Central Florida gymnast pledges to join first-ever Tennessee HBCU gymnastics team


A high school student from Orange County makes history when she decides to attend Fisk University in Tennessee.

Olympia High School senior Hailey Clark has pledged to join Fisk’s women’s gymnastics team, the first ever at a historically black university or college.

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Clark placed at every gymnastics competition she entered.

She says she started collecting medals when she was just eight years old.

“I have at least 230 medals in all,” Clark said.

Clark’s medals will remain at her parents’ home in Orange County, but her talent earned her a spot in Fisk University’s inaugural women’s gymnastics program in Nashville, Tennessee.

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“When I was younger, I always looked forward to going to college at an HBCU, but that kept me from going because they didn’t have gymnasiums,” Clark said. “With Fisk, I can have both.”

The Atlanta-based organization Brown Girls Do Gymnastics has been working to get HBCUs to start their own programs, and Fisk has been a big win for them.

One of their board members lives in the Orlando area and was once one of Clark’s coaches.

Clark, a level 10 gymnast, is also a member of the National Honor Society at Olympia High School. She says going to Fisk will also give her the opportunity to pursue her career after gymnastics in the medical industry.

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Clark says she also wants to inspire others.

“I hope to find that I’ve opened other doors for other little girls,” Clark said.

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