Former Utah Gymnast Keeps Career Path Flexible
By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
Kristina Baskett has no idea what she’ll be doing 10 years from now. And the former Utah gymnast wouldn’t have it any other way.
Baskett, one of the most decorated gymnasts in Utah history, graduated in May with a degree in communications and a mind to keep gymnastics a part of her life for as long as possible. She spent her summer nights at San Diego’s Sea World, performing in a show that combined music, dance and gymnastics. She devoted her days to developing as a photographer and the occasional gig as a stunt double for a television program. When that commitment ended, she moved to Las Vegas to perform in “Le Rêve,” an aerial acrobatics theater-in-the-round production at Wynn Las Vegas resort hotel.
“Right now I feel like performing is what I should be doing, at least until my body
can’t handle it anymore,” Baskett said. “Hopefully, it will just keep building.”
Baskett started in gymnastics as a 2-yearold, following in the footsteps of older brother
Ricky. As she became more involved in the sport and moved from a recreational gym to a competitive gym, her other interests – ballet, T-ball, soccer, swimming – diminished, and she concentrated on becoming a gymnast at the elite level. Her family – Ricky and parents Randy and Jean – supported her goals as a gymnast. Baskett, who has Eskimo heritage, also had support from that community.
But even as she was traveling all over the world and hitting the gym twice a day, she decided to attend a regular high school and to try to have as well-rounded a life as possible. Though she believes she could have been more successful in gymnastics if she had been home-schooled, she doesn’t regret her choice.
“I didn’t make gymnastics my whole life, which was hard because I did want to be successful
at the elite level,” she said. “But looking back, I’m glad I had the high school experience.”
And Baskett kept that philosophy of a well-rounded life throughout her college experience, developing an interest in and a talent for photography. Baskett was one of the 22 student-athletes whose work was featured at the 2009 NCAA Convention art show.
Photography is among the paths Baskett wants to pursue now that gymnastics and school aren’t the focus of her life. But the transition from student-athlete to the world outside of the college experience has been relatively smooth for Baskett.
“I was worried about going into the real world, but I’ve eased myself out of gymnastics well,” she said. “I’m still doing what I love. The biggest part is that I don’t have a schedule anymore. I don’t have my days planned out to the minute.”
Right now, what guides Baskett is her drive to fill her life with what makes her happy: people, experiences and passions.
“I hope I do things I never thought I could do,” she said. “I don’t know where I’ll be 10 years from now, but I know I’ll be happy.”
© 2010 NCAA