About Elena

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Full Name: Elena Gomez Servera
Hometown: Manacor, Mallorca, Spain
Residence: Madrid, Spain
Birthdate: November 14, 1985
Height: 4 feet, 9 inches
Coach: Jesus Carballo
Home Club: Club Gimnāstic Cor Olímpic
Began Gymnastics: In 1991 at age six
Hours trained per day: Seven

At the 2002 World Championships, Elena Gomez made history by becoming the first Spanish gymnast ever to win a world championship title - or a major international medal of any color! For years, Spain has lagged behind the traditional "powerhouse" gymnastics nations like Russia and Romania. Although the Spanish gymnastics programs has consistently turned out high-level international competitors, the gymnasts have never garnered the same level respect that their eastern European counterparts have always enjoyed. Thanks to one little gymnast named Elena Gomez, all of that is changing. The world has sat up and taken notice of the Spanish gymnastics program and Spain is now challenging the dominance of the eastern European powerhouses. The country's brightest star, Elena Gomez, has become a legitimate force to be reckoned with.

It all began in 1991 when Gomez was just six years old. She began taking gymnastics lessons in her hometown on the getaway island of Mallorca at Club Gimnás Manacor. Soon, it became evident that Elena had the talent and drive to make it quite far in the sport of gymnastics. Coaches Joana Maria Rigo and Mateu Riera oversaw Elena's development at Club Gimnāstic Cor Olímpic until she reached the age of 13 in 1999. When she turned 13, she left home to move to Madrid and train with Jesus Carballo Sr. as part of the Spanish's women's national team. For the past four years, she has given up almost everything in a singleminded quest for the Olympic Games. She endures grueling eleven-hour days that include seven long hours in the gym. It's no easy life, but that's what it takes to become a world champion.

Elena made her international debut at the 2000 European Championships in Paris, where she competed on Spain's junior squad and finished sixth overall. However, it was an Olympic year, and the gymnastics community was far too caught up in the hype of the 2000 Sydney Olympics to pay this little Spanish junior much heed. Elena's big coming-out party at the international level would have to wait until after the Olympics, in 2001, when the reigning stars stepped down and made way for a new crop of gymnasts to rise to the top.

2001 was Elena's first year at the senior level, and to the many gymnastics fans who had barely acknowledged her existence at Europeans the year before, Gomez seemed to appear out of nowhere. She made a big splash at Worlds, finishing sixth in beam finals and 17th in the all-around after helping to lead her team to an incredible fourth-place finish. The gymnastics world was captivated by this adorbale little Spanish girl, who performed with incredible style, precision and artistic flair. Elena's innovative routines came as a breath of fresh air in a gymnastics world where style and originality are often sacrificed for difficulty and bonus points. Gymnastics fans around the world began to realize that "Elena Gomez" was a name that they'd definitely hear again.

In 2002, Elena was Spain's sole representative at the European Championships. In spite of her lack of teammamtes, she managed four top-eight finishes! The 2002 Europeans were a remarkable meet for Elena. It was the first time that her routines shown widely on television, and her performance not only showed that she was a competent gymnast, but that she was fast becoming one of the very best in the world - certainly Spain's leading contender for the 2004 Olympics and a gymnast who could very well bring the top Russians and Romanians to their knees.

But it was the 2002 World Championships that truly cemented Elena's position at the top of the gymnastics universe. No one, not even Gomez herself, expected much from the meet. She was entered in only one event, the floor exercise, which was not known to be one of her strongest events. But Elena competed on floor. She made it to semifinals, and then to finals. As each gymnast up before her stumbled and faltered in the final, Elena began to realize that if she just nailed every skill, she would win a medal. As Elena stepped up to the plate, she hit a clean routine, nailing every tumbling pass as well as her one-of-a-kind quadruple turn to Popa. When all was said and done, the judges awarded Elena a magnificent score of 9.487 and the gold medal!

Now that Elena is a world champion, she has set her sights on striking gold in Athens. She trains long and hard, working through painful injuries and devoting many hours to her training. Gymnastics takes up a lot of Elena's time (seven hours every day!) But when she's not in the gym working on her skills and training hard for the Olympics, she can usually be found reading, embroidering, listening to music or surfing the net! She cites sleeping as her favorite way to relax, and if she's looking for a fun weekend out, she usually heads to one of two amusement parks in her hometown, Port Aventura and Terra Mítica.

She also likes hanging out with her friends. Her best friends are her fellow gymnasts Sara Moro, Alba Planas, Laura Martinez, Lenika de Simone, Patricia Moreno, Laura Campos, Sara Moro, Cayetana Medina and Tania Gener. Since she spends the bulk of her time living and training at the national training center in Madrid, her friends are really like her second family. Elena sees her real family often enough, however - she flies home to Mallorca once a month and her mom, Antonia, comes to visit once a month. Elena rarely goes more than two weeks without seeing her family. Elena is close to her family, which includes mother Antionia, father Jose Ramon, three sisters and two brothers: Marta, 22; Carlos, 19; Claudia, 12; Natalia, 11; and Daniel, 10. Claudia and Natalia are also gymnasts, while brother Carlos plays soccer and Daniel practices Judo. With her family providing a strong base of love and support, Elena will surely have the strength to make it as far as she can...perhaps even to the Olympic medal podium in Athens!

Elena's Favorite...
Clothes: jeans
Music: The Beatles and Elvis
Song: "Love Me Do" by the Beatles
T.V. Show: "El Club de Comedia"
Movie: "Life is Beautiful"
Book: "Don Quixote" by Miguel deCervantes
Saying: "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet"
Scent: Fragile by Jean Paul Gaultier
School subject: History and English
Color: Orange and yellow
Apparatus: Floor exercise and balance beam
Gymnastics element: Dance and choreography
Skill: Double layouts and triple twist flyaways

    Did you know...?
Elena can speak Spanish, Catalan and some English
World hunger and natural disasters bother her more than anything
Elena does not care for flying or mathematics
She feels that her bad habits are her worst quality
Pirouettes on bars were toughest skill to master
Elena's father is a police officer
If she weren't a gymnast, she'd be a synchronized swimmer
The person she'd most like to meet is her grandmother
Elena admires fellow Spanish gymnast Sara Moro the most
The best countries she's visited were Denmark and Belgium
After the Olympics, she hopes to pursue a university degree
She would like to become a journalist someday
Seeing the world is her favorite thing about gymnastics


links to online articles
IG Online Spotlight Gymnast
Gymworld Interview
Gymbox Interview