Oct. 16, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Former GymHawk Jessa Hansen sits down with sophomore Caitlin Tanzer in part 2 of Beyond the Bio. Tanzer did not join the gymnastics team her freshman year due to injury. In high school, Tanzer was a two-time Level 10 Regional Championship qualifier and three-time Level 10 State Championship qualifier. She placed eighth in the all-around at the 2007 Level 9 Eastern National Championships. Tanzer competed for Arena Gymnastics under coaches Dan and Beth Miller. The Naperville, Ill. native received "Hardest Worker Award" twice and "Most Supportive Award" from her gymnastics club.
What made you decide to return to gymnastics?
"When doctors told me I couldn't do gymnastics anymore, it was the hardest concept to deal with. The past two years I coached gymnastics, watched it on TV and YouTube, and went to many gymnastics meets. Something about it just felt unfinished. I am so happy that I've been given another chance to be on the team here at Iowa."
What has the process been like so far?
"The process has definitely been challenging, but that's what makes it fun! It's a never-ending process of trying to get back to where I was and better myself from there. It's exciting to look back and see how much I've improved since I came here."
What is it like being on the UI gymnastics team and working with head coach Libby?
"I absolutely love being a GymHawk! Larissa is incredible, and I am so thankful for this opportunity. The team and coaches here are so supportive and helpful. We have our own little Hawkeye family."
What is your first gymnastics memory?
"At my first competition I fell four times on the first event, the balance beam. I didn't realize how terrible that was, so when I landed I smiled and ran over to my team like I just received a perfect score!"
What is your favorite place in Iowa City?
"I love the downtown area because there are so many cute shops and activities constantly going on. I especially love the store Four Seasons, but it's dangerous because I always end up buying something there!"
What is your favorite food?
"Definitely sushi. Any kind, anywhere!"
What is one place you want to visit?
"I really want to go to Australia and maybe even travel the world for a year after college."
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
"I would like to be able to say I made a comeback! I want to compete for Iowa and help my team in any way I can."
What brought you to the University of Iowa?
"Iowa is the total package for me -- great coaches, incredible teammates, prestigious medical field, and it is part of the Big Ten Conference."
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
"Gordon Beckham, because I am a huge White Sox fan. When I was little I went to many White Sox games with my Grandpa and older brother, Ryan. Now we try to go whenever we can as a family."
Who is the most influential person in your life?
"My parents. They never stop believing in me and have always supported my decisions. Also, my grandma, because she's such a loving person and has always told me to believe in myself."
What is your ideal career?
"I want to be a surgical physician assistant because being an athlete has taught me a thing or two about injuries! Also, making a difference in someone's life on a daily basis is very important to me."
If you could guest star on any television series, what would it be?
"I would guest star on Grey's Anatomy because it's my favorite show. That is what I want to do for a living, and it would be so much fun to meet all of the cast members."
What is your most memorable gymnastics moment?
"I'm most proud of winning the Level Seven State Championship after being out for eight months due to a dislocated elbow."
What is one word that describes you?