Ask The Bruins Chat Wrap: Kristen Maloney
Feb. 25, 2004
Q: How have constant injuries changed your outlook as a person and as a gymnast? What are the implications of such injuries on your health after your gymnastics career? Keith (Chicago)
Well, my shin in the future should be fine (knock on wood right?!). I will always be more prone to getting stress fractures than someone who hasn't had what I have had. However, I think just from the years of pounding it's going to have an effect later on in life, maybe developing arthritis earlier, for example. Other than that I'm not real sure, and I'm not looking forward to finding out!
Q: Kristen, you are an inspiration to everyone. Was it mentally harder for you to train on your stress fracture all those years, or to not train while your tibia healed? Best of luck at nationals. :) Rachel (Davis, CA)
Q: I admire everything that you have done in the past and what you are doing in the present for the sport of gymnastics. What made you stay in the gym throughout all the injuries over the years? Katherine (Silverhill)
Q: I am about ready to come back from a long recovery from injury (ACL), and I was wondering how you dealt with the mental side of your comeback. I'm really excited, but still there is the fear issue. Any tips? Thanks so much, and I truly enjoy your gymnastics. Good Luck & God Bless! Elizabeth (Kingsport, TN)
A: Elizabeth, I am sorry about your knee! I totally understand where you are coming from. Just know that it is normal to have some fear coming back from an injury like that. Trust yourself, coaches, and trainers/ physical therapist first of all! Know that they won't let you do anything that you are not ready to do. Also, you know your body the best, so make sure you listen to what it is telling you and don't try and push through a lot of pain. However, don't get nervous if you get sore or have some pain because that is normal coming back from an injury, so just take it slow!
Q: I think that you were (and of course are) still one of the best gymnasts the U.S. has ever had. I was always impressed and entertained by your floor exercise. Since recovering from the leg injuries how has training for the floor changed and affected your performances? Wes (Grass Valley)
Q: Hi Kristen- I just saw your floor routine and I think it's really cool!! What's the name of your music? Jennifer (Plano, TX)
Q: Hey Kristen! You have been such an inspiration to me; I think you are an amazing gymnast! My question to you is, how does it feel being so successful with the Olympics and also UCLA? And do you think you are stronger now after having surgery? Oh and thanks for my autograph! My friend worked with you at IGC a few summers ago and got it for me because she knows you're one of my favorite gymnasts! Sarah (Northern NJ)
Well, I don't think I am stronger than before surgery, it's kind of hard to tell since it has been so long since I have been able to train. I feel almost as strong as I did when I first came to college. The only thing that is not as strong is my right leg (that is my "bad" leg, shin wise). I am continually gaining strength and am almost at full strength.
Q: Will you be competing next year for the Bruins, since you redshirted your sophomore year? Congratulations on an amazing comeback from injury!!! Melissa (Lafayette, IN)
Q: Hi Kristen- Congratulations on your strong comeback after injury. My question is, after the 2000 Olympics, did you ever want to pursue the 2004 Olympics? What made you choose the path you did? Amanda (Novi, Michigan)
I choose to come to UCLA because of the school's educational reputation. Gymnastics was the last thing I was looking at in a school. I wanted to go somewhere I could be happy and receive a good education at the same time. I have to admit that the warm California weather had some influence as well!
Q: How have you, an east coast girl, liked LA? I wonder, is the training and rehab easier or harder to do with all the sunshine? Stella (St. Louis)
Q: What is your major? What do you want to do after you graduate? Mary Lou (Plano)
Q: What was the first thing that went through your mind when you were selected for the Olympic team & the same when asked to join UCLA. I'm so glad you're feeling better. Daniel Mendoza (Fullerton, CA)
Q: I am 10 years old, and I am a level 8 gymnast at SCATS-Diamond Bar. How do you stay so focused on beam? Kaitlyn Clark (Alta Loma)
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