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Milwaukee gymnast making history at Fisk University

Aliyah Reed-Hammon competes on the first HBCU gymnastics team this season
Posted at 10:34 PM, Feb 09, 2023

Despite starting at a young age and watching Olympians like Gabby Douglas win gold, collegiate gymnastics wasn't on the mind of Aliyah Reed-Hammon.

"I probably wasn't even going to do gymnastics in college. I was probably going to run track of something like that," says Aliyah, a Milwaukee gymnast now competing for Fisk University.

Then a historic opportunity at Fisk University vaulted into the picture.

"I feel like it hasn't really hit me what we are doing because we are just doing it," says Aliyah.

By 'doing it,' Aliyah means being one of the first Bulldogs to stick it on the mat.

"I can't imagine what I would be doing if I didn't go here. At the meets, we have fun. In the locker room, we have fun. I feel like we are a good group of girls and get along," says Aliyah.

Not just a first for Fisk, but a first for historically Black colleges and universities across the nation, Aliyah and her teammates are paving roads that should have existed decades ago.

"It's really cool to see all the younger gymnasts who support us and see how interested they are in the program. UCLA sent us a note and a letter, and then there were a few teams where we talked to their coaches. They were like it's an honor to be competing against you guys, thank you, guys. It makes you feel like people actually care," says Aliyah.

Creating opportunities for athletes of color to compete, Aliyah is proud of her history.

"Whenever I'm older, I'm going to be telling everyone I was a part of the first gymnastics team," says Aliyah.

But what's more exciting is the history she has yet to make.

"I want to get a ten. I feel like that's everyone's goal. But I came really close to it last meet so I feel like if I can get my routines down I can get a 10," says Aliyah.

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