CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sam Mikulak is no stranger to the Olympics; his appearance at the Tokyo Games will mark the third time the gymnast has appeared on the international stage. He's used to training for big events, and it helps that he has someone by his side who's under the spotlight too.
The 28-year-old Mikulak, who is a six-time U.S. national all-around champion, is originally from California and has spent much of his young life training up in artistic gymnastics. He spent his undergraduate years at the University of Michigan, competing with them while making an Olympic appearance in 2012 at the London games. He would make his next appearance at Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 games. Now, he's on track to again take the floor, while a very special someone in the Queen City cheers him on.
The good news is that Mia, Marshall, and Lilly all bring joy to Sam, which he says is important to make sure he can focus on performing as best as possible.
"The first thing I would teach someone to be a good gymnast is to have a happy life," he said. "They give me a whole other meaning of what it actually means to be happy."
Sam's favorite thing about gymnastics? "The slow progression, always knowing every day you can do something to get better."
You can catch Sam competing in Tokyo, right here on WCNC Charlotte. Here's how and when you can watch all of the events.