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10.0 Things You Didn’t Know About Gator Gymnastics

Last Friday, Balance 180 was given the opportunity to perform before the final Florida Gators Gymnastics home meet of the season. Our athletes had a blast and made some memories that will last a lifetime! The University of Florida gymnasts are a huge inspiration to us and we are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to share a bit of the spotlight with some of our hometown heroes. We decided to delve a little deeper to learn more about who the Gator gymnasts are and what goes on behind the scenes at the Gator gymnastics meets.

Here are 10.0 fun facts that you might not have known about Florida Gators Gymnastics:

1. Each year, Florida Gators Gymnastics holds their breast cancer awareness Link to Pink meet. The event is in its 12th season and had the opportunity to honor 75 breast cancer survivors and their families this year.

2. The Gator gymnastics team actually designs all of their leotards from scratch. Some of the designs have even been inspired by an outfit Beyonce wore and even wedding dresses. Nice!

3. The giant inflatable Gatorhead the gymnasts run out of each meet takes a team of about five people to inflate and deflate. The Gatorhead is set up after warm-ups and taken down immediately after introductions. We have heard the record time that it has been deflated in is SIX seconds!

4. Kennedy Baker is not only an amazing gymnast, but she is also a proud member of the Signing Gators Sign Language Club. She has even performed with the group during the National Anthem at a few meets this season. So awesome! 

5. The gymnasts come from all over the country – Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, and North Carolina are just a few of the eight states Gators gymnasts hail from.

6. Florida Gators Gymnastics fans set an impressive season attendance record this year, with an average of 8,304 fans at each meet. Go Gators!

7. Not only will you see incredible performances at Gators Gymnastics meets, you might also spot a celebrity. In past seasons UF President Kent Fuchs, ABC’s The Bachelor contestants Luke Pell and James Taylor, National Champions Gators Baseball Captain JJ Schwarz, and Gainesville’s own “Hot Cop” Daniel Rengering have all come out to support the Gators. Starstruck! 

8. Rachel Slocum is one of six kids! Her siblings all came out to support her at last Friday’s Senior Night meet. We wonder who she gets her dance moves from?!

9. Doors to the meets may not open until 5:30 PM, but staff from the University Athletic Association and the Stephen C. O’Connell center sometimes get to the O’Dome as early as 7:00 AM to set up signage and prepare for the thousands of fans to arrive.

10. Local gymnastics academies and community groups are sometimes given the chance to perform before the Florida Gators Gymnastics meets, including your very own Balance 180! Check out the highlights from our time at the meet last Friday. So thankful for this opportunity!

 

Written by Jillian Tartt. Video by Julie Walter. 

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