Wednesday, September 20 – It’s Leanne Wong’s twentieth birthday, and hopefully the day she’ll make her third U.S. world workforce.
On her final day as a teen, Wong positioned fifth within the all-around on the U.S. ladies’s world workforce choice camp with a 54.850, capping off a home elite season that noticed her end second on the Core Hydration Traditional and third on the U.S. championships, behind Simone Biles and Shilese Jones, ascending to the all-around podium for the primary time in 4 appearances as a senior on the meet.
The 2020 Olympic workforce alternate and three-time world medalist’s earlier finest end at a U.S. championships was fifth (2019, 2021), earlier than she joined the College of Florida gymnastics workforce and underwent a gentle transformation right into a constant stronghold for each the Gators and the U.S. ladies’s program.
Wong has at all times been proficient – there’s no query about that – however one thing has clicked since her arrival at Florida two years in the past. With the assistance of the Gators’ teaching workers, particularly head coach Jenny Rowland and assistant coach Owen Area, Wong has constructed upon the inspiration she established at her former membership gymnasium – Nice American Gymnastics Specific (GAGE).
She’s nonetheless identified for bringing a balletic aura to all occasions, particularly beam and ground, however now she’s a school pupil (pre-med, as a result of the lady does all of it) and enterprise proprietor, along with being one of many high NCAA and elite gymnasts on the earth.
School makes the typical individual develop up fast, however Leanne Wong isn’t common. She’s not solely matured and gained confidence over the previous few years; she’s proudly owning her gymnastics, similar to her enterprise, Leanne Wong Bowtique.
“I positively have a busy schedule with college, gymnastics, each school and elite gymnastics, after which clearly my enterprise on the facet,” Wong advised Gymnastics Now. “So I positively have a packed schedule, however simply actually residing day-by-day and simply setting objectives for myself and undertaking them one by one is what retains me going.”
It’s all intertwined for probably the most half, which results in humorous situations like Wong’s USA Gymnastics bio itemizing her enterprise as her gymnasium, as an alternative of Florida, for a quick timing throughout the Core Hydration Traditional in early August. (Wong stated on X it was in all probability as a result of she signed her enterprise up for a sales space at USAG’s nationwide congress, so “perhaps there was a glitch” … “However, I really like my bows!”)
Then there’s all of the indicators within the crowd, followers and gymnasts alike sporting her bows (there’s low-key a warfare taking place between the scrunchie and Leanne Wong bows at any given USAG competitors), and even her school/elite coaches, Rowland and Area, sporting shirts promoting her enterprise.
Wong’s life is busy, little doubt, however the enterprise offers her an outlet away from coaching and college – one thing that she’ll be capable to develop for years to return, lengthy after she’s retired and graduated.
“My enterprise is certainly one thing I love to do in my free time,” Wong stated after her bronze medal efficiency at U.S. championships. “So after gymnastics and college, I love to do my enterprise and handle every little thing on Instagram and repost all of the little women and their bows and all my Leanne Wong Bowtique stuff.”
Wong has grow to be extra “environment friendly with apply” since attending to Florida. Each flip counts – she’s not simply losing vitality doing issues that received’t profit her. With all she has occurring, she must be purposeful with every little thing, however Wong appears to thrive below that strain, as an alternative of crumbling below the fixed onslaught from each route.
“I simply fell in love with competing,” Wong stated of probably not having a break from gymnastics for the reason that pandemic. “I simply discover lots of enjoyable in doing that.”
“School is lots of enjoyable and elite gymnastics is sort of a totally different sort of enjoyable,” Wong stated on a separate event. “And attending to journey all around the globe whenever you put in all of the arduous work and made an task, that’s simply one of the best feeling, and competing for the nation.”
The 2021 world all-around silver medalist has really taken management of her gymnastics, similar to the remainder of her life, and it’s the little issues which have added up over time, like discussing deductions with judges at nationwide workforce camps and why she bought the scores that she did.
“I really feel like lots of coaches do it for his or her athletes, however I don’t know,” Wong stated. “I really feel like I’m in cost now, so I must do what I must do to assist me. My coaches are at all times on the facet – they’re listening as properly – nevertheless it’s at all times good to listen to it straight from the judges quite than somebody telling you.”
At championships, Wong was requested if she likes being in cost. She responded coyly however assured, “Yeahhh.”
Elaborating, Wong stated, “Coaches are at all times there to assist, nevertheless it’s the athlete who’s going to be doing probably the most work.”
That work has paid off for Wong thus far, and with the prospect of worlds and the Olympics subsequent 12 months, in addition to her junior season with the Gators, she’s soaking all of it in.
“This season, I’m positively simply nonetheless attempting to stability each elite and school gymnastics and simply perfecting the methods I’m doing every little thing,” Wong stated. “Particularly coming into the following 12 months, and I actually simply need to benefit from the sport and simply have enjoyable with what I’m doing, particularly since we received’t be doing gymnastics for the remainder of our lives. So I simply actually need to get pleasure from each alternative that I’m given.”
Alternatives abound for CEOs, and Leanne Wong, for all she’s completed thus far, has lots extra in retailer for an important enterprise: her life.
Karyssa D’Agostino contributed to this story.