International Gymnast Online's annual year-end tradition of holiday-themed features continues with this update from Iceland's Tinna Odinsdottir, whose results in 2016 gave her good reasons to celebrate.
Although veteran Icelandic gymnast Tinna Odinsdottir made finals at two World Challenge Cup meets this year, her team's success at the Nordic Championships and European Championships count as her most satisfying achievements of 2016.
Tinna Odinsdottir (Iceland)
"My favorite moment of this season was winning the Nordic Championships with my team," said Odinsdottir, who turned 22 on November 3. "It was the first time ever for Team Iceland to win the senior team competition. It was such an honor to be a part of this great team. We all got into the finals and all got on the podium. It only got better when I got a silver medal on floor, something I really didn't expect. And 14th place at the European Championships in Bern was the best result ever for Team Iceland."
Odinsdottir, who finished eighth on uneven bars at the World Challenge Cup of Ljubljana in April and seventh on floor exercise at the World Challenge Cup of Cottbus in November, said the milestones she achieved in 2016 have inspired her for the coming year.
"This year was amazing and really reminded me why I do gymnastics," said Odinsdottir, who trains in Aarhus, Denmark, under Dutch coach Rene Poutsma. "There is nothing better then getting a good result after working so hard."
As Odinsdottir aims for the major meets of 2017, she plans to upgrade her routines and make them consistent.
"My biggest goals for next year are making it to the European Championships in Romania and World Championships in Canada, and having good competitions there," she said. "I'm upgrading my D-score on vault, bars and floor, and focusing on stabilization."
Odinsdottir is celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve in Denmark with her family and boyfriend, but noted the unusual holiday tradition of her native Iceland.
"Normally people are used to having one Santa Claus, but in Iceland we have 13," she said. "One by one, they come from the mountains to town and put small presents in children's shoes. Every Santa Claus has a different name. ‘Kertasníkir' is a Santa that sometimes steals candles. Some children put a candle in their shoe as a present for him. Our Santas were considered to be thieves and thought to know magic. But through the years they have changed and started to give children small presents during the 13 days before Christmas."
Improving her gymnastics is only one of Odinsdottir's ambitions for 2017.
"I just want to do things that makes me happy, and be around people who make me happy," she said. "I'm going to do my very best in everything I do, and by that I will reach my goals."
International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Icelandic gymnastics includes:
"Icelandic Warm-up" - feature on IG's visit to Icelandic clubs (November 2012)
"She's Keeping Her Cool" - Sigridur Bergthorsdottir profile (October 2012)
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