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Austria's Katharina Fa Favors Family Holiday
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After a good performance at the world championships in October, Austrian gymnast Katharina Fa told IG she is ready to relax with family during the December holidays.

IG Online continues its yearly holiday series, bringing you the scoop on what the world's best gymnasts will be up to at the end of 2010!

After a good performance at the world championships in October and a second place all-around finish at the Austrian Championships in November, Austrian gymnast Katharina Fa told IG she is ready to relax with family during the December holidays.

Fa was the youngest member of the Austrian team at worlds in Rotterdam, where she and teammate Jasmin Mader shared their team's highest all-around total, 47.698. Last month Fa finished second all-around to Barbara Gasser at the Austrian Championships, where she earned an all-around total of 48.800.

"It's difficult to say which moment made me proudest," Fa said of her 2010 performances. "All my good achievements make me proud. Of course I was very happy about my result at worlds as the best Austrian all-arounder. Another highlight was our nationals, which took place in my home region, where I won my first individual Austrian apparatus final title on floor."

Fa, who ranked 108th all-around in Rotterdam, said competing at worlds for the first time has educated and encouraged her.

"It was great to be part of this group of the world's best elite gymnasts," said Fa, who trains under coach Christine Frauenknecht at Turnsportzentrum Dornbirn. "I learned several things by watching the other gymnasts. But I also recognized that everybody has to face mistakes. In any case, worlds have been a big motivation to proceed with my training."

Fa said she is just as eagerly anticipating a traditional Christmas in Austria.

"In Austria we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 24," Fa said. "There's no Santa Claus. In our country the Christkind (Christ Child) brings the presents. Before lunch my family and I will decorate the Christmas tree and clean the whole house. In the afternoon we'll have coffee and home-baked cookies. Afterward I expect to walk to church with my sister and a neighbor to receive one light of peace, a candle with a flame from Bethlehem. In the evening we'll celebrate the handing out of presents. Together with my family we will read the Christmas gospel, listen to Christmas songs and unwrap the presents. Afterward we will have a delicious dinner."

After the holidays, Fa said she plans to begin working toward her goals for next year.

"I want to further improve myself and to stabilize my routines on a higher level in 2011," she told IG. "My biggest goals are to qualify for the Austrian team at the European and world championships."

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