I haven't really had the opportunity to do any art related projects, but it is definitely an outlet for me and something that I enjoy to do. Hopefully, by the time I'm done with school I will have a chance to take a painting class or two and get back into it. With gymnastics and school life can get crazy, but I'm learning to balance the two and when I have some time I would like to sit down and take up art again."
Talk a little bit about competing at the collegiate level and any differences then what you have experienced in the past...
"Back in club, I was pretty much the only one at my level, so I was going to meets where there wasn't much competition. Now wherever we go there is a high level of competition and even on the team there is a competitive drive, which is nice because its an experience and you can grow much more in this environment."
What is your favorite event to compete on?
"High bar, because it is fun. You can really relax and have fun, whereas on other events you have to muscle through."
What are your goals for Big Ten's and NCAA's?
"Just do the best that I can. At NCAA's I hope to qualify for USA Championships and maybe go to Olympic trials."