Athlete of the Week Q & A: Lyanda Dudley
Each week, BRSN sits down for a Q & A session with the Athlete of the Week. This week, we caught up with sophomore gymnast Lyanda Dudley following her outstanding season in order to qualify for the Morgantown Regional on Saturday in West Virginia.
BRSN: Can you walk us through your mindset throughout the season? How did you achieve this greatness?
LD: Be normal. This is one of our team’s favorite phrases and nicely sums up our mindset going into each competition and each routine. What it means is that you should not go into a competition trying to be better than what you have done in practice or in a previous competitive season. Whether it is a dual meet or it is Nationals, you step up and do your routine exactly the way you do it in the gym, and that is when you find success. After our first meet did not meet any of the expectations we had from last year, our team took on this mindset, and the rest is history. I believe, personally, embracing this motto has helped me to forget expectations and just go out there, do what I love, and find success this season.
BRSN: How did you first get involved with gymnastics?
LD: As a child, I had a ridiculous amount of energy and my parents were tired of having to take me to the park for two hours after school just so I would fall asleep at night. After watching the gymnastics competition on TV during the Sydney Olympics, I told my parents I wanted to do gymnastics. Eventually realizing this could be a funnel for my excessive energy, they gladly agreed.
BRSN: Why did you choose Cornell?
LD: Academically, Cornell is one of the best engineering schools in the nation. Compared to other schools I looked at, Cornell has the most diverse engineering majors and minors. As an initially undecided engineering major, this gave me the greatest opportunity to pursue my different interests and discover new passions. Athletically, I knew from the first time I met my coaches that they would always have my best interest in mind and would push me to keep improving and striving for bigger goals. I have always thrived under such an environment, and I knew this would be no different. But ultimately, when I came on my official visit senior year, I set foot on campus, and Cornell simply felt like home.
BRSN: What’s your favorite pregame meal?
LD: For most of our competitions, we have to be there by 10 am, so my favorite pre-game meal is probably oatmeal or yogurt with granola.
BRSN: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
LD: Iceland. Without a doubt.
BRSN: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
LD: I can stilt walk and juggle! At least separately… I have never tried them together.