Beyond The Bio: Adara Griffin

Jan. 31, 2013

Freshman Adara Griffin performed an exhibition routine on the bars against Ball State (1/11/13) and Ohio State (1/19/13), scoring above 9.700 each time. The Moline, Ill. native qualified to the 2010 Level 10 Region IV Championship under coaches Jessica Stewart and Caryn Crouch of Spectrum Gymnastics. At Moline High School, Griffin lettered in track and field and was a member of the 2011-12 dance team.

What is your first gymnastics memory?
“I started tumbling when I was three, and shortly after I learned backhand springs. I remember whenever I would do one, I would hit the top of my head every time. My mom said I looked like a frog.”

What is your most prized possession?
“I have this stuffed monkey, Athena. I started to take her with me to every gymnastics meet, and she became a good luck charm. She even has a leotard to wear. The past winter break, I was actually shopping for an Iowa Hawkeye warm-up for her to wear this season! “

What is your favorite type of food?
“I love Chinese food, especially chicken fried rice.”

What is your favorite music?
“Anything Taylor Swift! I have all her albums, and I have also taken the time to find many of her unreleased songs. Also, I made a CD of her singing other artist songs. You can say I’m slightly obsessed.”

Where is one place you want to visit?
“I would love to visit Australia. Even though I am terrified of sharks, I want to go scuba diving and learn how to surf. Australia has breathtaking sites that I would love to view. It would also be awesome to start talking with an Australian accent.”

What are your goals for this season?
“I want to have a 3.7, or above, GPA and help the GymHawks on any event they need me. I want to be able to contribute to our team score.”

What was the key factor in choosing to attend the University of Iowa?
“The outstanding medical program, and of course, for the gymnastics.”

What has college taught you so far?
“College has taught me to be more independent and to learn how to be more responsible. My parents aren’t here to talk to my professors, make doctor appointments or make me go to class. At Iowa, I’ve learned to take care of myself and discovered that my future really does depend on me and my choices.”

What are your pre-meet rituals?
“I go through my routines mentally, and I eat oranges for energy. I have also recently discovered this season that dancing around with my team helps me get pumped up for the meet and makes me less nervous.”

Who is your favorite professional athlete?
“I’m a big fan of Donald Driver and Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers. I’m very upset to see Donald Driver retire this year!”

What are your hobbies?
“My friends and I play a lot of Ultimate Frisbee, even if it’s cold and rainy. We also play a lot of card games, like Euchre — a four person card game. My friends would hang out sometimes just to have a Euchre tournament. It was really fun. We would joke about how funny it was that teenagers were playing a card game that elderly people would play.”

If you could guest star on any T.V. series, which would you choose?
“I love Grey’s Anatomy. It’s my favorite television series. It relates a little bit to my radiation science major, and I just can’t get enough of the crazy accidents that happen on the show.”

What is your ideal career?
“I am majoring in radiation sciences. I want to treat people who have cancer and be there for them. My cousin had Leukemia a while back, and that’s what got me thinking about this career choice. It’s going to be a hard career, but I know that it will come with great reward.”

What do you like most about gymnastics road trips?
“Being able to relax, listen to music and bond with teammates.”

What is your most memorable gymnastics moment?
“When my friends finally saw my gymnastics routines at our club gym exhibition. It was remarkable because they didn’t understand why I had to practice so much. After seeing my routines they understood, and they respected gymnastics much more.”

Who is the most influential person in your life?
“Taylor Swift, because she had a dream and pursued it. Her music is relatable, and she’s an overall grounded person…And if she’s reading this, I would love to meet her.”

What is one word that describes you?