Youth Olympics Morgan Turner Interview
Five softly-spoken, yet confident, young women are ready for the tough challenge of competing in rhythmic gymnastics at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in August, 2010, in Singapore.
Soriah MacLean, Fotini Panselinos, Morgan Turner and Summer Walker of Sydney will compete in the group event and Taylor Tirahardjo from Melbourne will contest the individual All-Around, against the top young rhythmic gymnasts in the world.
Rhythmic gymnastics is taking place on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th August at the Bishan Sports Hall, which is located just outside of the Singapore central business district. .
Rhythmic Gymnastic Team for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games:
Taylor Tirahardjo (15, VIC - Individual)
Morgan Turner (15, NSW - Group)
Soriah MacLean (15, NSW - Group)
Fotini Panselinos (15, NSW - Group)
Summer Walker (15, NSW - Group)
Visit: www.olympics.com.au for all the latest on the Australian Team at the Youth Olympics.
Interview with Morgan Turner
Morgan Turner is the captain of the AUS rhythmic gymnastics team for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
When did you first begin Rhythmic Gymnastics?
Morgan Turner: I first started in 2002. It began when a coach came to my school and she asked a couple of girls who wanted to try out for gymnastics to come down into the hall. We did a few things and then she asked me if I wanted to come to the gym and continue on with gymnastics. I said yes.
Do you remember what originally inspired you to begin Rhythmic Gymnastics?
Morgan Turner: Firstly I did it because a couple of my friends were going and I thought it would be fun to go and do it with my friends. Then, when I got to the gym I thought this is really good and I was very excited to begin.
Can you talk about your training in terms of how long you train for and what a training session involves?
Morgan Turner: At the moment I am training six days a week. On weekdays I train for four hours after school and on the weekend I train for about six-seven hours. Usually in a training session we all get there and I do warm-ups, strength work and then we go into routines. I do a lot of routines so I can get better over time.
You are the team captain for the Australia Rhythmic Gymnastics team, what does that position involve?
Morgan Turner: When we warm up, I count so we are all in unison. I also suggest what we practice, now.
How did you receive the position of team captain?
Morgan Turner: Our group had a nomination, via vote.
You are a Rhythmic Gymnast; have you ever tried Artistic Gymnastics?
Morgan Turner: I have never really tried Artistic Gymnastics before; I have mainly stuck with Rhythmic Gymnastics.
What process did you have to follow to represent Australia at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore?
Morgan Turner: We had to try out at the trials in Melbourne, at the beginning of this year and then my team got through and we got the qualifying mark to represent Australia.
Leading up the competition, what processes in terms of training, food and team work will you have to follow?
Morgan Turner: As a team we are working together to support each other, so we can always help each other out. In terms of food we are continuing to eat healthy foods, which is what we do anyways.
Can you tell us about your leotard and your appearance for the Youth Olympic Games?
Morgan Turner: We have two new leotards to wear, we have just got them and they look very good and we are all very excited to wear them. One is black and silver and the other is red with a little bit of black. We wear our hair in a bun.
Do you have a favourite: ribbon, hoop, ball or club?
Morgan Turner: I really love our ribbon routine. It is really good and I just love doing it.
What colour is your ribbon?
Morgan Turner: Our ribbon, at the moment, is red and black.
Which section do you find, on average, you score highest in?
Morgan Turner: We normally score highest in our hoop routine.
Can you talk about the difficulties involved in performing in the 'group' category?
Morgan Turner: It is very difficult to compete in a group category as you have to be in unison all the time and if you're not in unison you get a deduction, it is really difficult to watch everyone around you and concentrate on yourself as well. You just have watch each other and ensure you are in time with them, so you do not receive a deduction.
Are you family coming with you to Singapore?
Morgan Turner: Yes, my Mum, Dad and my two brothers are coming.
What are your goals for the future in terms of Rhythmic Gymnastics?
Morgan Turner: I really hope that I can, one day, get to the Olympic Games, whether it is 2012 or the following. I hope that at this years Youth Olympic Games we can do our best.
Are you friends excited that you are going the Youth Olympic Games? What do they think of your heavy training schedule?
Morgan Turner: They understand now, because I have been doing it for such a long time. They understand that I have to train six days a week and they are all very supportive of me. They are excited that I am going to Singapore.
I am very excited too, I cannot wait. I am looking forward to going out there and competing on the floor and doing our best. I am really excited to be going.
How can Australians watch your performances at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore?
Morgan Turner: On Foxtel there is a sports channel dedicated to the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
Photo 1, Left to Right: Soriah MacLean, Morgan Turner, Summer Walker and Fotini Panselinos
Photo 2, Left to Right: Soriah MacLean, Morgan Turner, Delia Halmu (Coach), Fotini Panselinos and Summer Walker
Interview by Brooke Hunter