Former Gymnast Jade Martin Is Cornell-Bound


Jamie Hsiao, Staff Writer

Freedom High School Senior Jade Martin was only 3 years old when she was introduced to the world of gymnastics. Born in the small town of Nyack, New York , she moved to Tampa when she was 5 months old.

Although the sport seemed intimidating to Martin at first, she eventually warmed up to it once she realized that it was the perfect fit for a restless and energetic child like her.

“My neighbor, who also goes to Freedom [High School], needed a carpool, so her mom convinced my mom to put me in gymnastics with her,” stated Martin. “I was afraid to do anything at first, but I just kept going because she needed a carpool, and then I fell in love with it because I was a little ball of energy.”

Martin was quickly able to adapt to the sport, but she did face hardships as she grew.

“When I was first starting out, I was doing well, but then I had a growth spurt, and my form was sacrificed big time,” explained Martin. “When I was around the age 8, my form was really bad, and I was not scoring very well [in competitions], so I had to work really hard to get my form back and have clean lines.”

As a gymnast, Martin was often prone to injury. However, Martin’s undeterred spirit is what was able to keep her in the gym.

When Martin was a level 9 gymnast as a freshman, she relocated to Texas Dreams Gymnastics, an elite gym in Coppell, Texas.

“The training was 5 hours a day, six days a week, and the training was so intense that my body couldn’t handle it,” mentioned Martin. “I tore my labrum and my hip [due to] overuse.”

In 2015, Martin moved back to Tampa to undergo a surgical operation on her hip. This, however, was not the end of Martin’s gymnastics career. Martin continued to train at the New Tampa gym, and a year later, she won all around at State and Regionals for Level 9. She also placed 2nd all around at Nationals and 1st on beam.

At a young age, Martin set a goal to compete as a level 10 gymnast. Through tremendous hard work and dedication, Martin was able to reach this goal this past year. This season was also her final one before retiring.

“I’ve decided to retire because I injured my knee,” said Martin. “In retrospect, I did fulfill my ultimate goal, so it was still successful in a way.”

Martin is now shifting her gears towards pursuing a medical degree. Martin was recently accepted into Cornell University and plans to attend in the fall of 2018.

“I’ve wanted to go to a top university ever since I was little,” explained Martin. “My parents always instilled in me that grades were super important, so I dedicated a lot of time to studying and performing well in school.”