Categorized | Club, Featured, Men's Gymnastics

StickItMedia Exclusive Interview: Yul Moldauer

Posted on 27 July 2010 by admin

5280 Gymnastics in Wheat Ridge, CO is one of the top elite men’s club gymnastics programs in the country.  In recent years, the club has become a consistent producer of collegiate gymnasts such as Stanford’s Lucas Hughes, Iowa’s Anton Gryshayev and Air Force’s Colton Wulf.  5280 is also the home of rising star Yul Moldauer.  In convincing fashion at the 2010 JO Nationals, Moldauer, a three-year Level 9, captured national titles in the All-Around and on parallel bars.  Coached by the Artemev family (Vladimir, Irina Bendassova and Sasha), Moldauer is a 2-year member of the Junior National Team (Level 9) and is now training hard for his upcoming debut as a Level 10.

According to Yul’s dad, Shaw, he had an atypical early aptitude for gymnastics.  At 18 months, Yul rode his little Radio Flyer around the house at breakneck speed, making his mom very nervous.  He was constantly jumping off of things, which ultimately forced his parents’ hand.  Because Yul grew up on a farm, his parents promised to buy him a big turkey for his birthday.  Imagine Yul’s disappointment when Shaw unloaded a trampoline from his truck instead of a large bird!  We know he eventually got over that.

At age 7, Yul enrolled in a free workout at a local gym, which led very quickly to a spot on the team.  The next year, Yul’s private workouts with Raleigh Wilson inspired him.  Wilson challenged him to write down a set of goals for the following four years.  Yul has met each goal on schedule.  He ended up at 5280 at age 10 and placed 7th at Future Stars.  The following year he qualified for JOs after winning the State meet and finishing 2nd at Regionals.  Yul maintained his momentum in 2009 as he won State, Regionals and earned his first spot on the Junior National Team by placing 12th at JO Nationals.

He likes helping with engineering and carpentry projects in the house, and he gets a kick out of driving the tractor around the family’s nearby farm, tending to the many animals.  Yul has grown up surrounded by horses, goats, chickens, turtles, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs and ducks.  Although he is a farm boy, he loves his hot, spicy Thai food.  Still, his first love is gymnastics, and he trains about 22 hours a week.  5280 offers a very interesting school program that allows their gymnasts to work out in the morning, buses them to public school, and then back to gym in the afternoon.  So devoted is he to his training that he doesn’t like anything to delay his return to the gym.  5280’s program seems to be tailored perfectly for this young, up-and-coming star.

StickItMedia had the recent pleasure of interviewing Yul Moldauer:

SiM:  What has it been like training at 5280 for all these years?

Yul:  5280 is an incredible gym.  It is set up well and has all the equipment anyone could want.  It is also the best private gym for meets.  Home meets are always fun.  It is inspirational watching Sasha train and having older boys doing harder skills.  Vladimir and Irina are the best coaches and they are also my best friends.  All of the staff is great.  The Trammells, the owners of the gym, have been really supportive of me and my family.

SiM:  What favorite stories about Sasha Artemev can you tell us?

Yul:  I’ve enjoyed doing demonstrations with Sasha for the Olympic Committee, at basketball games and at collegiate gymnastics meets, and it is always fun to do flairs with him.  He is a close friend and also a great coach and has always helped me with skills especially on pommel horse.

What have been the hardest things about remaining highly competitive?

Gym is fun and I just have to go.  I always train hard and try to do what my coach asks quickly.  I don’t have any trouble ever being motivated to train or compete.  I look forward to competitions with talented gymnasts.

What are your most challenging events, and why?

Yul:  Although I like Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars, and High Bar, I feel as though I have a pretty competent all-around performance.  Because of my small size, I have to really punch hard.

SiM:  What are your goals for next season?

Yul: I’d like to be competitive as a level 10 and make VISAs and the national team.

What are your goals for the next four years?

Yul:  I think that international competition would be something that I would enjoy.  If I could qualify for Worlds or the Olympics, that would be an honor.  I keep my grades up because I would like to compete at the collegiate level.

SiM:  Who are your role models, and why?

Yul:  My role models are my family, my coaches, Sasha and the older boys in the gym.  Vladimir and Irina are really good at their jobs and the other gymnasts are doing skills that I need to learn and they are helpful and supportive of their teammates.  We all go out of our way to cheer for our team, even if they are in different sessions or at meets where we don’t compete.

What were the highlights of your recent week of training at the OTC?

The coaching and training was great, but the best parts are the OTC cafeteria food and the play time.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received, and why?

Yul:  My Dad once told me to “don’t talk, show.”  I think this is the best advice because it has helped me be humble about my gymnastics and the rest of my life.  I really don’t spend much time talking about gymnastics at all.

What are your favorite things to do other than gymnastics?

Yul:  Sleeping on the floor, sleepovers, airsoft, legos, animals, bikes, basketball, and driving go karts and tractors.

If you were king for a day, what things would you do to increase interest in the sport of men’s gymnastics?

Yul:  I hope that what I do will be inspirational to others and cause them to want to compete.  I think that part of the problem with gymnastics is that people who aren’t in the sport can’t see what we are doing.  It all happens too fast.  If I were king for a day, I’d institute slow motion playback at national meets.

What is your favorite thing about walking into the gym every day?

Yul:  Working with my coaches and friends and learning a new skill.

** Photo courtesy of Champion Images **

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