NCAA Gymnastics News: Struggling to Believe in Herself, Oregon State Athlete Found ’Motivation’ Among Family

Published 02/09/2024, 5:30 AM EST

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The road to the top isn’t easy for any athlete, ever. And yet, while the arduous journey attracts thousands every year with promises of glory, others simply follow the path for something much greater. For Oregon State University’s gymnastics athlete Ariana Young, the struggles of being a first-generation student-athlete weren’t easy, but absolutely worth it. The OSU senior is a 2023 PAC-12 Academic Honoree, and her routines on the mat gave her a sense of belonging, that can often become the sole takeaway for many athletes during their time as professional gymnasts.

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In a recent social media post, Young could be seen getting emotional while talking about her journey so far. Along with her incredible growth, the sociology student also took a moment to thank the people who helped her along the way to reach where she is now.

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As part of OSU’s attempt to celebrate first-generation student-athletes, their latest Instagram post sheds light on the life of Ariana Young and how gymnastics became a guiding hand in her life choices. In the post, Young reveals that she started gymnastics at the age of 6 when her mother took notice of her doing the cartwheels at a birthday party and took her to her first trainer. It wasn’t long before her trainer also told her that Young had a bright future in the sport.

 

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However, Ariana recalled a phase of her life when she “…failed to see the talent others saw” in her. It wasn’t before 8th grade that she had her first career-oriented talk with her coaches and family, and that proved to be the determining point of her life. Being told that she could go to good schools thanks to her skills which worked as the major motivating factor.

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Young admitted that, over time she started to expand her wings further. “I could go for the things I was originally scared of“, and she attributed that to her coaches and colleagues who helped her believe in herself. She also said that pursuing her dreams helped her realize who she is as a person along with becoming a better gymnast. And she has big plans to use what she has achieved to help the next generation.

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Young’s determination to pass on the knowledge

In the short video clip, Young says while gymnastics is a big part of her life, it isn’t what that defines her. Instead, it’s just something she does and helps her become a better person. Coming from humble beginnings, Young knows how crucial her experience has been, and emphasized her motivation to help her “younger siblings and cousins” to also follow their passion like she was able to.

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While Young had a lot of well-wishers surrounding her, she admits her journey hasn’t been easy yet. However, she is determined to make the road less troublesome for her younger fans.

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Written by:

Diptarko Paul

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Growing up, I didn’t really have an interest in Olympic sports, but it was always something intriguing. As I found the means and the opportunity to explore its world, I found sports like volleyball, and track & field to be something that had tons to offer instead of just scoring through kills and sprinting toward the finish line. Whether it is Nebraska Huskers dominating the court or Noah Lyles maintaining his winning spree on the tracks, these two sports never fail to serve adrenaline rush to their spectators.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani

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