Kyle Christiansen

You have probably seen him running around campus with RedBull! This week's Campus Celebrity is Kyle Christiansen! Kyle is a senior this year at UIC, a self-proclaimed "procrastinating millionaire at the age of 21," and is majoring in Health Informatics. Kyle is also the Red Bull Student Brand Manager, on the UIC Men’s Gymanstics Team, and is a Contracted ROTC Cadet. His hometown is Kenosha, Wisconsin and is the oldest of four siblings. See what drives this busy senior to keep going!

HC (HerCampus): What piqued your interest in gymnastics? How did you first get involved?

KC (Kyle Christiansen): It all started when I was a wee’ little lad - about 5 years old. I remember being in Kindergarten and always having a lot of energy. I swear I could run a mile at the age of 5. My parents couldn’t take it and wanted a place for me to go and jump around. They put me in a recreational class at my first gym in Kenosha WI, and it all stated from there. 

HC: Did you always know you were going to be a gymnast at UIC?

KC: The sport of Men’s Gymnastics has been dying on the collegiate level for years. Currently there are only 16 Division 1 programs left. So, when growing up, I knew it was going to be a challenge to compete collegiately. With a plethora of very talented gymnasts, and limited amount of programs – It is super competitive. In my junior year of high school, I began the recruiting process. Sending my videos to coaches, and going on recruiting trips. After visiting a few schools, I came to see UIC. I fell in love with the city, team, and the ROTC program. After that trip, I knew I was going to go to UIC.

HC: What is your favorite part of being on the UIC gymnast team, and what is your least favorite part?

KC: Hmm. Well, my favorite part would have to be the team. A lot of us have competed against each other growing up, so to live and train with some of your best friends is an awesome experience. As far as my least favorite part…that’s a tough one. The hardest part about any sport you love is getting injured. Especially being a senior. It always is a bummer when you can't help out your team because you're injured.

HC: Can you describe you favorite, or most memorable, event while on the team?

KC: Such a loaded question. One single event is hard to pick out. In a nutshell, I would have to say every day is a memory. Being able to go into the gym and train with 22 of your best friends everyday is unreal! Winning together and losing together. It’s a rollercoaster ride, but having the team behind you makes it memorable.

HC: Do you have any advice for other athletes out there?

KC: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” That is a quote my coach told me while growing up. You may be very talented. But that will only take you so far. You need to work hard, and always keep the end result top of mind. You train how you compete. Just work hard, and never pass up an opportunity.

HC: Do you have any role models or anyone who inspires you? If so, who?

KC: Hmm. I would have to say Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Both of these guys were told they would fail. Their business ideas wouldn’t work. But look at them now. They're on top of the world! It just goes to show you that if you have the drive and ambition, anything is possible.

HC: Do you have any personal/professional goals that you want to accomplish before you graduate?

KC: I want the UIC men’s gymnastics team to win the ECAC conference championships this year. I really want to get that ring before I graduate. We have the talent, we just need to put it all out there on game day.

HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

KC: Ideally, I would love to see myself sitting on a beach in the islands of Figi..we all dream, right?

HC: If you could be best friends with any celebrity, who would it be and why?

KC: Dang ummm. Probably Dan Bilzerian. He seems like a freakin’ awesome dude. He has like 4.6 million followers!! Wish I could be on that level one day.