May 3, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Gamecock senior Chloe Gray will graduate from the University of South Carolina this week, and before she leaves town, she spoke with GamecocksOnline. Gray just wrapped up her fourth and final season with the Gamecock equestrian team. She ends her career with 44 wins, the most among this year's seniors.
With graduation around the corner, what, if any, are your post-graduation plans?
I plan to move home and begin searching for a job.
What are your thoughts as your time in college is about to come to an end?
I wish it didn't have to end. I don't want to leave this amazing family but I know that eventually the time has to come to move on. The team will be missed greatly.
When you think back to your first day as a member of the Gamecock equestrian team, what comes to mind?
I remember moving into the dorms and there being a 100 people with all their stuff lined up on the sidewalk unloading their cars and seeing a hat-box sitting and knowing that I was in the right place and I had found my future teammates.
What has been the most challenging part about being a student-athlete?
Balancing the school work with the athletics was definitely the hardest part. I think sometimes the "student" part of being a "student-athlete" was easy to overlook.
What has been the most rewarding part about being a student-athlete?
I think the rewards go hand in hand with the challenges. Being an athlete you are given opportunities that others dream about; the chance to become a part of something that is bigger than yourself.
Now that your collegiate competition career is over, talk about your four years as a member of the equestrian team?
These were the best four years of my life. I was given the opportunity to compete for championships, travel the country, and most importantly I gained a family. A family that I am certain I will stay close with for the rest of my life. The comradery that this team possesses is one of a kind and I would not have traded that for anything.
What is your most memorable moment from being at South Carolina?
I would have to say this year at Nationals watching Victoria Middleton show at her first Nationals since her accident. I just remember sitting in the stands and thinking back to the 2009 Nationals when she was competing for the individual championship on the flat and everything she has been through since that ride. This year I recall getting chills sitting there watching her ride and thinking I can't believe she did it. I'm so proud of her!
What will you miss the most about being on the team?
The girls for sure, my FAMILY! They are my best friends in the world!
What will you miss the least about being on the team?
The 6 a.m. workouts, even though we somehow managed to make them fun!
If you could go back four years and give the freshman version of yourself a piece of advice, what would you say?
Live it up. Don't be afraid of the little things and just go for it. It took me awhile to get to that point in my life where I finally realized that you only get one shot at life so just have a blast!
What are your words of wisdom to the remaining members of the team?
Stay strong and every time you enter that arena never leave anything on the table. When you are finished with your ride, you should be confident that your performance was the best you could do. Have no regrets. Remain a family and don't sweat the small things in life (trust me they won't mean a thing a year from now). Help each other and lift your teammates spirits up when they are down (you would want them to do the same for you)!