After training as a gymnast for 14 years, senior Kaylee Kho received a three-year scholarship to the Division I college, Southern Utah University (SUU), for gymnastics. Principal Debbie Stone held a signing ceremony in the Arena to celebrate on Nov. 30.
“The ceremony at the Arena was just a small party with a couple of friends, my little sister, and my parents,” Kho said. “The principal came along with some of the administrators and my counselor.”
Relieved that all of her hard work paid off, Kho felt excited when she found out she earned a scholarship to SUU this past August.
“A huge weight had been taken off my shoulders just knowing that I’ll be able to go to a great college with an awesome gymnastics team,” Kho said. “Gymnastics is such a hard sport, so getting a scholarship validates all of your hard work.”
Kho had to reach out to college recruiters to receive her scholarship.
“There are college recruit[er]s at the competitions I go to, so they watch you, and you would have to call or email them and say you’re interested in that school,” Kho said.
In the summer of 2014, Kho participated in the Junior Olympic Level 9 Western Championships, placing first all around. Following this, she got the opportunity to be part of the U.S. National team. Her other accomplishments include high scores of 9.700 on bars, 9.650 on vault, 9.575 on beam, and 9.400 on floor at Level 10, the highest level before elite gymnastics.
“[Western Championships] was a big competition for me,” Kho said. “After I finished that competition, I got invited to the Junior Olympic team. I went to the training camp in Texas, and it was a good experience for me to go out and learn new skills.”
Although raising gymnasts and seeing them grow up is “sometimes overwhelming and busy,” her father, Daniel Kho, is proud of her.
“Ultimately, you [have to] look at the long-term [result],” Daniel said. “It’s the [most joyful] time when you see they have scholarships and are going to school. That’s the big reward, and it’s all worth it.”
Her older sister, Caitlin Kho, currently attends SUU for gymnastics as well. This helped her decide exactly where she wanted to attend for college. In the upcoming school year, Kho is most looking forward to joining her sister and becoming one with the team.
“When we went to visit [Caitlin], I just fell in love with the campus,” Kho said. “I’m excited to join the team and be with her, too. I want to be more involved with the team; it’s a team effort in college, and I just want to be in a group where I can feel supported.”