Student Athlete of the Week: Gymnast Elizabeth Janssen

We’re taking a visit to a local collegiate gymnast factory, Lanier’s Gymnastics in Gulfport, for this week’s WXXV Student Athlete of the Week.

From the same gym that produced LSU’s Sarah Edwards out of Ocean Springs is another up-and-coming gymnast out of St. Martin.

News 25’s Grace Boyles catches up with Gymnast Elizabeth Janssen fresh off medaling twice at USAG Eastern Nationals.

“Whenever I get to come here and know that I get to just relax and just– just have fun sometimes, and it’s just an amazing opportunity to be here too and being able to flip your body around like this, it just, it feels like flying almost.”

Twisting, tumbling, spinning, even flying, sophomore Lizzy Janssen can do it all and stick the landing. The level 9 gymnast soared into the top 10 at USA Gymnastics Eastern Nationals, placing seventh all-around and fourth on the uneven bars.

Janssen credits her success and accomplishments so far to one vital attribute. “Learning how to work hard for what you have and that it’s not going to come easy in life.”

With two military parents, Janssen has lived all over the globe, including places like England and Japan. No matter the place, the gymnast has always found herself on a beam, spinning around the bars or tumbling across the mat.

However, it wasn’t until Janssen came to Lanier’s Gymnastics in Gulfport that she began to thrive in every way. “Whenever I moved down here, just the coaches, the atmosphere and the equipment they have here is just perfect. So, just helped me definitely grow into a better gymnast and even a better person over all.”

Off the beam, Janssen’s life is a balancing act as well. On top of her training and competing, the sophomore maintains straights As, juggles her JROTC, Beta, and student council responsibilities, all while making sure to invest time and energy into being a good person. “It comes naturally over time and you just learn to adapt to it, I guess.”

Ever since moving to South Mississippi and attending LSU’s college camps, Janssen has had her heart set on suiting up for the Tigers as a part of their women’s gymnastics squad.

In the meantime, Janssen plans to work her way up to level 10 in hopes of competing at nationals and catching the attention of college programs.

If you know of anyone on the Coast that deserves to be featured as News 25 Student Athlete of the Week you can contact Grace Boyles via email at or on Twitter @GraceBBoyles or on Facebook at Grace Boyles WXXV.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, Student Athlete of the Week

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