SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —From an 18-month-old to a senior in college, Allison House has been a gymnast for almost her entire life. But near the end of her career, there were multiple obstacles that led to many unexpected outcomes.
Last year was an unusual time for the team due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year things will be different. House, as she is called by her friends and teammates, is now the captain of the team. She has been on the team since her freshman year at SUNY ESF.
Besides school, gymnastics has been the focus of her whole life. So by her senior year, she was excited to close out her gymnastics career in the best way possible. And then the thing all athletes fear, a knee injury.
House tore her ACL near the end of her senior year. However, she was able to recover by June of that year. She then came to the Syracuse University team and competed in one meet before she re-injured the same knee.
At this point, some would’ve stopped the sport, but not this athlete. House said the injuries gave her motivation to come back and be stronger the next year.
“My senior year I was on track to compete in regionals and nationals,” she said. “Nationals was near my hometown, so it could’ve been a nice homecoming. But when my injury happened again, at that point I just wanted an actual ending to a career I had in the sport.”
Even during House’s injury and recovery time on the SU club team, teammates like Jo Wicki said House made an impact on the people around her.
“Coming from somebody who is not very good at gymnastics, she managed to help so much during my time here,” Wicki said. “She couldn’t really do much physically in terms of showing me how to do things, but she still was there for me as a coach and as a teammate.”
It was interactions like that and encouraging words to her teammates that lead to her being voted as captain of the team. Sporting competitions are beginning again, and now she has the chance to make her mark on the competition mat; something she has been waiting a long time for.
“I’m so excited for the season,” she said. “I think this one is going to be good for our team and it’ll be my first Nationals that I’ll be able to compete because I didn’t compete freshman year, and then COVID and then COVID again. It feels like it’s all finally coming together this year.”
House hopes to lead her team to have an atmosphere of camaraderie, trust, and support, whether it’s in or out of the gym. She also aims to help her teammates to understand that they are more than just gymnasts.