Nov. 19, 2012
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Former GymHawk Jessa Hansen sits down with senior Kaitlynn Urano. In 2012, Urano competed in 12 competitions and earned a career best 9.850 on the bars against LSU, placing third on the event. Urano scored another career high on the beam against Penn State with a 9.725.
What is your first gymnastics memory?
“Getting my kip on bars before any of the other girls in my group.”
What is your most prized possession?
“A ring my parents gave me for Christmas my freshman year here at Iowa.”
What is your favorite place in Iowa City?
“The Ped Mall, because you can just walk around and enjoy a beautiful day.”
What is your favorite food?
“I love EVERYTHING, but if I had to choose I would say Japanese food. I have grown up with Japanese food my entire life because my dad is Japanese. I pretty much grew up having rice every meal. Although it is a very simple thing, I love rice. My favorite rice is brown eggs and rice, which is basically adding soy sauce to scrambled eggs before you cook them, and you add leftover rice with hot water. It is simply, delicious. On top of that, I love miso soup and the spicy tuna rolls.”
What is your favorite music?
“I love country because the songs always have a deeper meaning, and I can relate to the lyrics. This past summer, Lonestar came to Coralville for the Fourth of July. My teammates and I were able to take our picture with them before the concert started! It was so much fun.”
Where would you like to visit?
“I would love to backpack across Europe, visit as many countries as possible, and see anything that has to do with World War II history. I also want to see Ancient Rome. Europe holds so much of our world’s history, and although I’m not a history major, it has always interested me. One of my dreams is to see it all for myself.”
What are your goals for 2013?
“My goal is to contribute to the team in every way I can and help our team achieve greatness.”
Why did you choose to attend the University of Iowa?
“I loved the feel of campus and the style of the buildings. I also loved the girls on my recruiting trip. The people around me made me feel at home. The coaches and everything about Iowa made me feel like I was a part of something bigger and better.”
What is one thing that the University of Iowa has taught you?
“Being at Iowa has taught me to surround myself with people that I love and care about, because they are the next best thing to having your mom hold your hand all the way through life.”
Do you have pre-meet rituals?
“I listen to music and sing along to calm my nerves. I also choose the ribbons we wear at the meet and put them in everyone’s hair.”
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
“Trevor Linden. Being from British Columbia, I have always been a Canucks fan. I grew up watching my older brother and my dad play hockey, and it has always been a sport that I have really enjoyed watching. Trevor Linden is truly one of the great players in Canuck history.”
Who is the most influential person in your life?
“My mom, because she has stayed strong through all of the trials and hardships our family has faced. She holds my siblings and me up through it all and keeps us going on with our lives.”
What is your ideal career?
“Speech Pathologist. I chose speech pathology because being around kids and knowing that I am helping them is really one of the most gratifying things. I love learning about how I can impact a child’s life because speech problems are something that a lot of kids face. Receiving help for the speech problem gives that child confidence, and that is something that I want to help kids gain — confidence.”
What is your most memorable gymnastics moment?
“Signing to attend the University of Iowa and then coming in third place at the Big Ten Championships my freshman year. Signing to Iowa was so memorable because it was the confirmation to me that all of my hard work and training paid off, and I was finally going to be able to achieve my life long goal of competing in the NCAA. It was a dream come true, and it really meant the world to me because I knew that it was the beginning of another great opportunity to pursue my dreams and my athletics. To top off that great feeling, we went on to place third at the Big Ten Championships my freshman year, which was a great experience. I’m hoping that in my last year we will be able to top that memory from my freshman year with a higher team placing and making it to NCAA Championships, which I believe we are completely capable of doing.”