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Vault … Uneven Bars … Balance Beam … Floor Exercise

As a collegiate gymnast, Olivia Trautman knew the rotation of events at a meet. As a true freshman for the Sooners, Olivia was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. She won the Big 12 and NCAA Regional titles on floor exercise and earned first-team All-America honors from the NCAA (postseason) and the WGCA (regular season) on the floor.

She became the fourth freshman in school history to earn a 10.0 (floor exercise) and won 12 event titles on floor. Little did she know when she competed at the NCAA in April 2019, the six-minute set of four events would not be routine again for two years.

Fast forward to December 2019. Olivia injured her heel during training and spent the rest of the preseason and early parts of the season returning to competition form. The December injury seriously affected her ability to compete all four events. She returned gradually, starting with uneven bars and vault. She added the beam and was training on the floor exercise when the 2020 season came to a sudden end, nine days before the Big 12 Championships and the start of the postseason. Even the successfully rehabbed Olivia couldn’t beat COVID-19.

Olivia returned to the gym with her teammates last fall. Unbelievably, on nearly the same day, she suffered a repeat injury in the same spot, same bone, of her heel. This time, the injury would require surgery and a longer rehab. Six weeks with no weight bearing and then in a boot, she missed the first six meets of 2021. She began competing on the bars in mid-February and added the vault in early March. She competed on the beam for the first time at the Big 12 Championships and returned to the floor exercise at the NCAA Regionals. That marked her first competition on the floor and in the all-around since her freshman season in 2019.

Olivia earned first-team All-America honors at the NCAA in the all-around, second-team postseason All-American in vault, bars, beam and floor. After her return, Olivia contributed big scores in the events she competed in, key numbers that helped OU challenge for a national title.

“I was devastated when I was injured the second time,” Olivia said. “I had worked so hard to get back into the lineup, to be with my teammates, the year before. We were ranked No. 1 throughout the season, then COVID shut us down. I realized I had to switch my mind set. Our coaches always talk about being ready when your name is called. They reminded us to stay engaged. I had to be the best I could be as I worked my way back into the lineup. My mom always told me that I needed to keep a good attitude and good things would happen for me.”

Olivia has returned to the gym with her teammates and now she is a senior leader. One thing is certain for the senior from Champlin, Minneapolis. If the freshmen need someone to help them understand the way things are done at Oklahoma, all they will need to do is find Olivia.

“The seniors teach the freshmen how we do things at Oklahoma. You have to have good senior leaders for the program to continue to be the best. It’s also important for the freshmen to learn that things aren’t going to always go their way,” Olivia continued.

“I went nearly two years without competing floor, and floor is my favorite event. After my first pass on the floor to tumble without pain, I didn’t care what the score was—I was competing. You have to take it one day at a time. Do what you can do today. Today’s 100% may be more than yesterday’s and not as much as tomorrow’s. Give it all you can and things will work out.

“I want to help them appreciate what they are doing and learn to not take anything for granted. Through the years, I have learned I am stronger than I thought. I have to stay optimistic and give my best every day. Good things happen when I do.”

Six minutes of action, two years of waiting and training equal 100% Olivia Trautman.

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