Emily Vidmar Day is a 2016 BYU graduate. During her time as a Cougar, she mainly competed bars, beam and floor with career highs of 9.850, 9.875 and 9.900, respectively. The daughter of an Olympian and two college gymnasts, it’s no wonder she excelled in the sport. She grew up with older siblings attending BYU, making it an easy choice to further her education there in pursuit of being a nurse.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
College Gym News: What has your life been like since graduating?
Emily Vidmar Day: The best word to describe my life would be adulting. My husband and I both work full time and we just recently bought our first house. We love to travel whenever we get free time, and our newest hobby is scuba diving. It has been fun and exciting taking on new adventures together.
CGN: You were an exercise science major. What specifically interested you about nursing?
EVD: I always found working in healthcare interesting and had a desire to go to nursing school after my time at BYU. I knew exercise science was a good major that had a lot of the prerequisites and basic science classes I needed to go into nursing. What I love about nursing is being able to make a difference in someone’s life.
CGN: Most nurses find a specialty they’re passionate about. You’re a PICU nurse now. What drew you to the PICU?
EVD: First of all, I love working with kids. I knew being in pediatrics is where I wanted to be when I had my first pediatric rotation in nursing school. Children are fighters, and they need all the support and love they can get when they go through difficult times. I love being in the PICU specifically because it is a unit where the learning never stops. There is a large variety of cases, and it is fast paced. It can be very challenging, but I enjoy the challenge and find the reward worth it.
CGN: Your dad was an Olympic gymnast who competed at UCLA, and your mom also did gymnastics at UCLA. What was it like growing up as a daughter of two former gymnasts?
EVD: It was always fun because they understood everything I was talking about when it came to skills and competitions. Gymnastics is a world in and of itself and having parents who were both a part of that world made it fun. I think they loved to see me go through the joys of college gymnastics as they did. They never coached me but they were always 100 percent supportive in everything I did.
CGN: Did either of your parents have tips for you about competing collegiately, whether it be about the process or the environment itself?
EVD: They always told me to enjoy the moment as best as I can because it will go by too fast!
CGN: Why did you choose BYU?
EVD: I always had an interest in BYU in high school. Some of my older siblings went to BYU, and my older sister whom I was really close with ran cross country and track at BYU. It was her who really made me to want to come to BYU because she told me how fun it was to be on an athletic team there. It was a team atmosphere I enjoyed. When I went on my recruiting trip, I knew it was the place for me.
CGN: What was it like attending a college that is heavily religious?
EVD: I had a good experience attending a religious college because I shared the same religion as most of my fellow classmates and teammates. It was fun to be with people who shared the same standards as me.
CGN: What are your goals for the future?
EVD: My goals for the future are to keep growing and learning in my position as a nurse and to take any good opportunity that comes my way.
CGN: Are there any skills you learned by doing gymnastics that have been beneficial to you in your life?
EVD: Gymnastics taught me to work hard and be dedicated at everything I do. Something I learned that helped me with my new job is doing well under pressure. I can be put in some pretty stressful situations in my nursing job, and I can stay composed and focused on what needs to be done without letting my emotions get to me, which is something I learned specifically while competing on the balance beam. I plan on using these skills throughout my career.
CGN: Do you see yourself becoming involved with the sport in the future in some other capacity?
EVD: I would love to always stay involved in the sport. I have been coaching at a local tumbling gym, and I really enjoy that. I would love to be more involved in the college gymnastics scene, but I am just seeing where the opportunities take me.
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