National Gymnastics Champion Walks Amongst the Halls

National gymnast, Caroline Walker discusses her accomplishments of her sport

Katharine Walker, Online Editor

     Walking amongst the halls of Reedy High is a national champion. Sophomore Caroline Walker is a six-time winner of the annual USA Gymnastics T&T Competition (trampoline, tumbling, and double mini), and she is gearing up for another round of competitions this spring.

   

Caroline, who has “been doing gymnastics since she was seven” is a junior elite gymnast, which is the highest level she can compete in until she turns 16, therefore qualifying her for the senior elite level. 

     “I train four days a week for four hours each, so 16 hours a week,” Walker said. “In competition season, in the spring semester, I will normally compete on the weekends as well.”

     Training this long requires a lot of balance between academics and gymnastics, so Caroline “always makes sure that [she] is prepared for school” in her spare time.

     “I do off-campus for gymnastics, so I get out at around 2:10 each school day,” Walker said. “That gives me time to do homework between school and gym. At gymnastics, when we have breaks, I also do my homework then. After gym, I stay up late and sometimes early in the morning to finish.”

     Caroline goes to Eagle Gymnastics Academy, a highly successful gym that trains national champions, including Caroline herself. 

     “I have four coaches, and I really like them because they know what they are doing since they are all athletes themselves,” Walker said. “Two of them right now still compete in gymnastics, so it’s really cool that we can train from them. They know what it’s like to be an athlete and what it’s like to struggle, and I like that perspective.”

     Even though she competes far and wide, a lot of Caroline’s competition are her Eagle teammates.

     “I get along with my team members pretty well,” Walker said. “Sometimes, there is a little  competition between us, but we still cheer each other on. At competitions and trainings, we always go out to eat together, and we will pretend it’s someone’s birthday so we can get free food.” 

     Caroline is getting ready for another round of competitions, which means many flights, hotel visits, and being gone from home.

 “While I am successful in my sport, it’s important for me to be humble about it,” Walker said. “It’s not something a lot of people know about me, and I am fine with that.”