|Photo belongs to Wyn Wiley|
Best known in the gymnastics world for her flawless triple twist and infectious smile, senior Emily Wong has been nothing less than a superstar for the University of Nebraska. Not many gymnasts can say they've accomplished as much as Emily has in the last few years and by the time her career is complete, she will proudly be able to say she was one of the greatest Nebraska gymnasts of all time! Currently, she's an eight-time All-American, a two-time Big 10 All Around Champion, an honor roll student (with a 3.9 GPA!), and has collected four Big 10 event titles in her career so far- just to name a few of her many accomplishments. "I've gotten so much better as a gymnast since I have been at Nebraska." Wong told us. "The coaching staff has been amazing and has helped me with my confidence and believing in myself." Wong attributes much of her individual success to her teammates. "In club, it was usually about yourself and I never liked that. Now that I have a team, I am doing it for them and it motivates me so much more. I want to improve for them!" she said. Emily has been a part of a conference championship winning team since her freshman year when Nebraska won the Big 12 Championships during their last year in that conference. Since joining the Big 10, Emily and her teammates have won the last two championship titles- something that she is very proud of. Emily is also happy that everyone on the team had a chance to compete at least once this year. "All twelve of our girls on the team were in a leotard and got to compete at one meet. Since I have been here that has never happened and it was amazing and so exciting to see everyone out on the floor doing what we all love!"
|Photo belongs to David Drufke|
Aside from her gymnastics, Emily's personality has also made her a fan favorite. Inside the gym, she describes herself as hard-working, very competitive, and a perfectionist; which is evident when you watch her compete. Outside the gym she says she's easygoing, outgoing, and friendly. "I'm a very happy person and usually always have a smile on my face," she said. That smile even shows during the hardest of times.
|Photo belongs to Travis Shafer|
Just a few months ago Emily's father suffered from a stroke and passed away. While many would let emotions get the best of them, Emily has used her father's death as her incentive going into her final season. "This season is for him. I want to make him proud and it really motivates me to work hard in the gym and in meets," Wong said. Though she has been competing with a heavy heart, Emily can always be seen with a smile on her face. "He was my biggest fan and it's definitely a big change not having him at meets or seeing his face every weekend. It has been hard this whole season, but I try not to ever let it show." Emily notes that her teammates play a big part in lifting her spirits when she's feeling down. "My team has definitely been here for me through it all and I can always count on them to brighten my day when it's a tough day." Emily keeps a picture of her dad in her gym bag to remind herself that he is still with her. "He is probably still my loudest fan!" she added. With her father looking down on her, Emily has gone undefeated in the all around and on floor in all eight meets so far this season. Additionally she has collected twenty seven event titles, three Big 10 Gymnast of the Week titles, and has been ranked #4 in the all around nationally for most of the season.
|Photo belongs to Emily Wong|
Coming into her final season, Emily's personal goal was to improve from last year and become a better leader for the team. So far, she feels like she has done that. "I believe that I have become a better gymnast. Working hard over the summer and preseason- mainly on my form and my skills has helped. I have also become more vocal as a leader and try to show by example. I want to be the best leader I can be for my team to help achieve all our goals." she said. The team's goal this year is to defend their Big 10 title for the third consecutive year, which is very plausible. Depending on how things play out for the Cornhuskers in the post season, Emily would love for her team to win their first National Championship. If she could end her career in any way, that is how she wants to do it. As the end of the regular season is quickly approaching, it's safe to assume Emily will be a threat for the all around title at Championships this year as well as a few event titles.
|Photo belongs to huskers.com|
After gymnastics, Emily plans to apply for physical therapy school and hopefully become a pediatric physical therapist someday. Since she doesn't graduate until December, Emily would also like to stick around and help out with the gymnastics team next season.
Fun fact: Emily kept the second part of her floor routine the same as last year because she thinks the music and dance is catchy and she loves that she can smile the whole way through!
Thank you Emily! We wish you all the best!