2012 German Olympic team alternate Lisa-Katharina Hill spoke to IG this week, sharing her perspective on her past accomplishments and her plans for the new Olympic cycle.
Overcoming her disappointment of her alternate status on the German team at this summer's Olympic Games in London, veteran gymnast Lisa-Katharina Hill is making the most of the international opportunities that face her as she heads toward 2013.
Hill placed third all-around at the Arthur Gander Memorial held Nov. 1 in Chiasso, Switzerland. Later this month she is slated to compete in the small premiere league final for her Grossburgwedel team in Berlin, and in December she will take part in the DTB-Pokal team competition in Stuttgart.
Hill helped Germany place 14th at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam and sixth at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo. In German national all-around championships, she was second in 2010, sixth in 2011 and fifth in 2012. Hill placed fourth all-around at the second German Olympic team qualification meet, but was named alternate on the German squad that finished ninth in London.
In this IG Online interview, the 19-year-old Hill shared her perspective on her past accomplishments and her plans for the new Olympic cycle.
IG: Congratulations on your solid performance at the Arthur Gander Memorial. What was it like for you to get back into the feel of major competition since the Olympic Games?
Germany's Lisa Katharina-Hill during podium training at the 2012 Europeans in Brussels
LKH: Thank you. It was a good feeling to be allowed to compete at the Arthur Gander Memorial. Also, I was really excited because there was no ideal preparation for this event. After the Olympics I took a rest for more than four weeks. So I did my best, and performed simply and safely. After the competition I felt very happy, of course.
IG: It is both an honor and a difficulty for a gymnast to serve as an Olympic team alternate. What are your feelings on coming very close to competing in London, but not getting the chance to compete?
LKH: Yes, you are right. On one hand, it is an honor to be the Olympic team alternate. Many people outside serious sports complimented me on this success. They couldn't understand why I was dissatisfied with the result to be number six. Now I can think about it more clearly and be proud of my results in 2012. On the other hand, to compete at the Olympics was my dream since I was 5 years old, and now I have missed that big aim. I was very, very disappointed! But life must go on.
IG: What gives you the motivation to continue competing at the top level?
LKH: That is very good question. After the disappointment in August I wasn't sure whether I could and wanted to go on with gymnastics. But I knew I should not make a decision in a depressed state of life. First I should try to get normal and then decide if I would go on with gymnastics or finish. So I started training after long holidays and made myself able to compete.
IG: Based on your performances up to London, and your training after London, in which ways do you think you can best help the German team in 2013?
LKH: I think I have a solid performance in the all-around, and especially on uneven bars I have a high-scoring routine. I will see if I can support the German team with my performances next year. There are many good gymnasts who want to compete for the German team in 2013.
IG: Technically the next Olympics Games are less than four years away. What are your thoughts on trying for Rio?
LKH: More than three years is such a long time, and it's still a long way to go for Rio. 2016 is the next chance to realize the big dream. So if I can go on with gymnastics, I will try to catch it. But don't forget that I've finished school now, and I'm looking for an occupational decision. Hopefully I can realize both.