Gainesville may be far away from Montreal, Quebec, but Freshman Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto feels right at home at the University of Florida. The Canadian gymnast came to Florida as part of the number one ranked freshman class in the country, but before last year she never realized she could compete as a college gymnast.
“In Canada we don’t train to go to college, we train to go to regionals. While here in the United States they train to go to College. I didn’t even know college gymnastics existed before last year,” said Dancose-Giambattisto.
When Dancose-Giambattisto was choosing which college to attend, what she liked about the University of Florida was how the gymnastics squad felt like more than just a team.
“Here it’s really like a family. I know it sound’s cliché, but it’s really true. Here every single one of us treats each other like a sister,” said Dancose-Giambattisto.
Competing at the University of Florida won’t be the only time Dancose-Giambattisto will be put in the spotlight. She has already been on the national stage while particpating with the Canadian National Team during their silver medal run in the Pan American Games, and when she placed first in uneven bars and third overall during the 2011 Canadian Championships.
Now Dancose-Giambattisto prepares for meets every week, but believes she has already adapted to collegiate play.
“It wasn’t a hard adjustment, but different. We are used to training months for one event, but now it’s every single week,” explained Dancose-Giambattisto.
Unfortunately, Dancose-Giambattisto hasn’t seen much action in her first year as she has been recovering from a Lisfranc fracture, an injury to the foot, which she suffered during 2012′s Olympic Trials. To compensate for the injury, she has been working on different apparatuses which are less intensive on her foot and believes she will be ready to make an impact soon.
“I’m going to stay here for the whole summer and will work really hard on my foot,” said Dancose-Giambattisto. “Hopefully, I come back next year fully recovered.”
Once Dancose-Giambattisto recuperates, she will make the highly touted Florida gymnastics team that much better.