Spotlight on Students: Nina Bustamante

Since her family moved to Thessaloniki in 2005, she has continued to compete quite successfully in Greek gymnastics. She maintains a rigorous schedule, training 3 to 3.5 hours every day.

Hence, she is an exemplar of the student-athlete—exceedingly dedicated to her sport, but managing to stay very involved in school activities and maintaining honor roll-level grades. Although Nina trainsat an elite level, she cannot compete on the Greek National Team with her other club teammates, as she is not a Greek citizen. However, she currently participates in both Greek and USA Gymnastics in hopes of doing university gymnastics in the United States.

Last month, Nina traveled to the U.S. and trained for a month at M&M Gymnastics in Wisconsin, the home of Chellsie Memmel, a world champion and Olympian, and a hopeful again for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. Chellsie’s parents are the coaches, and her sister, Skyler, is a Level 10 Gymnast and Nina’s good friend. Nina, who is competing at Level 9 this year, participated in the 2012 Team Spirit Invitational hosted by M&M Gymnastics, which gathered girls and boys from Wisconsin and Illinois. The M&M Level 9 Team, of which Nina was a member, placed second. Although her two top events are beam and floor, she performed best on vault and uneven bars—a good lesson for all athletes that anything is possible! Most importantly, she made remarkable progress in the time she trained at M&M and is trying to keep up the momentum here in Greece.

Nina’s invitational performance qualified her for the Wisconsin State Championships in March, an opportunity for her to travel to and compete again in the U.S. Through this, she hopes also to make it to Regionals in April. We wish Nina the best of luck in the upcoming State Championships…and hopefully Regionals!