Nerves of Steele: Superstar Hilary Steele Joins Team Quatro
Quatro welcomes former US National team member, and two time NCAA all-around champion Hilary Steele to our growing team. Hilary has dedicated her whole life to the sport of gymnastics and in addition to her role as a Quatro sales representative, she currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Maryland.
Hilary’s accomplishments in the sport of gymnastics are impressive. Some of her most notable accomplishments include being a member of the Women’s Senior National Team from 2005-2007, being invited to the World Championships Selection Camp, and being selected as the second alternate for the 2006 World Championships Team. Hilary also travelled to Ireland and Belgium to represent the United States in international competitions. Upon the completion of her Elite career, Hilary received a full gymnastics scholarship to the University of Georgia where she absolutely dominated and became a two-time national champion. Hilary’s drive for excellence and winning attitude make her a great fit for Quatro Gymnastics.
Hilary Steele interview
1. How did you get involved in gymnastics?
My mom was a coach for 46 years. She used to take me to work with her and I would watch the “big girls” and try to copy them. She put me in classes when I was 4.
2. Obviously any athlete who’s achieved what you have in the sport of gymnastics has had to start taking that activity very seriously, very early on in your life. Can you tell me about that moment when you decided to invest yourself in gymnastics so much from such a young age?
Honestly, this started so young for me I do not remember. As for later on in my career, I was 14 when I decided I needed to be surrounded by other elites and move states to train.
3. How many hours a week did you have to train? Were you homeschooled?
When I started Elite, I was training about 32 hours a week. I trained in the morning, went to school mid-day, and then back to the gym in the afternoon. I was not homeschooled.
4. How did you balance gymnastics and social life?
I didn’t have much of a social life. My best friends were my teammates. I was okay with that because we spent so much time together, so we were really close.
5. What was the biggest obstacle you overcame in the sport? How?
I think it was deciding whether to stick around and try for the Olympics or give up that dream and do gymnastics in college. Ultimately I made the decision that was right for me and I decided to go to college. Most people won’t understand, but I always dreamed about the college experience. My goal as an Elite gymnast was to be on the National team and compete for my country, which I successfully did. By the time I was ready for college, my mind and body were ready to move on and because my chances of making the Olympic team were slim (they needed someone for bars which was my weakest event), I made the decision to go to college and compete at the University of Georgia.
6. What was your favorite event? What was your least favorite event?
My favorite event was floor, and my least favorite was vault.
7. What gymnast did you look up to the most growing up?
I always admired Shannon Miller
8. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be confident in yourself, and always enjoy every moment! You are an amazing gymnast with so much capability.
9. Do you have any regrets?
I don’t think so, every hard time or mistake is a lesson learned.
10. What’s your favorite memory in the sport?
Oh man, there are so many!
-Making the national team for the first time.
-Winning the NCAA national championship twice
Just to name a few.
11. How was being a collegiate gymnast different from being an elite gymnast?
Being a collegiate gymnast was different on so many levels ranging from the number of hours we spent training and the overall atmosphere in general. College was all about the team and Elite was all about the individual. Additionally, in college, less is more, and in elite, more is more!
12. How did you adjust to life after gymnastics? Any advice for retiring gymnasts?
Man, this was such a struggle for me. This is something that I hope I can help gymnasts with in the future. I think it is so important to learn and grow as a person and not just a gymnast. You are more than just a gymnast and you have more worth and value outside of the sport. I think college does help you learn that to some degree. For me, it took me years to figure out life outside the sport. I am still working on trying to find things I love and spending time doing those things. I am very happy to be coaching and I enjoy sharing my passion for gymnastics that way.
13. What are you doing now?
I’m a volunteer assistant gymnastics coach at the University of Maryland and I work for Quatro. I also do nutrition coaching and personal training.
14. What brought you to Quatro? What do you like about Quatro
Quatro apparel is unique, new, and innovative, and that’s what I love about working here. I also love that Quatro is a growing company and I am excited that I get to be a part of helping it grow here in the USA.