In this ongoing series, FloGymnastics showcases college gymnasts competing in their freshman seasons. This freshman feature highlights Olivia Trautman from the University of Oklahoma.
Trautman has already made significant contributions to the Sooner team, scoring a 9.9 or higher on floor at every meet so far this season that she has competed in. She has scored a 9.95 or higher in six of 10 meets as well, most recently against No. 11 Alabama on March 15. She also scored a 9.95 at the UCLA meet on March 3, where she was the anchor on floor. Oklahoma beat the No. 2 Bruins in front of a record number of 10,177 fans in a highly anticipated meet. Trautman was also recently named Big 12 Newcomer of the week.
Before her college career, Trautman collected many accomplishments as a club gymnast. In 2013, she competed at the Hopes Challenge and took third on vault, tied for third on floor and placed eighth all-around. She tied for third on floor, tied for fourth on beam and took sixth all-around in the 2014 Junior Olympic Level 10 Nationals; tied for third on floor at the 2014 Secret U.S. Classic; and placed second on vault at the 2014 P&G Championships.
In 2015, Trautman competed for Team USA at the City of Jesolo Trophy, taking first as a team and sixth all-around. In 2016, she took eighth on floor at the P&G Championships and eighth on both floor and vault at the Secret U.S. Classic. She finished her club gymnastics career at the 2018 J.O. National Championships, where she took first on floor, tied for second on vault, placed third all-around and tied for fifth on bars.
Trautman is from Champlin, Minnesota, where she competed for Twin City Twisters. This year as an Oklahoma freshman, she’s competing once again with Maggie Nichols, who she was teammates with earlier in her gymnastics career as well. This former U.S. National Team Member spoke with FloGymnastics to discuss college gymnastics and competing for OU so far this season.
FloGymnastics: What is something unique that you love about Oklahoma as a student?
Olivia Trautman: As a student I love attending the football games and cheering on the Sooners!
Flo: What is your major and minor, and what would you like to do in the future after graduating with those fields?
OT: I am planning on majoring in health and exercise science, with hopes to become a physical therapist in the future.
Flo: How does it feel to go from living in Minnesota to Oklahoma? Is there anything you miss about your home state?
OT: I love Minnesota and I love Oklahoma. Oklahoma reminds me a lot of Minnesota and that was part of the reason why I choose to come here and be a Sooner. Something that I miss about my home state would probably be all the lakes that are around, and I also miss my family and friends.
Flo: What is your funniest gymnastics story, either from this year or at any point in your gymnastics career?
OT: The funniest thing that happened this year was when a few of us played a joke on our other teammates by knocking on their door and running away and hiding. They came out screaming with clothes hangers and we all were laughing very hard.
Flo: What is your favorite place you’ve traveled for a meet? Where is one place you’d love to go?
OT: My favorite place that I have traveled to for a meet would be Hawaii or Italy. Hawaii because I traveled there with my team and we stayed in a super nice house on a private beach and did a lot of fun things. Italy because this was my first ever international assignment and winning team gold was a dream come true. I would love to go to Australia to compete in a competition there.
Flo: Do you have any superstitions, rituals or lucky items you do/use before a meet?
OT: Before every meet I have to listen to pump-up music, my teammate Bre Showers does my hair and puts my OU tattoo on my face and I have to do my handshakes with my teammates Karrie Thomas and Maggie Nichols. I have one lucky item (a guardian angel pin) that my mom gave to me when I was little that I keep in my backpack and bring to every meet.
Flo: How does it feel to be competing with Maggie Nichols again, since you were teammates before competing for OU?
OT: It feels amazing competing with Maggie Nichols again. We were best friends in club and still are best friends at OU. I have looked up to her since I was a little girl and to this day she inspires me to be a better person in and outside of the gym.
Flo: What are your goals, both as a team and individually, for the rest of the season?
OT: Our team goal is to win the national championship, and my personal goal is to All-American on floor, vault and beam.
Flo: What has your favorite meet been so far this season and why?
OT: My favorite competitions thus far would probably be the Florida meet because it was my first time competing all-around and the UCLA meet because of the 10,000 fans that filled the stands.
Flo: How did it feel to take down UCLA recently, especially seeing as you scored a 9.95 in the anchor position on floor?
OT: We have been working really hard in the gym, and seeing our hard work pay off as we competed against UCLA was a great feeling. UCLA is a fantastic team and we knew that was going to be a good matchup and for us to come up on top felt amazing. Being in the anchor spot on floor, I knew that my routine mattered and scoring a 9.95 helped us secure the win over UCLA.
Flo: What is your favorite part about being a Sooner gymnast?
OT: My favorite part about being a Sooner gymnast is the feeling after nailing a routine, knowing that I am representing the best school in the country. Also, the amount of love and support we receive at our competitions is incredible. I could not be more thankful to be given the opportunity to compete for this program.
Flo: What is one fun fact about you, whether it’s related to gymnastics or not?
OT: A fun fact about me is that I own a lot of shoes!