Jan. 23, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - by Blythe Lawrence, Gymnastics Examiner
It's been an unexpectedly busy couple of weeks for U.S. National team member Alex Buscaglia. When injuries caused Americans Chris Brooks and Sam Mikulak to withdraw from the London Test Event, Olympic hopefuls Buscaglia and Steven Legendre were named to take their places on short notice.
Legendre, a three-time World finalist on floor, went on to win the silver medal on vault. Though Buscaglia did not make any event finals, the 22-year-old Stanford alum is optimistic that his Olympic season has gotten off to a good start.
Here's a brief Q and A with Buscaglia from the Test Event:
Q: How did you feel about your overall experience at the Test Event?
Buscaglia: "This was my first time doing podium training and anything of this kind of caliber. I was in the Pan American Games but this was a first for me, for sure. And I was put in last week, so there wasn't that much time to mentally prepare. I was training routines and stuff, but to get mentally there was a little bit of, not a struggle, but a process. But I had a lot of fun tonight. It wasn't exactly the way I wanted it to go -- obviously I don't want to fall on anything -- but definitely it went in the right direction with where I want to be for this year and to qualify hopefully for the team this summer."
Q: You were a senior at Stanford last year. Where are you training now?
Buscaglia: "Still training at Stanford. I was thinking about moving somewhere else, but I'm currently living with an alumni from Stanford -- they're awesome people -- and I'm training off hours from the team. So early in the morning and still training with my assistant coach [and 2004 Olympic silver medalist] Brett McClure. He wasn't able to come to this meet, but he was giving me some lip [laughs] like, 'Enjoy London for me. See the Queen!'...So yeah, I had a lot of fun. I definitely can't be too upset with my performance here. First time out."
Q: How was the equipment here in London?
Buscaglia: "There's definitely some interesting things that happened here. Like, the vault, the board is a little bit weird, the floor is a little bit weird, and definitely on p-bars I think I got the short end of the stick there. I started chalking up the bar and I heard '15 seconds!' and I was like, 'What?!' [laughs] I was just happy I hit that routine with that kind of stress on it. I was ready to go and Mark [Williams] had already jumped off the podium and I was like, 'You have to pull my board! Hurry up and pull my board!' [laughs] So it was an experience, to say the least."
Q: Have you gotten to do any sightseeing in London yet?
Buscaglia: "We haven't done anything yet. We probably had the opportunity to do something on Friday, but we had taken the redeye Thursday night and were just like, 'we're tired.' Hopefully tomorrow sometime, so we'll see how that goes. And some of my friends are here! Crazily enough, one of my friends is teaching in Spain and the other one is traveling Europe right now, and they're both going to be here this week. So it's going to be some cool times."