“I have always known that the color of my skin would impact my life. From a very young age, my parents made sure that I knew that the world that most describe as an array of beautiful colors, only existed in black and white for people who look like me. While I was made aware of the idea that people see me differently, my family has always done an excellent job at establishing my mindset as a strong, beautiful, black woman, who could do and be anything she chooses. As I have gone through life, I have carried this burden of knowing that I need to remain in shadows, to blend in and not stand out. My character is strong, my thoughts are fierce, but my body is tired. Tired of blending in, tired of living in fear, tired of wondering if it will ever change. In a way gymnastics has been my salvation. This is my safe place, a place where I am not judged by the color of my skin, but rather for my physical talent. It’s a place where I am meant to stand out, where I am on an equal playing field; the place where I thrive.
“As I look back on the events that transpired throughout 2020, including the peaceful protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, I realize that it is because of these moments, that I ultimately found myself. I realized that I deserve to live my life as I do in the gym; fearless, powerful, confident and ambitious. I deserve to stand out. I deserve to feel beautiful, to love my hair and the color of my skin. I know, as I always have, that my life will be harder than most, but I am ready. I know who I am, I know where I come from and where I am headed. I have my faith, my family, my character, and I am stronger every day. My journey will not been easy, but I will rise. I will rise because I have been knocked down my entire life, and I am a Warrior.”
— Sophomore JerQuavia Henderson
“The Iowa women gymnastics team is everything I have ever wanted in my career as a gymnast. Beyond the gymnastics, these spectacular athletes are more than gymnasts, they are fighters, thoughtful, and strong. I am so grateful that my legacy is part of this team and we can make a change. The Iowa women’s gymnastics team is sensational, WE ARE ENOUGH.
— Freshman Adeline Kenlin
“Enough to me means several different things. The one I emphasize the most is: I am enough. Growing up in a sport like gymnastics — where we are judged on perfection — it is easy to be hard on yourself, put yourself down, and not recognize the growth and progress being made. The Iowa gymnastics team and coaching staff has helped me to begin to realize that I don’t have to be so hard on myself and that it’s OK to make mistakes and not be perfect, because despite anything I do in gymnastics, I am still ENOUGH.”
— Freshman Kendall Laplante
“Before I came here, I looked up to Iowa gymnastics so much. I couldn’t wait for the day that I would be able to be on the team with them. It’s honestly a dream come true! But I feel like before I came here, I questioned whether I would be enough.
Now, I am part of the Iowa gymnastics team that I looked up to for so long. Being a part of this team has taught me that I am enough. The dedication I bring forth every day to make myself and my team better, is enough. And even on the hard days, being a part of this team has showed me that no matter what happens, I have so many people behind me, showing me that I am enough.”
— Freshman Aubrey Nick
“We are enough because of our perseverance and resilience. We are enough because we have trust in one another. We are enough because we have strength in unity.”
— Freshman Sophie Hunzelman