Friday, January 29, 2016

Catching Up With Sam Mikulak

2016 is a pivotal year, as the world turns towards Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.  And the "baby" of the 2012 Men's Olympic Team, Sam Mikulak, hopes to be the main attraction.
Heather Maynez

Mikulak, no longer the underdog after winning every National All Around Title this quadrennium, is still recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, but is not letting that slow him down, "I'm probably at like 90%.  I'm doing hard landings on all my events except for vault."

After graduating from the University of Michigan and spending one year as an Undergraduate Assistant Coach, Mikuak moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado to the United States Olympic Training Center, where he trains with fellow Olympian John Orozco, 2014 and 2015 World Team member Donell Whittenburg, 2015 World Team members Paul Ruggeri and Brandon Wynn, among others, allowing Sam to be "a little more selfish."

"Moving to the Olympic Training Center has given me a lot more resources that comes with recovery and coaches.  I just get a lot more attention to try and take care of my body, there is a lot less distractions outside the gym.  It's just a lot of people training for the same goal."

While training to compete in the biggest athletic event in the world, Mikulak relies on MateBros, a tea made from Yerba Mate from Argentina, to stay energized, focused, and motivated.

Mikulak, along with former gymnasts Jordan Gaarenstroom and Alex Anunciation, have been dreaming of MateBros for "a long time," before making this dream a reality in November 2014.  Since then, drinking MateBros has become a tradition before every practice- and not just for Mikulak.

"I've been battle testing this with the entire National Team now that I live in the Olympic Training Center, and guys come into my room and are like 'Hey, can I have a Mate?'"

With MateBros aiding his focus, motivation, and energy levels in practice, Mikulak is hoping to clean up his execution in the months leading up to the Olympic Games, "it's all about being under pressure and performing the routines as cleanly as possible.  So right now we're all trying to cut down on our execution deductions and build confidence". By doing so, the US men hope to improve on a fifth place finish in London four years ago, and at the Glasgow World Championships last October.

MateBros is an all natural, low sugar, "green tea-like drink with a little more caffeine, but not too much that's gonna give you the jitters like coffee".  Mikulak adds that elite athletes should be putting only the best in their bodies if they want their bodies to be their best.  That's the MateBros difference, "It's something that I honestly and passionately think that is going to change the game of gymnastics".

What's next for MateBros?  Along with a huge website revamping, the MateBros team is cutting prices by 50%, in order to get their product to a larger audience. "We want to

give back to the sport that has given me so much.  You know what has helped me reach my goals?  Yerba Mate, and I want everyone else to have the same edge that I have when it comes to their gymnastics goals."  Mikulak and his team are willing to make a huge "cut down on profits, but I honestly understand how great this product is for you, and I just want to share it with the entire world".

As the three time National All Around Champion, Mikulak realizes that there are more expectations on him this year, but he refuses to let it affect him, stating "I like to keep the same mindset in competition, the goal is to hit your 6 routines as best as you can, and that's my way of battling any nerves or expected pressures that could come from winning the past 3 national championships".  With these added pressures, Mikulak thinks he can rise to them.

"The goal for myself is to win the Olympic All Around gold medal and the goal for the team is to win the Team gold medal".

And after?  "After [The Post Olympic Tour], I will still be doing gymnastics, I don't plan on stopping at 23 years old.  I wanna go to the 2020 Olympics".

How does he plan on doing that?  By drinking MateBros.

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