Polina Shchennikova is about to become a household name. As one of only eight current members on the Junior U.S. National Women’s Gymnastics Team, Polina’s powerhouse performance at the recent 2013 National Championships proves she’s got what it takes.
Here at TIGAR, we could not be more purr-oud! Polina, or “Paw-Lina” as she is affectionately called, calls TIGAR home, training over 6 days a week perfecting her unmatched skills on bars, beam, floor and vault.
Polina was born in Moscow, but moved to the U.S. as a baby with her family to pursue her dream of being on the U.S. National Team. She achieved this goal earlier this year, and was once again named to the U.S. National Team following her stellar performance at the 2013 U.S. National Championships in Hartford, Connecticut.
Coached by her dedicated parents Katia and Alex, Polina’s younger sisters Alyona and Kristina also train at TIGAR. The family’s dog, Rio, can often be seen enjoying pats on the head and hugs from TIGAR athletes, having become the unofficial “mascot” at the gym. It’s probably no surprise that Rio earned his name because Polina has her sights set on the goal of earning one of the coveted spots on the U.S. Olympic Team during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Polina trains hard, but is a regular teenager, too. Her favorite movies are “Pitch Perfect” and “Mulan”. She enjoys Chinese food. Her favorite color is pink, and she loves to ski and dance.
Polina’s goal this year was to be named to the U.S. National Team and also begin competing internationally for the U.S. Over the next year, Polina will travel and compete throughout the U.S. and internationally along side her fellow junior and senior U.S. National Women’s Team teammates, including Olympians McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, and the 2013 National Champion Simone Biles. Polina considers these elite athletes and the other gymnasts on the U.S. National Team some of her closest friends.
But any day of the week, as Polina focuses on reaching her ultimate goal in 2016, it’s easy to see that she’s surrounded and supported by her other close friends, which are her TIGAR teammates and fellow athletes. The TIGAR community is so purr-oud of Polina, and we will be with her every step of the way!
Written By: Bradie Walls