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Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Teaneck Doghouse would like to recognize 13-year-old Rebecca Max as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. Last month Rebecca competed in the all-around competition at the 2017 USAIGC/IAGC World Championships in Reno, Nevada, and came in second place overall, earning a 36.575 in which she had the top score of 9.500 on vault and 9.300 on beam. She qualified in all four events to compete in the event finals. At the finals she came in first place in vault, again with a 9.500, and second place on floor with a 9.375.

Rebecca congratulations on an impressive finish. I am sure it is a result of many hours of practice and hard work. Who is your role model and why?

My mother is my role model because she supports me in everything I do. She encourages me to reach outside my comfort zone, not just in gymnastics.

What is your greatest sports accomplishment?

My greatest sports accomplishment is getting to meet with the head of the gymnastics league to add a rule into the USAIGC handbook about how all gyms should accommodate for gymnasts who keep Shabbat.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

My favorite athlete is McKayla Maroney because her best event is vault, like me. Her vault is ranked #1, and so is mine.

What is your earliest sport memory?

As a child, I was always active but also really small. I liked gymnastics because I could run and jump around, and because it was inside where there were no bugs.

What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you during a competition?

After I won balance beam for the first time a couple of years ago, I lost my balance after receiving my medal and fell off the podium.

What is your favorite sports memory?

My favorite gymnastics memory is going to the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions and meeting the 2016 Olympians.

What do you like to do when not practicing or competing?

When I’m not doing gymnastics my favorite thing to do is go on my phone and make silly videos and pictures or hang out with friends and family.

What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?

The part of gymnastics that I think is more important than winning is working hard and feeling proud of what I’ve done. A lot of people assume, including both Shabbat-observing Jews and my non-Jewish teammates, that it’s not possible for someone who observes Shabbat to do gymnastics. I feel like a superstar when I am able to compete as my whole self. By sticking to what I believe I can feel proud knowing that my parents, teachers, rabbi and community can be proud, too.

The Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week will receive a $15 gift certificate to The Teaneck Doghouse. Please send nominees for next week’s Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].