Varsity Gymnast Graceemae Murray’s “Last Dance”


Savannah Howell

Graceemae focused on beam during gymnastics.

Ruth Chung, Media Manager

Three time gymnast of the year, Graceemae Murray (‘23) stepped foot in a gymnastics gym for the first time in the 2nd grade. Not knowing it then, it would become the one thing that her life would revolve around for the next 10 years.

Graceemae has been competing at the club competitive level since the start of career. She is a 4-year varsity gymnast for Forge and fall varsity cheerleader.

During her years, she raked up a magnitude of accomplishments, including qualifying for the state meet three years in a row. At the 21-22 district finals meet, Graceemae placed second in all around, and finished eighth in the region.

In her freshman and sophomore years she was chosen as gymnast of the year for school gymnastics and for 21-22 season was named ‘Royals Gymnast of the Year.’ She has been chosen as a Free-Lance Star All Area Athlete three times. and in her freshman year, she won regionals. For her club gym, she placed second in the state for floor.

Now at the end of her senior year, she is ready to step away from gymnastics.

“I am ready to live a life where I don’t rely on a sport to make me feel successful,” Graceemae said.

In the beginning of the 22-23 season, she was a level 9 gymnast, just one level away from the highest possible level in gymnastics.

She made the decision in November to move to the Xcel Program at Royals Gymnastics, made for gymnasts who are ready to start taking a step away from gymnastics by reducing practice hours and competing less. Even with this transition, Graceemae practiced around 20 hours a week with some practices reaching up to 6 hours.

“I wanted to explore things outside of gymnastics and find out who I am without gymnastics,” Graceemae said about joining the Xcel Program.

Despite this tough decision, her performance has not declined. At the annual Winterfest Invitational, Graceemae took home first place in all around, uneven bars, and beam, finishing the meet with an impressive score of 37.500.

Exactly a month before the invitational, Graceemae’s senior year was up for debate after a scary incident on vault where she hit her head doing a high-level skill, which resulted in a concussion.

“It was hard mentally and physically to recover from because it set me back. It caused me to have to switch from what I had been training,” she said.

This season Graceemae has stepped up as a leader for the Eagles, hoping to leave an impact on both her school and club teammates.

“She is the most dedicated gymnast I have ever met in my life. She’s always ready to work and is always positive,” Ava King (‘25), a Royals and school teammate, said.

As she is closing out this chapter of her life, Graceemae is looking forward to her bright future.

“I hope to take all the lessons I learned from gymnastics into my future. Gymnastics has taught me a lot of really important life lessons about hard work and resilience that I apply to life outside of gym” Graceemae said.

Saturday, Feb. 4, Graceemae competed in her last district finals.

She placed 1st on beam, 2nd on vault, 3rd on floor, 4th on bars, and finished 3rd all around.

“It felt really good to win beam because it has been one of the events I’ve struggled with this season. There was some hard competition and I’m glad I was able to do the best I can, even if it wasn’t coming on top, I know I gave it everything I had” Graceemae said.

It’s not an easy decision to make, but after 10 years, a huge door in her life is closing. However, Graceemae’s impact and success will be marked in Eagles Gymnastics for long after she says goodbye to her beloved sport.