How do you go about telling a story that was a lifetime in the making?
Even if the time frame is shortened to an athlete’s four or five years in college, how do you put into words the impact and meaning of a collegiate career?
That is the challenge every year when it comes to representing the experiences of gymnasts whose time with Utah gymnastics has come to an end.
Rather than make an ill-fated attempt at it, we’ve let the gymnasts speak for themselves ahead of the final meet of their careers.
Here is what Utah senior Alexia Burch had to say.
“Dear Utah gymnastics,
Thank you for everything. Everything from the moment I stepped on campus as a baby Ute in 2017, to the day I walk across the stage at graduation. You have meant the most and been my world for five years, and I could not be more grateful.
Thank you for being the thing that pushed me the hardest, taught me life lessons and supported me along the entire way. As a freshman, you taught me how to be an adult. To be kind, caring and respectful.
Coming to college as a 17 year old is not easy, but I was always given the support I needed to be here. As a sophomore, you taught me how to push through the hardest of times. It will all be worth it.
Even if it was not my best meet, I was always met with reinforcement on how to get better. As a junior, you taught me what family meant. Family above all else. A team of women and all of the staff being all in on one dream and goal.
As a senior, you taught me leadership and showed me why I have loved this sport so much. The pandemic changed what a season looked like, but that did not stop us from achieving everything we wanted.
Finally, as a super senior, you gave me one more chance to be around a group of women I call my sisters, and staff who will always be family. A senior send-off with fans, friends and family all getting to be there for a final salute in the Huntsman Center is something I will never forget.
I cannot be more appreciative of my time spent at the University of Utah and all of the memories I have made along the way in the gymnastics program. You have given me the opportunity of a lifetime to get my degree while also doing the sport I love the most.
Thank you and as always, Go Utes!”