GAGE Gymnast Nichelle Christopherson Verbally Commits To The University Of Florida
October 13, 2012
Junior at LSN
By Jessica Root
Intern Reporter for the Tribune
As a little girl, Nichelle Christopherson used to climb up the door jams and jump off the top of the dresser onto the bed. Gymnastics was obviously in her blood.
“I was kind of a daredevil and my sister was already doing gymnastics so my mom signed me up too,” Christopherson said.
Now a junior at LSN, Christopherson’s gymnastics journey hasn’t been easy, but hard work always pays off. She moved to Missouri from Reno, Nevada thinking her father would get a job transfer, but the transfer never went through. She then found out about GAGE, where she trains now, and decided to try it out.
“The fact that my dad never got transferred here and still lives in Reno is really hard on my family and I. We don’t get to see him very often, and it can be tough,” Christopherson.
Christopherson has been homeschooled most of her life so she can focus on gymnastics.
“Gymnastics means so much to me. It has taught me so much more than just ‘gymnastics,’” Christopherson said. “I have learned what it really means to be dedicated, to work hard and to respect others.”
Christopherson is inspired by Fisa, an African man from her hometown church in Reno. He grew up in Africa and lived a tough life. His family in Africa lives on less than a dollar a day. He has been trying for some time now to get his visa, and without it he cannot get a real job. The little money he does get, he sends back to his family in Africa.
“Because he currently lives in Reno, we don’t get to talk much, but he makes an effort to send inspiring verses and encourage me to keep pushing forward,” Christopherson said. “He is one of those people in my life that has been an inspiration to both me and my family.”
Christopherson’s goals this year are to maintain her grades, save up for a church mission trip and make the U.S. National Gymnastics Team.
“I’m not going to say gymnastics is easy, because by golly it’s not. But even though I haven’t reached my big goal yet, the things I have accomplished on the way are well worth it,” Christopherson said. “You can’t just settle for good; you have to go out there and work harder than everyone else.”
Christopherson has verbally committed to the University of Florida (UF) for gymnastics, and her official commitment will come her senior year.
“I committed to UF because, first of all, I love the head coach Rhonda, and secondly because I want to do something along the lines of marine biology and Florida is the perfect place!” Christopherson said. “The girls that will be joining me in my year are awesome and the campus, from what I’ve seen, is gorgeous.”
Christopherson will continue her gymnastics training at GAGE this year while taking advanced classes at LSN. Her future is looking bright and will bring her great opportunities in the Sunshine State.