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" My parents enrolled me in a gymnastics class when I was three years old, and I just was drawn to gymnastics. I loved it. It was my playground, and I could run around and be free there. "
" My parents didn't know anything about collegiate scholarships, so they had accepted the national team training stipend, the monthly stipend that I received after making the national team, so I was ineligible for NCAA eligibility anyway. "
" I prayed a lot. That's all I had in the gym; that was the thing I could turn to. "
" Since my mother is an extremely devoted Christian Orthodox woman, she prayed a great deal and taught me how to pray. "
" Gymnastics is the greatest sport in the world, and one of the hardest, but we have to watch out for domineering male figures who try to belittle and scream at young girls. "
" In football, you're dealing with grown men. In gymnastics, you're dealing with prepubescent teenage girls. There's a huge difference. At that age, you're not confident enough to have a voice. "
" I never, ever objected to hard work. "
" I loved gymnastics. I was eager to compete. I was hungry to go out there and be the best in the world, and I had that determination. "
" I believe you can be young and compete in gymnastics if you have a coach who is looking out for you and if there is a good gym environment where the coaches are taking care of you emotionally and physically. "
" I got injured at the Olympic Trials in 2000. I could not jump. I could not walk on my leg properly. I couldn't bend my knee. I couldn't straighten it. "
" I was able to represent my country and put on the red, white, and blue - how many people in the world get to do that? Standing on the podium with my teammates, and being the first women's gymnastics team to win this gold medal, it was life-changing! "
" I was awkward-looking with huge brown eyes, dark brown, pencil-straight hair styled into an old-school Romanian bowl haircut from the 1980s. And I was very, very small. I was always the tiniest kid on my street and in my classes at school... The gym was the one place I didn't have to worry about feeling awkward for being so petite. "
" I had this sister that was born who was given up for adoption, and I never knew it. "
" My mom always knew I would be able to take care of myself, but my dad was afraid. "
" In my very first interview, at nine years old, I said I wanted to be an Olympic gold medalist. That was the first time I said it out loud in front of somebody other than my parents. "
" I don't mind sacrifice. I don't mind discipline. But a good coach allows people to blossom. I've seen that. I didn't have it. "
" Some coaches are not educated at the elite level in health and nutrition. They're not educated in how the body works from anatomy and physiology perspectives. "
" I realized I was the one doing all the training, earning the money, and my parents were living off of me. "
" We need to educate our elite coaches more and have a better approach to teaching the athletes about how to be healthy rather than berate them, humiliate them, use tactics that could scar them for life. "
" My father wasn't allowing me control and the financial freedom that I was asking for. I was 17, about to be 18 within a year, so I started asking more questions because I felt that I needed to start learning about those things. "
" I have a secret sibling that I never knew existed and who was given up for adoption at birth by my parents, and she was born without legs. "
" I learned to take those experiences that were difficult in my life and in the adversity that I had overcome to use it for a positive change. "
" I certainly believe that having my husband be in my life has been a tremendous blessing. "
" I was very hungry to compete internationally when I was 10 years old, and I was good enough to compete, so that part never made me afraid or worried at all. When I was at my peak, around 12 and 13, I won my junior national and senior national titles back to back. "
" Gymnastics was my calling. I think it chose me in a lot of ways. "