By Yasmine Bassil, Communications Assistant
Balancing academic work and competitive sports can often be difficult, especially for a college student at Georgia Tech, but Elena Shinohara has mastered it.
Elena Shinohara, a rhythmic gymnast on the Senior National Team, was named the Rhythmic Gymnastics Sportsperson of the Year by USA Gymnastics. She received the award after the USA Gymnastics Championship in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 6, 2019. The award is determined by a collective vote from the top 12 gymnasts of the nation. Rhythmic Gymnastics Athlete Representative Rebecca Sereda presented the award.
Elena is a full-time student at Georgia Tech, completing a pre-health track and majoring in biochemistry. Her father, Minoru “Shino” Shinohara, is an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Biological Sciences.
Shino runs the Human Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory, studying the mechanisms of motor learning and rehabilitation. As an expert in physiology and sports science, Shino is one of Elena’s rhythmic gymnastics coaches. Elena’s second coach is her mother, Namie “Nancy” Shinohara, a former member of the Japanese national rhythmic gymnastics team.
Hard work and dedication permeate Elena’s life; her successes in both her academic degree and gymnastics career are wonderfully exemplified by this award. Congratulations, Elena!