Rachel Powers Daily with her daughters Daisy, 9, and Idalance, 4, at an off-island gymnastics competition.
Courtesy of Rachel Powers Daily
(June 23, 2022) Thirty years ago, at the age of 5, Rachel Powers Daily began flying from Nantucket to Cape Cod three days a week for gymnastics and eventually began traveling alone at just 6 years old.
This training led Powers Daily to reach the top of the gymnastics world at Vermont High School when her family moved to South Burlington.
These achievements were recognized by the Vermont Association of Directors last month when it was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.
“It was incredibly amazing to be honored and recognized and to be able to celebrate the achievements of myself as well as all other appointees,” Powers Daily said.
The native of Nantucket won the state title in all-around for three consecutive years, after beating only one tenth of the championship point in the first year.
She was also recognized as the Athlete of the Week by Burlington Free Press all four years in high school and qualified for the U.S. regional gymnastics team during the first and second year.
Lori Bergqvist started training Powers Daily when she was about 10 years old and continued to do so throughout her high school career. Bergqvist nominated her for the Hall of Fame because the gymnast stood up out of the package inside and outside the competition.
“She’s always had such a great attitude, I liked that in Rachel,” Bergquist said. “She has always been encouraged the other girls and her level of gymnastics was very, very high. She made some of the most difficult moves any gymnast in Vermont has ever made. ”
Bergqvist said Powers Daly is one of the five most persistent workers the coach has worked with since she was 22 when she was a gymnast. school in Winusky, Vermont.
“She was always ready to invest an extra mile and she was always ready to make the extra spring for backhand, to do extra pull-ups, leg raises, conditioning. “Sometimes you had to kick her out of the gym,” Bergqvist said.
While a back injury interrupted her career in college, Powers Daly remained involved in the sport, training her own daughters and other competitive gymnasts during the summer months.
“Gym taught me a lot more than the sport itself,” said Powers Daly. “It played such a big role in shaping me into who I am today, and it just gave me so much confidence, strength and dedication and the ability to push myself to the limit.”
When she first started flying off the island for gymnastics, Powers Daly told her parents Karen Allens and Frank took turns joining her, but she eventually flew away alone.
Elaine Collins would take her on the other side, as Collins and her family became like a family to the gymnast as she slept through Friday night to attend training on Saturday until Powers Daly moved to Vermont after eighth grade.
“Teach me to be independent and strong in itself and I’ve been doing it since I was so young and now it’s crazy to look back, “Powers Daily said. “I remember all the workers who flew to and from the island. As children, they always kept an eye on me and said, “Oh, come with me,” as we boarded the plane.
After his high school career, Powers Daly attended college on Rhode Island, where she graduated as a nurse. She was a member of the school gymnastics team as a freshman, but could no longer compete after suffering from a herniated disc from years of wearing and a tear from gymnastics training.
“It was a really difficult time in my life because gymnastics was such a part of my life,” Powers Daily said. “I used to live with the motto” Gymnastics is life, the rest is just details “and it really was difficult for me. “
Powers Daly started working as a coach at an early age as an assistant in the gyms where he trained, starting at about 12 years old.
Today, the 35-year-old property manager and mother of three daughters, who lives in the home, also works as a personal trainer, helping competitive gymnasts who spend their summers on the island.
“I am just grateful to be here “I can still do the sport of gymnastics and that’s why I do it because I love the sport so much and what it can give to rising athletes,” Powers told the Daily.
Bergquist’s coaching is something Powers Daily is still based on today, letting her daughters know how proud she is of them after each session, just as her coach would have told her as a young gymnast.