Feb. 15, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. -
As an introduction to this year's freshman class, gostanford.com will present an interview with a different Stanford men's gymnastics freshman each Friday. This week, gostanford.com profiles Kevin Baker.
Baker has competed in all three meets this season in multiple events. As an introduction to this year's freshman class, gostanford.com will present an interview with a different Stanford men's gymnastics freshman each Friday.
Q: How is your first year at Stanford going so far?
A: My first year at Stanford is going well. It was difficult to adjust to the lifestyle of a student-athlete at first, but I have learned how to manage my time. The students and faculty here are great. I have met so many amazing people. Overall, Stanford is a fantastic environment. I love it here.
Q: How has your time been with the Stanford gymnastics team?
A: I could not pick a better group of guys to be on a team with. The Stanford gymnastics team is everything I could ever want out of a team and more. Everyone does their best to support everyone else and the atmosphere this creates in the gym makes it a great place to work out. The outstanding coaching staff also plays a big role in making this happen.
Q: What role have the other freshmen played in your transition to the college life?
A: The other freshmen have played a huge role in my transition to the college life. Some of my closest friends that I have made since being at Stanford are the freshman on the gymnastics team, and we spend a lot of time together, both in and out of the gym. My life here at Stanford would be a lot different without them.
Q: You've competed in all three meets for Stanford this season, what's that experience been like?
A: Competing on a college team is much different than anything I have experienced in the past. It is exhilarating to have a team of 18 other guys behind you cheering you on while you do your routine. I have had more fun in all three competitions this year than any other competition in my life.
Q: What are your expectations for the team this year, both short and long term?
A: Everyone on the team is working towards winning a national championship this year. That is the main priority and while there are several short-term goals we have, such as winning other competitions such as the Big Flip Off this weekend, we just view these as stepping stones to reaching the main goal of Stanford becoming the 2013 NCAA champions.
Q: What are your personal goals this year?
A: My personal goal this year is to do everything I can to help Stanford win a national championship. I will be perfectly happy at the end of the season if the only award I walk away with is the team championship.
Q: Is there a special or unique moment this season with Stanford gymnastics that stands out to you?
A: The Stanford Open this year really stood out to me. The energy in the arena that night, both from the crowd and from the Stanford team, was amazing. We had a great meet and I think we really came together as a team that night. Seeing all the hard work we have been putting in pay off was a great feeling and the confidence gained from that has transferred into recent training.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time outside of the gym?
A: I enjoy doing pretty regular college things when I'm not in the gym. I listen to a lot of music and really like just hanging out with friends and relaxing. I try not to think about gymnastics too much when I'm outside of the gym and just do my best to enjoy my time as a college student.