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Gymnastics News: Raised by Single Mother, Morgan Price Pays Tribute After Creating Black History With HBCU

Published 04/15/2024, 2:45 PM EDT

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Drawing inspiration from women of color, a budding gymnast, Morgan Price made history by becoming the first athlete from a historically Black college/university to win a national collegiate championship with an all-around score of 39.225 (vault: 9.80, uneven bars: 9.850, balance beam: 9.725 and floor exercise: 9.850). Price was among the 12 athletes from various colleges who joined the USA Gymnastics’ 2024 Women’s Collegiate National Championships.

Following this historic win, the 18-year-old took center stage as the guest of honor on “CBS Mornings”, and paid a heartfelt tribute to her dear mother who raised her as a single parent. In a warm interaction with Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil, and Vladimir Duthiers, Morgan shared her groundbreaking win and the influences that shaped her journey.

Reflecting on her beginnings, Morgan expressed the rich sports roots within her family. Her father, Chris, is a former baseball player for a Kansas City Royals farm team, and her mother, Marsha, is a former cheerleader at Vanderbilt University. Unfortunately, when Price was 6 years old, her father passed away in a motorcycle accident. The family had to relocate from Lebanon, Tennessee, to Dallas, Texas. Her mother was a strong woman who raised Morgan along with her siblings and was a driving force to make their dreams come to life, while she also made sure to keep her late husband’s dream job in the real estate industry alive.

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Since Morgan’s mother graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Morgan grew up around that locality and became familiar with the SEC. This inspired her to find a team there. Talking about her mother’s impact on her life and career, Morgan said, “She is very inspiring. She is a widow and she had to raise all three girls by herself and my brother so just to see her, she’s a very hard-working mom. She has taught me everything that I know today so I’m just very thankful for her.” Marsha, seated in the CBS studio, beamed with pride as she listened to her daughter’s heartfelt words.

Gayle King further inquired about Morgan Price’s plans for the future of gymnastics. In response, Morgan candidly shared that despite the season’s end, her dedication to gymnastics training remains constant, with hopes of securing further titles in the future. When Gayle asked if going to the Olympics was an ultimate dream, she gave a surprising twist to the tale.

Morgan Price wants to be a gymnastics head coach

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As a kid, Morgan felt isolated often as she was one of the very few black gymnasts on her team. That’s when the Fisk coach, Corrine Tarver entered the scene. Tarver was the first black gymnast to win the NCAA all-around title in 1989 when she represented the Georgia Bulldogs. Morgan, who had originally committed to the University of Arkansas, chose to be part of Fisk instead and inspire the younger African American girls.

Greatly inspired by Coach Tarver, Price wanted to make HBCU a thing and wanted to make them compete with the best of the best. Right now, the team is full of African American and Latina girls.

Answering King’s question if the Olympics was her ultimate goal, the young prodigy revealed, “Um, no. It’s not really an ultimate goal for me. My ultimate goal is just again to win another title and to also be an HBCU head gymnastics coach.”

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Last year at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the world witnessed a powerful display of “BLACK GIRL MAGIC” as three remarkable women of color, Simone Biles, Shilese Jones, and Rebeca Andrade, graced the podium after the all-around competition. Simone Biles shared an important message regarding the moment and said, “So hopefully it teaches all the young girls out there that you can do anything you put your minds to, so keep training hard.” 

Now, everyone is watching this young star as she not only strives to make her mark in history but also aims to pass on her invaluable talent to the next generation of black women.

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Written by:

Christaline Meyers

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Christaline Meyers is a senior Olympics writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in gymnastics and alpine skiing. Christaline is one of the acclaimed authorities in the coverage of 6x All-Around champion, Simone Biles. She has written extensively, covering every detail of Biles’s life stories as well as providing her perspective on Simone Biles’ Yurchenko Double Pike controversy.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal