Be Present, Be Thankful, & Communicate with Jessica Lopez – Season 2 Episode 6

The Recap

Sam welcomes decorated gymnast, Jessica López. Jessica is an international gymnast who has represented her home country of Venezuela in three separate Olympic Games from 2008 through 2016. In 2016, she qualified for the uneven bars final, becoming the very first Venezuelan gymnast to do so. She also placed sixth in the all-around final, her country’s best all-around finish ever. She competed collegiately at the University of Denver from 2006 – 2009, earning five All-American honors across three NCAA national championship appearances. In total, she has won eighty-three individual titles during her career. Today, Jessica is a gymnastics coach at her alma mater, The University of Denver, and is mulling over the possibility of competing at a fourth Olympics!

In this episode, Sam and Jessica talk about Jessica’s incredible career as a gymnast, from the Elite and Olympic levels to the collegiate level. Jessica shares how she has managed to stay motivated throughout a career of such longevity. She also recounts the Olympic Games she competed in and the different challenges she faced in all three. She talks about her experience as a gymnast representing a smaller nation and the struggles she has faced as a result. Jessica discusses the reasons she chose to attend the University of Denver and how she acclimated to American culture and overcame language barriers along the way. Jessica talks about her career as a coach and gives insights into the progress of their current season. She talks about their ultimate goals for the season and in the coming years. Finally, Jessica gives sound advice to the audience on how they can improve each day by remaining present and thankful in every moment.

Episode Highlights

  • 00:57 – Sam thanks her sponsors, Tumbl Trak and Destira
  • 01:55 – Introducing today’s guest, Jessica López
  • 02:59 – Sam and Jessica recall early memories of their friendships
  • 04:40 – Jessica talks about her gymnastics beginnings
  • 06:21 – How she maintained her sanity during the process of three separate Olympics
  • 07:10 – Jessica discusses the differences between all three Olympic Games in which she competed
  • 10:15 – The struggles Jessica faced as the representative of a smaller nation
  • 11:04 – Why the Olympic Games in Rio were the hardest to train for
  • 12:07 – Jessica’s motivation to continue her gymnastics career into her thirties
  • 13:02 – How Jessica’s mindset influenced her training and conditioning
  • 14:28 – The ways Jessica matured the most throughout her gymnastics career
  • 15:52 – The importance of mental preparation in gymnastics
  • 17:57 – The most memorable Olympics for Jessica
  • 19:21 – How she prepared mentally for the Rio All-Around Final
  • 21:07 – What Jessica told herself before Bar Finals
  • 23:27 – Sam takes a moment to thank her sponsors once again
  • 24:44 – The reason Jessica chose to attend the University of Denver
  • 27:27 – How Jessica overcame the language barrier as a foreign student athlete
  • 28:35 – Jessica’s proudest accomplishments of her gymnastics career
  • 29:22 – The unique challenges of being an international gymnast on an American collegiate team
  • 30:48 – The differences between training as an international and collegiate athlete
  • 32:01 – Jessica’s favorite part of college gymnastics
  • 33:24 – What changed for Jessica in her junior year that led to her success
  • 34:35 – The confidence boost Jessica received after making the Olympics for the first time
  • 35:33 – Advice Jessica would give to young gymnasts about confidence
  • 36:52 – What she wishes she knew when she was younger
  • 38:03 – How strength and conditioning training differs from the Unites States to other countries
  • 40:20 – Jessica discusses her decision to return to her alma mater as a coach
  • 41:06 – Sam and Jessica discuss Denver’s early gymnastics success this season
  • 42:23 – Jessica’s favorite part about coaching
  • 43:14 – Jessica talks about the freshman class of gymnasts at the University of Denver
  • 44:43 – How Denver made the significant jump in performance from last season
  • 45:13 – Jessica identifies the leaders on the team
  • 45:39 – The goals for Denver’s gymnastics team this season
  • 46:47 – Jessica talks about the upcoming meet against Oklahoma
  • 48:48 – The transition from gymnast to coach
  • 50:03 – Jessica answers more fan questions
  • 51:32 – Jessica discusses her pending decision on the 2020 Olympic Games
  • 54:41 – Jessica reveals one thing people can do to get 1% better each day

Tweetable Quotes

Links Mentioned

Destira: Gymnastics Leotards & Accessories

Tumbl Trak: Gymnastic, Cheer, Dance, Martial Arts and Special Needs Equipment

Jessica’s Instagram

Jessica’s Twitter

Jessica’s Facebook

Connect with Sam

Sam on Instagram

BeamQueenBootcamp on Instagram

Sam on Twitter

Sam on Facebook

Podcast production and marketing provided by Fullcast.

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