Ex-UA Gymnast Frustrated With School Support Ending | Wildcats

Dozens of student-athletes graduate from UA each year, although it’s unclear how many fees they charge for medical or mental health treatment related to injuries sustained while competing on their teams. According to athletics department data, 336 student athletes graduated from the school between 2019 and 2021.

Thanks to Sydney Freidin

“I needed space to work on myself”

Freidin arrived at the UA from Westchester, California, in the summer of 2017, ahead of the start of her freshman year. That first year wasn’t easy, with Freidin saying she didn’t get along with the other three freshmen on the gymnastics team and often felt isolated.

“I was trying to understand life without my parents, and the gym culture is very backward of what real food should be,” she said. “I’ve been told false things about food all my life.”

Freidin said that by the time she got to UA, she had already dealt with a coach who had unhealthy ideas about portion control. She said that through gymnastics, she grew up in an environment where food was considered unhealthy.

A self-confessed orthorexic — a person obsessed with his or her health — said she only put healthy things into her body.

Freidin appeared in two encounters in her freshman season and scored a career high on the balance beam during a February 2018 encounter in Oregon state. In April everything changed. Freidin underwent a post-season body composition test designed to track athletes’ progress. Her trainer told her that the team’s nutritionist was concerned about her body composition, and within a few days she was referred to the team’s doctor, who told her she had been diagnosed with anorexia.


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