Up Close: Kirsten Pauga

Kirsten on beam. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

UP CLOSE

Favorite cold cereal: Hmm...so many to choose from. I guess I would have to say Mini-Wheat's or Cinnamon Life.

Favorite Brad Cattermole quote: Also many to choose from, but my personal favorite is "You better smarten up or I'll have to cinch your underwear up around your ears!"

I chose gymnastics over other sports because: My sisters got me interested in gymnastics when I was young and I have just stuck with it ever since. I chose to continue doing this sport because it was fun and because it was cool and unique. I love the fact that I am able to do a bunch of tricks that some people will never even be able to try!

Before a meet I: Do my hair (usually braids), eat (this is a must -- competing makes me so hungry and its important to have enough energy to get through routines!) and relax! I am well known for relaxing on my team -- I sit between turns at practice and even at meets! I guess it's a habit!

How did I spend my off-season: I spend my off-season doing what I do best -- relaxing! I do work or go to school too though. I also like to go to aerobic and dance classes at Gold's Gym. My other favorite things to do in the off season are to go swimming and to play with my niece and nephews.

Who has had the greatest influence on my gymnastics career and why: My sisters have been the greatest influence on me and my gymnastics career. They are the ones who got me interested, the ones who encouraged me to keep going when it got tough, and the ones who showed me how to enjoy gymnastics. They have been a real support in my college gymnastics career too. My sisters, and their families, are always there to support and cheer for me when I compete at home -- I love having them around!

What do I want to be doing 20 years from now: Well, I want to be an elementary school teacher so hopefully in 20 years I will be teaching school. I also want to be married and have a family of my own. It would also be nice to do a little bit of gymnastics coaching too.

Who is the best gymnast/team I have ever faced: I think that this would probably be the University of Utah. They have a lot of great gymnasts there.

What would I like to do sometime in my life: I would love to travel the world! I want to go to Europe, Greece, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Samoa, and many other places!

One place I would like to visit: All over the world!

My favorite book is: I love the Harry Potter Series and I just finished The Lord of the Rings series and loved it too! I really like children's books (I'm an elementary education major). I like Ella enchanted and Lily's Purple, Plastic Purse. My favorite church books are Standing for Something, Saints at War, and The Tale of Three Trees.

If I could play another sport it would be: I was always good at track and field so I think I would take that up again and run hurdles -- my favorite event! I think that I would really like to try volleyball too.

What is my favorite hobby or activity away from gymnastics: I like to read, scrapbook, play the piano, sing, dance and play with my cute niece and nephews!

My favorite CD is: Phantom of the Opera. I like to listen to all kinds of music, but this is my most favorite CD to sing along with!

People say I look like: My sisters -- What a surprise eh?! (there's the Canadian side of me coming out again!)

My favorite professor or most interesting class I've taken at BYU: My favorite class was First Aid -- you learn a lot of cool and useful things in that class.

What is my most memorable athletic achievement or moment: Hitting my first all-around meet at BYU and getting 2nd place beam and 8th place all around at Canadian National Championships. Scoring a 9.975 on vault last year was pretty exciting too!

If I had to give up all of my possessions except one, what would be the one thing I kept: The blanket my grandma made me or my favorite stuffed animal or a picture of my family....it's so hard to choose!

Favorite scripture: 2 Nephi 32:9

My favorite web site is: www.realarcade.com -- I love playing games! And www.launch.yahoo.com -- I love listening to the music and watching the music videos!

My advice to youngsters: You make your life what it is, so make it something great and enjoy life!

Interesting fact most people don't know about me: I am half Samoan.

If I were on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," the person I'd call for my lifeline is and why: I think that I would call my mom -- she knows a lot of stuff!

If you cold invite any three people to dinner who would they be: The Prophet, Sheri Dew and my family.

On the day of a meet, how do your friends and relatives follow the meet: My mom lives in Canada so she watches them over the internet or waits to talk to me to find out how we did. My oldest sister runs the home meets, her husband runs the music, and her two oldest kids run scores back and forth to the judges. My other sister, her husband and the rest of the kids watch the home meets from the stands! I love to hear them cheering for me!

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