For Riley McCusker, a new beginning in gymnastics has meant a new beginning.
Is Riley Mccusker Going To The Olympics
The 19-year-old is intending to compete in at least two events at the Winter Cup (26-28 February in Indianapolis), her first competition since the U.S. Championships in August 2019.
Since it has been so long and I have had so much time in the gym to train and just develop, I think it is almost like going out there with a blank slate, just starting over basically,” McCusker said in an exclusive interview with Olympic Channel earlier this week.
I can’t wait for this meeting,” she gushed. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do really well; I just miss being on the court.
McCusker has stated that she will compete on the uneven bars and balancing beam, while her other events are still up in the air.
I’ve recently rediscovered gymnastics and am in love with it. Every day at the gym is a source of great joy for me. I’m very appreciative that I was able to stay in Arizona for an extra year to complete my training. That sport makes me so joyful, and I’m really grateful to be here. That, to my mind, is the most significant distinction. A Response to Riley McCusker
A Look at Riley McCusker And His Many Transitions
Things have shifted drastically for McCusker since August of this year. In the weeks following those nationals, she was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, an illness that causes muscle tissue breakdown, and had to withdraw from the camp that would select the gymnasts for the U.S. women’s squad at the World Championships.
Then, in early 2020, charges of emotional and verbal abuse regarding McCusker’s instructor Maggie Haney began to surface. In February, McCusker went to Arizona to train with her buddy and teammate on the U.S. national team, Jade Carey.
When Jade reached out to me, I didn’t know where my life would take me. “We’ve been friends since the beginning of time,” McCusker said. It’s like she’s saying, ‘Why don’t you come to my gym?'” And there I was, like, “Arizona? Ok.’
Before departing, I had a conversation with my new coach, Brian Carey, the night before I was to leave and asked if I may come in the following day. The conversation with him took place at six o’clock that evening, and by seven o’clock the next morning, I was on a plane. Since then, I haven’t left.”
“Gymnastics Has Reignited My Passion for the Sport For Me.”
Since the Olympics have been postponed until 2021 because to the COVID-19 epidemic, this change has been good for McCusker’s gymnastics and his self-esteem.
McCusker, a broad grin spreading across her face, declared, “I love gymnastics again.” Every day at the gym is a source of great joy for me. I’m very appreciative that I was able to stay in Arizona for an extra year to complete my training. That sport makes me so joyful, and I’m really grateful to be here. That, to my mind, is the most significant distinction.
However, when the news that the Olympics would be delayed finally came down, McCusker had a moment of uncertainty.
I remember thinking, ‘Do I just go to college? I am at a loss for words. She recalls thinking, “I don’t know whether I can last in this sport another year. “But finally, I opted to stay. And it’s been the best decision of my life.”
That Decision And Her Restored Love are Mirrored in Her Gymnastics.
McCusker says she’s been working on new parts for her floor routine and has revised her bars dismount (“My other dismount used to stress me out so terribly, but I feel really happy about this one.”) and discovered confidence on vault, an apparatus she says she used to strive to avoid at all costs.
“My vault has improved so much, and I used to be so frightened of vault every time I went,” explained McCusker. Avoiding vault is a recommendation of mine. My thought would be, “Can we simply vault last?” Previously, I would try to avoid vault, but now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, I’m intrigued by the possibilities.