Gymnasts have mastered the art of balance—between individual and team, calm and chaos, motion and stillness, strength and grace—on the beam and off.
In a sport known for its artistic feats of athleticism, the members of the Stanford Women’s gymnastics team draw on their own power and that of their teammates to stick the landing.
At practice, upbeat songs blast over the speakers while gymnasts train on the bars, vault, beams, and floor. In one corner, someone flips around the bars. In another, a gymnast walks the beam. Amid the high energy of training sessions and meets, the gymnasts use their mental and physical strength to execute skills that leave many in awe but that few have the ability to do.
For many who reach the heights of Division 1 NCAA, the road is one they’ve walked for most of their lives.
“More than any other sport, athletes start so young in gymnastics. Most of the time, you start when you’re three years old,” said Head Coach Tabitha Yim. Gymnasts like Taralyn Nguyen and Ira Alexeeva both began their own journeys at this age. Others, like Isabela Onyshko, a junior at Stanford and former member of the Canadian Olympic team, began at six.
Since then, gymnasts from around North America landed on Stanford’s team where they flip, spring, jump, and fly all in search of the perfect 10.