June 18, 2013
Prior to departing for the Portugal FIG World Cup in Anadia, Portugal, MGoBlue.com's Scott Kemps caught up with 2012 United States Olympian and three-time 2013 NCAA champion Sam Mikulak.
On what he's been up to since winning NCAAs ...
"That left a good taste in my mouth getting ready for the national season, getting ready for Visa's and the Portugal FIG World Cup. I'm trying to put some upgrades in, which I'm not going to put them in from Portugal but trying to consistently smooth the transition for these upgrades for U.S. Championships in August. I've just got to get ready to get out there and put on a show again."
On whether or not he will celebrate NCAAs with a tattoo like some of his teammates ...
"I'm going to get a block 'M' with 'Those Who Stay Will be Champions' underneath that. There are some designs that myself and Stacey (Ervin) have been going through with some shading on the block to make it look a little more intricate. Stacey got one, Adrian de los Angeles, Nolan Novak, Mark Panhorst, Dylan James and Konnor Ackerman got one as well, so yeah everyone is pretty much working towards getting it. I think the transition is that everyone doesn't want to get it during summer because they want to get out in the sun ... so some guys might wait until the fall."
On his current health ...
"Compared to how I was at NCAAs, definitely have a little more preparation time going into it. My body's feeling good, knock on wood. I'm just going to stay in the same routines with an upgrade on floor, which isn't even too big. I'm just going to play it safe and have as much fun as I can."
On his goals in this competition and events he'll compete in ...
"I'll be doing floor, pommel horse, vault, parallel bars and high bar. My goal is to bring as many medals back home to the U.S. as I possibly can, and that's going to require me to go out and have the mentality that all I have to do is hit my routines and the rest will come. I am not going to try and put any colors on what I'm trying to accomplish, just go out there and have fun."
On his plans for time off after this weekend ...
"I'm going to go home back to California for a couple weeks. I'll still continue training because you've got to keep those upgraded skills and muscle memory going because it's still these championships that we're looking forward to. I'll see some family, get in the sun a little bit and get some time to relax."
On how this summer is different from last summer ...
"Well, last summer was the Olympic Games so you have to be training your butt off every single day you can. This summer, I'm not doing as many routines as I have been or as I was last year because of the Olympics, and you're not trying to upgrade your routines, you're trying to solidify them more. Now it's a little bit of a fun time, throwing in some new skills to see what works and what doesn't. We've been training for the past month, so not as much as a difficult routine schedule for the past month but it's still enough that I feel confident in all my routines right now."
On difference in training days between this and last summer ...
"I think the days are actually longer now because what I used to do is come in the gym, get through my routines as fast as possible and get out. Now I'll get to the event, do my routine and then I'll work on my upgrades and try to see what works and what doesn't. That'll require more time on each event so it takes a little bit longer; it's worth it though because that's what you need to do to perform to the best of your ability in the future."
Michigan Gymnast Summer Competition Schedule
Portugal FIG World Cup
Michigan competitors: Sam Mikulak
Live Stream (Gymnastike.com) | Live Results
Notes: The qualification round for all six apparatus will take place on Friday, June 21. The finals for floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings are scheduled for June 22. The competition concludes on Sunday, June 23, with finals for vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar.
USAG National Qualifier
Colorado Springs, Colo.
U-M competitors: Sam Mikulak, Adrian de los Angeles (already qualified); Stacey Ervin, Mike Strathern, Ian Makowske (competing)
World University Games
U-M competitors: Rohan Sebastian (competing for Ireland)
U-M competitors: Sam Mikulak, Adrian de los Angeles, TBD
Sept. 25-Oct. 7
U-M competitors: TBD
Contact: Scott Kemps (734) 763-4423