WRUF Profiles

UF was the Right Choice for Rachel Spicer

By on March 19th, 2014

Rachel Spicer didn’t grow up as a Gator, but the minute she stepped on campus, she knew the University of Florida was where she wanted to be.

Spicer, a junior from Highland Village, Texas, said there are no Division I schools with gymnastics programs in her home state. She knew she would be leaving Texas for college. She visited the University of Oklahoma because going to The University of Oklahoma would keep her closer to home, but she couldn’t see herself there.

She then got the opportunity to come to UF, she said.

“The atmosphere here just called my name,” Spicer said. “I knew this was it. This is where I want to be.”

From the time she started her college career, Spicer has seen UF gymnastics history. Her freshman year, the Gators were runner-up to the national champions, Alabama. Her sophomore year, 2013, the Gators won their first-ever gymnastics national championship.

“It was unbelievable,” she said. “My freshman year, we were so close. We got second place by (less than a point). It was like nothing, it was like a step on a landing.”

Spicer said the team worked ten times harder the next year because they knew they had the potential to be champions.

“To actually go out and do it and make school history is such a great feeling to know you’re on the first national championship team ever,” she said.

Spicer said she started doing gymnastics when she was about 4. She also participated in dance until she was about 8 when she had to choose between the two.

“It just got so intense with gymnastics and the training hours,” she said. “I was only 8, maybe 9, and I couldn’t do 25 hours a week of other stuff and keep up with school so that’s when I decided to just do gymnastics.”

According to Gatorzone.com, Spicer competed in the Junior Olympics each year from 2008 to 2011. In the 2010 Level 10 Championships, Spicer was all-around champion in her division.

She said she did her training before school at 6 a.m., go to school at 9:30 and return to gym after school. She graduated early from high school and started at UF before her senior year was over.

Spicer is majoring in applied physiology and kinesiology with a minor in business. After graduation, she wants to combine medical and business and perhaps be a medical equipment sales representative or something similar.

“I have a major that’s definitely not the easiest because I know that’s what my life will be after gymnastics,” she said.


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