LSU's gymnastics team is ranked #3 in the country going in to this weekend’s SEC Championship, and most of the team members are accustomed to being on this big of a stage. But one in particular has performed on the grandest stage in sports.
We talked with former Olympian for England, and current LSU gymnast Ruby Harrold about her transition to LSU.
Ruby Harrold's journey to the Olympics was an inspiring but unexpected experience.
“For me getting to the Olympics wasn’t expected, but that’s kind of what made it so organic and so much fun,” Harrold said.
Her transition from Great Britain to Louisiana and elite gymnastics to collegiate was not always easy.
“First year kind of was a bit of a blur. I don’t really remember much of first year. It was a lot of learning, a lot of mistakes and a lot of just sitting back and watching and seeing what goes on,” Harrold said. “Second year was probably, I would say my hardest year just because I was trying to find myself and find where I fit in within the program.”
It wasn’t until this year, her junior year, that Harrold felt that she had found her footing.
“Competing has been an absolute blast. The whole structure of gymnastics here compared to elite is just so much more fun and relaxed and your emphasis on enjoying the sport and finding your love for it again has been so much fun. This year I have definitely thrived in that and learned, okay I can enjoy myself. I know my gymnastics now and it’s just a case of having fun and doing it with a bunch of girls that you really get along with,” Harrold continued.
Harrold feels that a reward of collegiate gymnastics is the focus on the team, not the individual.
“Gymnastics is a very individualized sport especially in the elite world it’s very much how you do and what teams you make, the team kind of comes second. So, coming here and having that team orientation, you have six on an event you need to put your score up for the team and your individual accolades come second. It’s very humbling and almost pushes you harder to do better because you want to do better for your teammates,” the LSU gymnast said.
Harrold also talked about the momentum leading up to this weekend’s SEC Championship.
“Oh, it’s fabulous. It’s so much fun. We didn’t have the smoothest of rides during the start of the season so it’s nice to see kind of we’re on the rise and we’re getting to where we need to be looking to post season,” Harrold said.
Be sure to keep up with the gymnastics team as they compete for the SEC title this weekend in New Orleans. The Tigers will take the floor at 7pm Saturday.