Champlin Park student balances gymnastics and academics
Within the walls of Champlin Park High School, you'll find Olivia Trautman, a note-taking, hoodie-wearing, 16-year-old junior who has a passion for biology and chemistry.

"When I go to college, I hope to do something in the medical field and excel from there," Trautman said.

That, however is years down the road. Right now, she's excelling in a field where she's been involved since age 3. Specifically, the world of gymnastics.

"I'm 16, so I'm considered a senior [elite level]," Trautman said. "And then you compete at nationals and classics and hope to do well. And if you do well, you make the national team which makes you go compete for the U.S."

This year, she hopes to make the senior national team and compete internationally. She spends 28 hours a week working on her craft.

"Every day after school I go for about four and a half hours," she said. "Two days a week I go two hours before school, and then Saturdays I train also."

All the while, she maintains A's and B's in her classes, an indication that she's learned how to budget her time like any student athlete tries to do.

"The teachers are really flexible and they help me as much as they can, and I try to use my time management skills to get ahead of the game," she said.

Her teachers don't mince words when asked about her success.

"She's able to commit herself to her gymnastics," said Tom Van Hoorhis, a biology teacher at Champlin Park. "She commits herself to her education. I think she's got a bright future. I think she can do whatever she would like to do."

Speaking of her future, she's already set to go to the University of Oklahoma on a gymnastics scholarship.

"Oklahoma obviously has a great gymnastics program and now that's something she won't have to worry about - the whole recruiting thing and being distracted and stuff," Van Hoorhis said. "And she is very excited about making that next step."

Trautman says she does all four gymnastics events, but her best are the floor exercise and the vault. When asked about whether she has aspirations to compete in the 2020 Olympics, she said it all depends on how her body holds up.

Delane Cleveland

Jan. 19, 2017


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