By Greta Risgin, Editor-in-Chief. Pictured: Emily Holmes-Hackerd, ’19.
There is no question that LCA has many incredibly talented athletes, many of which are publicized through spotlights on The Blue and White. But, many gifted athletes at LCA fly under the radar because their sport is not one that they compete in at the academy. One such student is LCA’s incredible gymnast — Emily Holmes-Hackerd from the Class of 2019.
Holmes-Hackerd began gymnastics at the young age of two. Her energy on the floor led to her being recognized by the coaches and put on the “big kid floor,” as Holmes-Hackerd put it. At the time Holmes-Hackerd said this scared her, and she decided to quit until she picked gymnastics up again at age seven. Holmes-Hackerd has been doing gymnastics ever since, but it hasn’t been an easy road.
When The Blue and White interviewed Holmes-Hackerd asking what struggles she faced in her sport, she replied that one of the hardest things was being constantly injured. Her last full season was eighth grade, and throughout high school she’s had to deal with many broken bones. Holmes-Hackerd said, “I have broken my ankle, my back, multiple fingers, my hand, both of my feet multiple times and had elbow surgery.” Along with injuries, she has had to struggle with balancing school and gym life. Emily Holmes-Hackerd stated that, since sophomore year, everything got harder — from classes and homework, to the reality that she had to be on her A-game every day in case a college coach stopped by the gym, but something about gymnastics kept her coming back.
Something inspiring Emily Holmes-Hackerd told us in her interview was that, even though there were more bad days than good, it was those good days that made it all worth it because, for her, “the friends you make and those bonds you make are irreplaceable.” She also told the newspaper that, even though she doesn’t have a specific idol in gymnastics, she did practice with Olympic gold-medalist Aly Raisman, and seeing Raisman work through the hardships for her goal motivated Holmes-Hackerd to keep pushing towards her goal of receiving a full-ride for gymnastics to college.
Holmes-Hackerd keeps going back for those good days, and will be continuing to do so in college, as she was accepted into the University of West Virginia for their gymnastics team. She wants to “be injury free and be in the lineup on all four events and contribute [her] score to the team every time” as well as perfect her skills, learn new ones, and stay consistent in competition. Above all though, Holmes-Hackerd just wants to enjoy “enjoy [her] college career and have fun with [her] last four years of gymnastics.” Good luck and congratulations Emily Holmes-Hackerd!