Senior Marijka Botterman
Jan. 3, 2009
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this week's edition, senior Marijka Botterman talks about celebrating the holidays at Coach Bob's house, getting the chance to see some friendly faces in East Lansing, and the final days of practice leading up to the first meet.
Hello Illini Fans!
I hope you all had a warm Christmas and Happy New Year! It's winter break here on campus. Since the dorms are closed, the underclassmen are getting a taste of apartment life for these next few weeks. We had them move in with the upperclassmen because it's much more fun to have them living with us than at a hotel ten minutes away.
Bob and Lynnette invited the team over to their house for Christmas dinner and our annual gift exchange. Their kids, Haley and Claire, love it when the team comes over because it¡¦s like they have fourteen sisters to play with. We ate some of Mazza's famous lasagna and Lynnette's mostacholi and salad. After dinner we decorated sugar cookies for the holidays. (I think Amy's daughter, Jayda, won the decorating contest with the most sprinkles.) We had to wait to exchange gifts because we were so into the Illini vs. Purdue basketball game. The game had us on the edge of our seats as it went into overtime...thankfully we won! It was an exciting game to watch with the team because we were all cheering for our friends on the court. Finally, after we won the game, we opened presents. I think half of the girls got pajama pants because those always come in handy, especially on breaks like now. Laura got Kelsey some sunless tanning lotion to hopefully perk up her white legs...haha. Another funny present was Sarah getting vitamins and Kleenex. We all know that Sarah doesn't eat her veggies or take her vitamins, so it was a gag gift (she also got some gift cards to restaurants she likes on campus). Bob got a new outfit for our second annual appearance at the pink meet from Amy which was a pink dress shirt and tie. Bob also got a tie from Lashlee which says 'dom-I-nate' which is our motivational word for the season.
We are getting ready for our first meet against Michigan, Michigan State, and Western Michigan in East Lansing, Michigan on January 9th at 6pm. My club gym and coaches are coming to cheer us on because my sister is at Michigan and one of my former club teammates is at MSU so it will be a little family reunion for me.
With six more practices left to perfect our routines, the team is getting excited to compete. We have an intra-squad on Saturday with Judge Linda McDonald to run through the line-ups again. Season is almost here and the team is looking really good. We can't wait to get started!