Cool story in the LA Times about how the Bruin gymnast was inspired by a nurse after a car accident to pursue a challenging (but rewarding) career:
The airbag introduced itself, a rude facial jab that left a dozen cuts.
UCLA gymnast Brittani McCullough, then a freshman, was jolted awake. Her behind-the-wheel nap, the culprit in this mess, was ruined. So was the cherry red 2005 Toyota her grandfather had bought her five months earlier.
She remembers the smell of burning rubber, metal and fluids — and worrying that her car might explode. At first, she couldn't escape. The driver's side door was jammed and her left foot was stuck in the floorboard.
McCullough finally yanked her foot free and exited from the passenger door, but the tendon of her big toe was severed in the process.
By the time she reached the hospital she was in a panic, upset about the accident and thinking she'd let her grandfather down. Then she met a person who changed her life — her nurse.
McCullough never caught the woman's name, recalling only that she was short, wore glasses and was extremely kind and attentive, always checking to see whether her young patient needed pain medication, food or anything else.
The nurse left so strong an impression that McCullough chose a career course unlike no other athlete at UCLA, one that required a grueling academic schedule on top of an already-demanding athletic agenda.
Read rest of the story here.
Brittani and rest of her team-mates are having a great season. As the top-seeded team UCLA is going to host NCAA women's gymnastics regional at Pauley Pavilion this Saturday. Stories like this one underscores the point how these amazing student athletes are worthy of our admiration and support.