Friday Focus: Melanie Ortiz
April 8, 2011
Each week, GoAirForceFalcons.com will spotlight a member of the Air Force women's gymnastics team with an online feature called "Friday Focus". For our final week of the season, gymnastics fans can get to know Melanie Ortiz, a freshman from Suffern, N.Y. Click here to get to know Ortiz outside of the gym.
When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? When I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a doctor.
What is one thing that you just can't live without? Oreos!
If you had $1,000,000, what would you do? I would by myself a few things, then invest the rest and put some to good causes.
What is your favorite vacation spot? I've never been there, but I'm going to say Hawaii
What is the most interesting place you have traveled to? The most interesting place that I have traveled to is Brazil.
What is one song that you're tired of hearing? What's My Name by Rihanna
What is your favorite drink at Starbucks? My absolute favorite drink is a white chocolate mocha Frappuccino!
What is your ringtone? Me, of course. Haha.
Who should play you in your life story? Me!
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Chocolate chip cookie dough!
Who is your favorite TV character? House
What is your favorite song for karaoke? Sweet Caroline
What is something that you are afraid? I am deathly, deathly afraid of spiders
What was the first CD you ever bought? Millennium by the Backstreet Boys
What was your first job? Coaching at my gym.
If you had a theme song, what would it be? It's My Life by Bon Jovi
If you could be on any TV show, what would it be? House
How many hours of sleep do you need (and now ... how many do you get?) I am not a morning person...I need at least 7 hours of sleep. I usually get 5 maybe 6 hours a night.
What sports teams do you follow? NY Yankees!!!!! And the NY Giants
What do you want to do after graduation? I either want to go to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon, or go to pilot training.
What is your proudest achievement? Being able to do gymnastics in college.
What era would you most like to travel to? Ancient Egypt
What is one thing about your hometown that you miss? I miss the good ol' NY style, thin crust pizza.
What is a secret talent that few people know you have? I am very artistic. I love drawing and painting.
Where is your favorite place to relax? In my huge chair in my living room next to my fireplace. Can't be relaxing without my huge TV and a movie.
How did you get started in gymnastics? My Moms friend was sending her daughter to gymnastics and suggested that I try it. I was 4 years old when I first started.
What challenge do you find in gymnastics that you don't find in any other sport? I find that dealing with failure and trying to learn a new skill challenging compared to other sports.
What do you like best about gymnastics? Being able to compete in front of a load of people.
What is your favorite sport besides gymnastics? Baseball is my favorite sport.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals? I listen to music and keep myself moving.
What was the best moment from a road trip last season? I went to the Prep School last year, so I didn't compete. But during my senior year, the best moment was finding out that I got into the Academy. I had one of the best meets in my life...and it happened to be my birthday as well.
What is your advice for young gymnasts? Don't ever quit when the going gets tough. I know that sounds cliché, but it's something I hold myself to everyday. If I were to quit when the going got tough, I would have been done a long time ago and I wouldn't be where I am today.
Describe your personality in two words: Talkative and funny
Who are the biggest influences in your life and why? My parents are my biggest influence. They have pushed me to be the best I can be and have always been by my side.
How do you balance your athletics, academics and military duties? It is not easy. Academics come first. Military isn't as hard as people seem. If you just do what you need to do, then you are good. Athletics is the one place of escape and makes stress and frustrations with academics and military easier to deal with.
Who is your favorite non-gymnast athlete(s) at the Academy? Brady Amack
What is your favorite class? My favorite class is Portuguese.
Who is your favorite professor/AOC/etc.? My favorite professor is Maj Joseph Lawrence from the Prep School. I never realized how good I was at arguing until I attended "Fight Club" in his class.
What is your favorite place on the Academy grounds? My favorite place is Eagle's Peak.
What were your first thoughts of the Academy? "Wow"
Who are your biggest fans? My family!!
What was your most memorable "welcome to college" moment? Getting yelled at the moment the bus left at in-processing and trying so hard not to laugh.