Student Spotlight: Lauren Olivo

Student Spotlight: Lauren Olivo

Julia Atwood, Writer

The stakes were high as the Franklin Panthers cheer team traveled to Florida to compete for the national title against teams from all around the country.

Sophomore Lauren Olivo played a crucial role in the cheer team’s season. After an incredible undefeated season, and a huge win at states, the team took off for Florida to compete for Americheer at a convention center for the national title. After two days of high stress and high stakes, the Panthers were announced as national champions for their division.

Lauren didn’t always compete with cheer; she actually started off as a gymnast. She began gymnastics at age three and started really getting serious at age nine. When Lauren began her freshman year she was at the Excel Platinum level ready to go to Excel Diamond until she started cheer.

Doing both cheer and gymnastics was very time-consuming and Lauren ultimately had to decide which one to keep going with. 

“Cheer had just been something like that I felt like my heart was really attached to and I was really excited and I wanted to learn and do more with cheer but quitting gymnastics was one of the hardest things I could have done,” Olivo said. She added: “I would’ve never thought that I could do it but now that I’m exposed to cheer and everything I think I made the best decision for me.” 

Lauren is currently a tumbler and a flier for the team and was a crucial part of their success at nationals and throughout the regular season. Going into nationals Lauren said she actually felt really relaxed. The team has such a close-knit bond and because of this closeness, they have built an immense amount of trust in each other making Lauren feel relaxed and confident in the abilities of her teammates.

“This has been one of the strongest teams I’ve had, especially going into nationals like I knew we could do it,” Olivo said. She added: “Obviously there was a lot of stress and a lot of doubts and like oh what if this happens, what if that happens but we all just really stayed true to ourselves and we knew we could do it.”

Overall Lauren has felt like this win at nationals is a gift after all the hard work that has been put in over the season.  

“I just really want people to know how hard we worked to get here, but like seriously as a team like we built up so much endurance and so much heart to heart mentality that by the end it was just so rewarding to finally feel that win because we knew that we had wanted it so bad, that we had worked so hard for it and it really paid off,” Olivo said. 

She added: “Cheer is not an easy sport and it’s not as easy as outsiders think it is. It requires every single ounce of your body to do this and for that, I am just so proud of each and every single person who was on the team in the fall and the team in the winter because we really just wanted it so bad and we went out there and we did what we knew how to do.”

Congratulations to the FHS cheer team and congratulations to Lauren Olivo!