Sarah Wilson might not have ended her high school career the way she wanted.
The spring season was canceled just three meets into the gymnastics season, one day before the annual Forsyth County Championship meet, and about a month ahead of the state meet.
Still, when Wilson reflects on her two years at Denmark High School, she'll remember her stellar junior season, one where she captured Class 1A-5A individual state championships in all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise, helping the Danes to a second-place finish in their first year as a program.
“It was really disappointing, honestly. I know that we had a good team this year, and I was looking forward to competing at state and the rest of the season, because I know that this is my last high school year," Wilson said. "But on that note, I did end the year how I wanted to last year, so I’m glad I got that opportunity last year.”
The abrupt end to the season was as unpredictable as Wilson's entry into the sport.
Wilson was 8 years old when her gymnastics career began — by happenstance, she says.
"I remember coming home from school one day and my mom was like, ‘All right, you need to get into a sport because you can’t just be a potato,’” Wilson recalled.
People at her daycare kept talking about gymnastics, only Wilson remembers them pronouncing it "gynastis."
Regardless, Wilson decided to give it a shot and took to it right away. Gymnastics was her first sport and remains her only sport.
Bars is her favorite event and she describes shaposh as her favorite skill, which involves transitioning from one bar to another in midair.
“I love the idea of flying and stuff," Wilson said. "Same with the other events; when you’re in the air it feels like you’re flying for a second. It’s really cool. As I got further into the sport and higher in the levels, the skills got cooler, honestly.”
Wilson, the Forsyth County News Co-Gymnast of the Year, is a level 10 gymnast, considered among the elite gymnasts in the country.
In fact, she'll enroll later this year at Yale University as part of the Bulldogs' gymnastics team.
“I remember emailing Yale specifically and being like, ‘Man, this is a longshot.’ Never would I thought I’d be able to go to Yale," Wilson said. "I remember one day I got an email from the head coach and she was like, ‘Hey, keep sending your videos.’ I like literally freaked out for hours. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to go to Yale.’”
Though Wilson was forced to take a two-month break from gymnastics because of the coronavirus pandemic, she's continued to train individually and hopes to be in top form when she steps foot on Yale's Ivy League campus.
“When I was younger, I used to think of Yale as like the holy grail of education," Wilson said, "so the fact that I’m able to compete at a high-level institution is just a dream. It really is.”