Everday Champion - Claire Pierce
Claire Pierce is a senior and a captain on the Oregon State Gymnastics team. Pierce is a two-time Pac-10 All Academic winner and a leader in community involvement for her teammates. Claire took a moment to talk about her commitments on and off the floor for this week’s Everyday Champion profile.
Q. You were voted to be one of the captains of the team this year. How does it feel to have that support from the whole team?
It’s a great feeling to know that they look up to me as a role model in that leader position. It’s really exciting and I appreciate everyone seeing me as a captain.
Q. What are you leadership responsibilities as a team captain?
I’m co-team captain. Yuki Lamb and Kera Bolen are also captains. We talk amongst ourselves if there is a problem or if we need to communicate something from the team to the coaches, we’re kind of that middle person. We have recently been splitting up into smaller groups. So we have three groups and each of us leads the smaller group and we talk about what motivates each other and ways to pick each other up during practice. We see what each other needs for the day or what we can do to put someone in a better mood or help them have a better day.
Q. You are coming back after an ACL injury last season. How did you get mentally prepared for the New Year and competition?
I just have to remind myself that my knee is really strong and put myself in the mindset of being pre-injury. I have to pretend that it never happened and I believed in myself then, so I believe in myself now.
Q. What are some of the community events you participate in or have participated in?
I participate in Relay for Life every year and I’ve been team captain for the past two years and I have been trying to get more involved in that. I’m trying to be on the committee. We had the Old Mill School come to our gym and we helped them go around to different events and let them play in the gym and let them see what it was like to be in here. Also we did a Halloween event over in Truax. We set up an obstacle course so kids could come through and participate in that.
Q. I heard you got your whole team involved with Relay for Life. How important is it for student-athletes to get involved and participate in the community?
I think it is huge. The whole community bonds around athletics and student-athletes are high profile. When people see us doing things in the community it gives us a good name. We want to try to be involved as much as we can.
Q. Where would you like to go with your degree after graduation?
I am actually doing pre-med, so I am going to go to medical school. I’m trying to keep an open mind on what area of medicine I’ll be going into, but that is what I’d like to do.
Q. You have been recognized with a lot of academic awards during your time at Oregon State. What has been your secret to maintaining such a high level of success in the classroom?
I just study a lot and I don’t settle for anything less than A’s and a couple B’s here and there. I make sure I get everything done so that I feel confident going into test and things like that.
Q. What are you most looking forward to in your senior season?
Just having fun and hopefully getting to compete again in front of a crowd.