By Josh Weinfuss
There’s no place for Taylor Rice to hide at the family dinner table.
After a day of school and practice, if her parents, Cassie and Michael, ask about her day in the gym, there is no way to dodge the questions. That’s what happens when your mother is your coach, and both parents are former collegiate gymnasts.
“It is weird because kids will come home and their parents will say, ‘How was gym?’ and they’ll say, ‘Good.’ Both my parents know everything I’m talking about,” Taylor said. “It’s different talking about gymnastics with my parents than with normal parents.”
For Taylor, gymnastics is in her blood.
Both her parents were gymnasts at the University of Oklahoma, and her grandmother owned a gym in New York, where Cassie grew up – just like Taylor did at her parents gym in Las Vegas.
“I think it was always a cool thing, I guess,” Taylor said. “I always got to run around and play in a jungle gym, something a lot of kids always loved to do. It was always different having my mom there as the coach. I’d go complain to her about things and she’d get mad at me when she was trying to coach. It was a very different experience as a kid but also very cool.”
Taylor, who will attend Stanford on a gymnastics scholarship in the fall, uses her guitar, her books and her writing to take a break from all things gymnastics, and help her focus on the Nastia Liukin Cup.
“I feel very honored to compete in Madison Square Garden and on national television,” Taylor said. “I’ve never competed at a meet of that stature before.”