Name: Jacob Karlsen
Hometown: Nittedal
Country: Norway
Age: 17
Sport: Gymnastics
Years in the sport: 12 years

How did you get started in gymnastics?
I started gymnastics because both of my parents have been doing gymnastics. They where coaches in a school gym and I was always with them so I have always been in the gym. But the club I trained in until I was 8 wasn’t really good. I changed club to Oslo Turnforening when I was 8 and at that point I quit both skiing and football which I earlier tried to combine with gymnastics.

Goals for the next year?
To prepare for the senior rules and Nordic championship for juniors.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself doing gymnastics full time and compete in big competitions like European Championships and World Cups and championships, as well as combine some studies as well.

Favourite athlete?
My favorite athlete is probably Nile Wilson.
What has been your biggest challenge as an athlete and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me as an athlete was that I had a huge mental block for dismount on high bar for a really long time. I fixed it by lots of basic training for the element and started learning it from scratch again.

Best advice that you have been given?
“Not tomorrow, Today”.

Any hobbies?
No.

Favourite music?
Pop/rap.

What’s the best part of competing?
The best part is when you land a difficult routine and you know you’ve done it good, as well as meet new people.

Favourite quote?
“Not tomorrow, Today”.

If you could workout with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Probably Kohei Uchimura since he is the best gymnast of all time.

If you could compete in another sport what would it be and why?
I have no idea, but I would like to compete in a sport that is a bit bigger/more popular because gymnastics is a really small sport in Norway.

Favourite place to compete?
The Youth Olympics in Argentina has been the best place that I have ever competed. (Buenos Aires).

Do you have any special warm up routine?
Not really, just some running and I try to warm up my whole body with some arm-swings and stretching and a bit strength.

What time is your alarm set for?
On normal days where I have school my alarm is set for 06:05.

Ice cream or cake?
Cake.

What do you do on your rest days?
I am mostly on my computer watching YouTube, Netflix or playing games.

Last non food item you bought?
New wrist supports for pommel horse.

Do you have a lucky number?
No.

Best thing you’ve done in the past 3 months?
Won bronze in vault in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Strangest thing you’ve ever witnessed?
Don’t know.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Not tomorrow, Today’”

Scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Must be some gymnastics element.

What would be your perfect meal?
A really good burger,pizza or steak, but as healthy as a salad.

What performance are you most proud of?
Bronze in Youth Olympics.

Hardest sport moment you’ve had to push through?
Last winter/spring with no motivation and out of shape as well as having injuries.

What have you learned from gymnastics that has helped you in other parts of your life?
To not give up and always try again and to try my best no matter what.

Favourite place to eat?
Maybe at Domino’s pizza or a local pizza restaurant.

If you had to travel either forward in time or backward in time, which would you choose? Why?
I would choose the moment where I stuck my second vault in the vault final in Buenos Aires.

What is the most unusual, challenging, or creative workout you’ve ever done?
The most unusual workout has to be some school workout, even though it was not the most challenging.

Favourite animal?
Either dog or some of the big cats(Tiger, lions etc)

Dream job besides an athlete?
Work in some technical company and working with technology development.

What motivates you to keep training?
To see the the good results and see that the training pays of, and the feeling you get when learning a new element.

Favourite time of year?
Summer

Of all the people you have trained with over the years, from whom have you learned the most and why?
I have probably learned most from the former national captain of Norway’s gymnastics: Marcus Conradi.

How many hours do you train at a given week?
Between 27-30

Best memory you have from a time when you were training?
Learning a new element and see my friends that I train with get exited from me learning a new skill.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day who would it be? 
Uchimura at the Olympics in the all around final.

Favourite book?
I don’t really read so much, but probably hunger games.

What does a typical day of training look like?
Morning training from 8:00-9:45 then school from 10:45 to 15:30 and then training from 16:00-19:30.

What is the funniest thing has happened to you/others while training?
When someone has a really funny fail.

Best movie and tv series?
Arrow, White collar and Prison Break.

Results you’re most proud of?
Bronze in vault in the Youth Olympics.

What inspires you?
To watch other gymnasts and see how good they are.

What do you enjoy most about gymnastics?
To learn new elements and do well in competition.

What is the most crucial part of your training?
Focus on strength, flexibility and basics before you start practicing difficult elements.

Anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my coach Valentyn Skrypin, another coach Vitaljis Solodkijs, my family Christine oh Rune and my sister Selma for always helping me.

Find Jacob Karlsen on social media:
Instagram: @Jacob_Karlsen

If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out our interview with Gearoid Towey