NCAA Championships Blog - Mizuki Sato

April 17, 2009

NCAA Championship Central will provide exclusive access to the UCLA Gymnastics team as it competes this week at the NCAA Championships in Lincoln, NE. This is the second student-athlete blog from the Championships, written by sophomore Mizuki Sato after the Bruins competed in the team preliminaries.

Hi all,

The culmination of our 2009 season, at least for the team aspect, was bittersweet, as we missed out on making the Super Six in a tie-breaker with Utah. Standing there while waiting for the announcer to declare who won the tie-breaker was such a nerve-wracking feeling, and when we realized that we weren't moving on, it was one of the hardest and worst feelings I've felt in my life. I KNOW that I can say the same for the rest of the team. Our team circle at the end left everyone in tears, as the enormity of the situation left us all looking back at our performances and seeing what we could have done differently.

The truth of the matter is that we gave it our absolute all from the moment we walked into the arena. We experienced every step, twist, flip, and landing of every Bruin competitor vicariously and cheered until we were lightheaded and our throats were on fire. None of us should have any regrets; we fought to the end, and the team camaraderie that we experienced and have built on from the beginning of the season was magical. Our rally back from our mistakes, especially our beam and floor rotations, showed our true competitive spirit. It is when the going gets tough that one's true colors show, and ours were bleeding Bruin blue and gold.

We have always been preached to about the importance of our actions, regardless of if they are in the gym or in life. Miss Val always says that everything we do in life is a choice. We can choose to learn from this experience, with the underlying message that EVERY LITTLE THING counts in gymnastics, or we can choose not to. Let me tell you, the first option is the only option that we will allow ourselves to choose.

Thank you so much to all our families and friends and who made the trek to Nebraska to cheer us on. Marching out and hearing the cheers and the 8-clap made it feel like a home meet all over again. We love you guys so much!

Congratulations to Britt, Zam, and Ari, who made event finals! Ari, you're awesome, and you will be missed next year. Thank you for showing us the true meaning of a competitor, a teammate and a friend.

The 2010 season starts tomorrow morning. The Bruins are coming back with a vengeance next year.

Love, Zuk

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