Timeout with Christine Abou-Mitri

Pamela Crimbchin

On and off the mat with ‘Bou’

Daniel Doherty | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Sophomore Christine Abou-Mitri, or “Bou” as the Kent State crowd chants from the stands, is not only a solid performer on bars, but also on beam, vault and floor.

Abou-Mitri is one of two Kent State all-around gymnasts, and after a 39.000 score in last week’s meet against Bowling Green, she was named the Mid-American Conference Co-Gymnast of the Week.

Because it is difficult to get to know a gymnast while she is performing through the air, sports reporter Pamela Crimbchin asked Abou-Mitri to take a breather from warming up for practice with headstands on bars to answer a few questions.

How old were you when you started gymnastics?

I was 6 years old.

How did you get involved?

I was watching the Olympics on TV, and I told my dad that I wanted to be just like them.

You said you were watching the Olympics, so who is your biggest influence on your routines and everything?

I would probably have to say my former coach, Dominique Moceanu (a member of the 1996 gold medal squad). She was a big inspiration to me.

How long did you train with her?

I think she came in the beginning of my high school. Oh no, I think eighth grade. Seventh or eighth grade.

Did you ever watch her and say, “That’s my coach!”

Yeah, it’s really great to have a former Olympian (as a coach).

Did you ever think gymnastics would still be a part of your life now?

Yeah, I’ve always wanted to do it in college.

How does it feel to be a Division I gymnast?

There is a lot of pressure on you, but I mean, I’ve always known that I wanted to go into college and a Division I school, nothing less than that. So I’ve always pushed myself to expect, you know, a lot from Division I.

What do you want to do after college?

Well, I’m pre-med, so I want to be a doctor.

Are you hoping to continue gymnastics after college?

No, I think college is the end (of) the road for me (laughs).

How do you feel about going from only competing in one event last year to competing in all four events this year?

I feel like I accomplished a lot. Just from going from one event to another is like a big step for me. And I focused a lot, and I wanted to prove to everyone that I could be a really good all around-er. So, I did.

What is your favorite event?

I like bars.


I don’t know. It’s really challenging, and I like to be challenged in gymnastics. I don’t like to just do the required stuff. I like to go above and beyond.

What is your favorite part of a gymnastics meet?

Just the excitement of the team, you know? Like when you’re up and everyone is cheering for you. You feel like you’re on the stage and your teammates are just backing you up, and it’s a really great feeling.

What has been your worst injury as a gymnast?

I really haven’t had a really bad injury, thank God (laughing). But I hurt my back this year. But other than that, I’ve been like blessed with no injuries.

What is the worst injury you have seen?

Oh, one time my friend was on bars and she was doing a dismount, and as she came down her foot was kind of slanted and her shinbone popped out of her leg. (Laughing) It was really gross.

Does it ever make you nervous on the bars, thinking that could happen?

Yeah, but you know you’ve got to have guts in gymnastics, and if you don’t, then why be in the sport?

Was there any other sport you have ever been interested in?

Yeah, I was always interested in volleyball, but because of my height (laughing), I really couldn’t do anything like that. So I just kind of stopped.

What position would you play if you could?

I’m a really good spiker, so I would definitely be the spiker.

Contact sports reporter Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected] .