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Sophomore Emma Davies performs her bar routine during a meet against Towson at the palestra on Feb. 12. Credit: Samantha Turner

This weekend, Penn gymnastics won its second straight Gymnastics East Conference championship, where Emma Davies led the Quakers on the floor with a score of 9.9. Ahead of the meet, The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Davies to ask her 15 questions about how she got started in gymnastics, her time with the team, and her experience at Penn. 

1. Hi Emma! Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Emma Davies, I am a sophomore on the gymnastics team at Penn, studying Finance and Management at the Wharton School, and I’m from the Cummings School in Georgia. 

2. When did you start gymnastics?

I started gymnastics when I was 4 years old. I kind of had a different start than most kids. Most kids are put in gymnastics by their parents, and they have a lot of energy and can’t sit still. But I started because [of] my sister Maddie. She started gymnastics before me and I watched all the tricks and flips she was doing around the living room. She pushed me to start.

3. What was the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome in gymnastics?

I would say the biggest obstacle I had to overcome was definitely injuries. It is a very common part of the sport, and very common among gymnasts. I have had three surgeries in my club career, I have broken my ankle twice and sprained my ankle twice. I also had a concussion. Those were definitely some of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome.

4. Who is your favorite gymnast to watch?

I love a lot but Trinity Thomas is in her final season at Florida. She is an amazing gymnast and I watch her on everything. 

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten from a coach?

[The] best advice would probably be to trust the process. Recruiting can be so difficult. My club coach Brad McLaren saw my potential and always told me to trust the process. Seeing your potential and trusting people will see the work you’ve put in.

6. What was the adjustment like coming from Georgia to Philadelphia?

There was definitely a big adjustment. I was used to a slow-paced lifestyle in the south, and the city is very fast paced. So it was a little bit difficult to keep up at first, but having my team by my side, and the built-in best friends you get as soon as you step on campus made so much of a difference. It was super helpful to have them to help acclimate me to life in the city.

7. You’re a standout at Penn on floor. How do you and your coaches come up with your routine?

My routine is the same as last year, but last year my head coach, who is the choreographer — she kind of knew my personality was open, very energetic and lighthearted. So I wanted to do a routine that kind of displayed my personality. I love my routine. I can go and jump around and really engage with the crowd. And she did a perfect job with my routine and matching my personality.

8. What would be your dream floor routine and music?

My dream floor routine would 100 percent include the song "Chicken Fried," it is my pump-up song for floor. All my teammates go crazy when the song comes on. 

9. What has been your favorite moment with Penn gymnastics so far?

My favorite moment so far was last season when we won conference championships. It was a defining moment for the team, especially being inaugural conference champs and with this being our first full gymnastics season with the Ivy League taking the whole extra season off. Debuting a new team and setting a program record was seeing our hard work culminate in that meet. Super fun to be a part of. It was a 196.925. It was crazy. It was awesome.

10. Do you have a favorite or funny story from a road meet?

This is a hard one! I don’t know if this is my favorite but it is funny. We had just competed at UNH in New Hampshire and we were getting back on the bus and there were quite a few bumps in the road on the way home. Our bus actually got a flat tire before the meet, so we rode with Yale to the meet and rode back on our regular bus. But the door just flew open on the side of the highway. Our coaches were trying to hold it. So then we had to stop somewhere in Connecticut to get a new bus. And we finally got our new bus, but the bathroom wasn’t working! We were expected to get home at midnight, but we got home at 2:30 in the morning! So many things that could have gone wrong all went wrong on that ride home.

11. What hobbies or extracurriculars do you do for fun?

On campus, I’m in the Wharton Undergraduate Finance Club, and I am also involved with the Wharton Leadership Program, which is where student-athletes come together and develop stronger leadership skills and support each other. Last year, I was a tutor for undergraduate economics. And during the summer especially I love traveling, especially with my family or we try to at least every year. Schedules are hectic now that my siblings and I are all in college but that’s one of my favorite things to do. My favorite places I’ve been are Florence, Italy, Paris, Hawaii, and Turks and Caicos.

12. What is your go-to post-meet snack?

It kind of differs every meet but I love chicken alfredo and any kind of pasta is a big favorite of mine. Pizza is also a big one. All Italian is a favorite.

13. Who is the best hype girl on the team?

McCaleigh Marr, she’s a senior on our team and every time I do my floor routine, she’s always there cheering me on. Looking out into the crowd when I’m performing she’s always there. She jumps the highest, screams the loudest, and always gives me the biggest hug when I’m done. I’m so thankful for everything she does for me, I’m sad she won’t be here next year but I’m so excited to see her at Michigan.

14. What is your favorite study spot on campus?

My favorite is Huntsman Hall. The GSRs really get me locked in and ready to grind.

15. What are you looking forward to most for the rest of your time at Penn?

I am looking forward to creating more memories with my teammates, and meeting new classes, spending time with them, and to keep doing our thing. I’m so grateful to have gymnastics with school.