Abby Paulson was 2 years old when her parents, Shelly and Brandon, decided to put their daughter in gymnastics. The decision made sense, as Abby was an active child running around the house.
It makes even more sense today.
She traveled to Italy in early April with Team USA for the 2017 Jesolo Trophy Gymnastics meet. She placed third all-around in the Women’s Senior Division and won the gold medal in the floor exercise.
It was the first international competition for Abby.
“It was so amazing,” she said. “It was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. It was so cool to meet the other gymnasts. Even the people in the stands were so encouraging. It was just amazing … This was my first international competition. I was just trying to go out there and do my best. I was hoping to be the best me I could be.”
It was a moment Abby was training for since she was young. She makes monthly trips to Texas to train and be coached by some of the best gymnastics coaches in the U.S.
Abby calls it a stressful routine, but points to her teachers being helpful. She does half days at school and takes other classes out of building.
The toughness of training is in her blood. Her dad, Brandon Paulson, was a 1996 Olympic silver medalist in the 114.5 lbs weight class in Greco-Roman wrestling.
“I’m so grateful that he also competed at this level,” Abby said. “He understands what I go through. He knows how to help me in every aspect with my training, my mindset and stuff like that.”
“(My parents) are really amazing,” she added. “They let me do whatever I need in order to be successful in gymnastics and school. They believe in me and help me believe in myself.”
Abby has high goals for her future in gymnastics. She is committed to the University of Utah gymnastics team and hopes to make the national team again this summer.