What happened to Shantessa Pama?

Shantessa PamaFans have been wondering since Pama basically dropped off the face of the gymnastics Earth after doing well at the prominent junior competitions in 2006. She had a poor performance at the 2006 U.S. Junior Championships, though, and didn’t make the national team.

Now, Amy van Deusen at About.com’s Gymnastics site has some answers. She posted an online interview with Pama, where the 17-year-old who made yarn the new scrunchie talks about the ankle injury that kept her out of competition all last year and her plans for the future.

What are your goals for this year?

My plan for this year is to have fun, do the level 10 scene, and get ready for college. Right now I am competing level 10, and after States, Regionals and Nationals I’ll see if I can go back to elite for my senior year [of high school].

What college would you like to go to?

I would really like to go to Utah, Georgia, UCLA and Stanford. They are all my top favorites. I’d really like to compete NCAA gymnastics.

Pama was a thoroughly impressive junior who threw, among other huge skills, a triple back dismount off the uneven bars. At 13.

Shantessa Pama, 2004 U.S. Junior Championships, Uneven Bars:


4 Responses to “What happened to Shantessa Pama?”

  1. Amanda Says:

    I absolutely adore Shantessa. She is just fantastic. I am so sad she is going back to level 10. I never got the impression that Marta liked her variety of skills very much (or her coach for some reason, not that I heard this from a reliable source, Marta just never seemed very friendly towards him or enthusiastic about what his gymnasts had to offer.) I look forward to her competing college. She will shine in college and I’m sure she will love it too. I hope she goes to UCLA, Miss Val could choreograph Tessa an awesome floor routine.

  2. Rick McCharles Says:

    One of the most memorable gymnasts of the last decade, I would say.

    … I would not want to compete against her in Level 10, though.

  3. sasha Says:

    shantessa is one of the most unique gymnasts i have seen in a long time. she brings back some of the creativity that gymnastics has been missing for awhile. her coach Howie was my coach as well when i was a level 10. he also trained jeanette antolin for over ten years which is why her bars were amazing. he is one of the most amazing bar coaches i have ever trained with.absolutley brilliant! i have never learned tricks quicker. he tought me a one an half twisting geinger on bars when i was ten. i cant wait to see some of his other gymnasts! Good luck shantessa!!!

  4. Fiona Says:

    As long as she’s happy then that’s all that matters. Of course I would have liked to have seen her possibly on the Olympic team or be a favorite to be on it.

    Did she compete until the end of this year? I didn’t see her at JO nationals.

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