Aiko Steinlage: Arrowhead Gymnast

Emily Hollern, Reporter

The Arrowhead gymnastics season started up on Monday, November 8, 2021. It lasts through February for junior varsity and March for varsity. 


Aiko Steinlage has been participating in Arrowhead gymnastics since freshman year, and is now a junior.


“There are four events. Bars, beam, floor, and vault,” says Steinlage. “The bars event consists of two uneven bars, where we swing around them and jump between them. It’s very focused on upper-arm strength. Beam is a very skinny piece of metal—a balance beam, where athletes jump, turn, and tumble—and try not to fall off. On the floor, we tumble, run, and dance. Finally, the vault event is where we run at a stationary raised platform and flip over it.”


Steinlage has been doing gymnastics for eight years, first at Midwest Twisters in Hartland, and then in high school, she joined the Arrowhead team. 


“My favorite events are bars and beam,” she says. “They’re the least aggressive on my joints.”


“I’m excited for gymnastics this year,” she adds. “There are a lot of new people joining, and our coaches, Bob and Bailey, really make us feel like a family.” Steinlage is on JV, but says, “I might get onto varsity this year. I’ve been on varsity for beam, though, last year.”


“I really do like doing gymnastics,” says Steinlage. “It’s been a passion of mine for a long time, and the Arrowhead team makes me feel at home.”


Not only does the Arrowhead gymnastics team feel like family, but Steinlage also has met some of her closest friends today through it. “I made so many new and close friends from gymnastics. I still talk to some of the friends that I made in the early years of doing gymnastics.”


“My ultimate goal in gymnastics is to stay fit. It’s not about being the best, it’s about the experience and bond we make with each other,” says Steinlage. “My gymnastics team feels like family.”


Another plus, she says, are the pasta parties. “I love just hanging out with the team and eating different kinds of pasta the night before meets. It’s a really good way to bond with each other.”


“I don’t plan to continue gymnastics after high school, but I’ll really miss it when I graduate,” she says.