Ashton Locklear is the first Native American to be a part of the United States Gymnastics Olympic Team! After the Olympic Team Trials in San Jose, Locklear was added to the team as an alternate.
PowWows.com recently interviewed Ashton Locklear before she heads to train with team.
How did you get started in gymnastics?
I got started because my older sister, Angelia was taking gymnastics classes and I wanted to follow my big sister.
At a young age, Locklear watched her older sister’s gymnastics lessons and began imitating her. She also cited watching the 2000 Olympics on television as an inspiration to begin competing. She began her gymnastics career in trampolining, but later switched to artistic gymnastics. – Wikipedia
How has your Native American heritage influence or have any bearing on your training?
I always remember to be respectful of this journey and know that God has a plan for me. I never forget that my family has sacrificed for me to achieve my goals and dreams so I remember to show my parents great love and respect. I honor this path with a lot of prayer and appreciation for the opportunity.
Do you have any good luck charms or routines you have to do before each meet?
I keep a dreamcatcher that a member of my tribe gave me and the Lumbee tribal seal pin on my gym bag.
Ashton has been active at Pow Wows too! She participated in the Lumbee Dance of the Spring Moon.
How does it feel and mean to be 1 of 2 Native Americans representing the US in the 2016 Olympics?
It’s overwhelming and seems so unreal at times. But I feel a great sense of pride and I am honored to represent native people.
Has the Lumbee tribe been involved with your gymnastics career?
They have been so supportive and encouraging and helping my family with fundraising to get them to the games. My publicist Jackie Jacobs is a member of the Lumbee Tribe.
We are excited to watch the team compete! Good luck Ashton!