Hope Karash, retired gymnast


Elizabeth Kennedy, Sophomore Contributor

To most people, gymnastics is just a sport.  But to sophomore Hope Karash, it was her life.  Wishing she could still be a part of such an intense sport, Karash tells the story of her gymnastics career.

“I used to do gymnastics for thirteen and a half years, dance for 4 years, and diving which I do now, for almost one year.”  Karash explains.

When asked her favorite, she immediately replies, “Definitely gymnastics.  It has taught me life lessons, dedication, and how to work with a team, and be apart of a team.  It has helped me to stay healthy, and keep me healthy.” 

Though she retired from her lifelong gymnastics career, the sport still stays with her in her heart.

“I started at YGC [Youngstown Gymnastics Center] when I was just eighteen months old, until I turned five. Then, I moved to OGI [Ohio Gymnastics Institution] until I was seven. After that, I returned back to YGC until I retired at fifteen years old,” Karash said.

Because of her love of the gym, she continuously works out to keep fit and active.

“I would start getting into the hardcore conditioning, and I would love it,” Karash describes.

If it were not for her many injuries, she would still be flipping and tumbling today.

Karash says, “I consistently kept getting new injuries every year. And they weren’t just sprains anymore, they were breaks.”

“I honestly don’t even think it physically ‘helped’ me since I ended up breaking my back. Although my knees, ankles, and wrists have gotten a lot better.”

Furthermore, Karash had to take a significantly long break from diving, because of her broken back.  But now, she’s diving better than she ever has been. 

When talking about what used to be her gymnastics conditioning session, Karash elaborates, “I really miss those hardcore workouts, it made me realize how hard I actually had to work to get into shape, now that I’m not doing it.”

Knowing how intense conditioning for gymnastics can be, Karash still enjoys and wants to “feel the burn.”

To her, gymnastics was everything.  As a kid and a young teen, she would more often than not, be at the gym.  Karash couldn’t be kept away from the sport, even after her multiple gymnastics related injuries.  After retiring from her old passion, she is positively impacted by being able to heal, when this takes a sudden overwhelming turn. 

Though Karash has decided to move forward with her life and retire from gymnastics, she has found a new sport she loves.  Gymnastics has helped her diving techniques become visually astonishing. 

“I have finally learned how to live without gymnastics.”