It was a remarkable journey for Smith. He was teaching a gymnastics class in Rhode Island when he lost his balance at the end of a series of moves and landed against a door that had been nailed shut, but suddenly opened into open air. Smith turned a back clip during the fall and somehow managed to land on his feet.
Smith, a sophomore pre-med major from Rhode Island, offered these insights into his remarkable story.
Question: What have the last few months been like for you and how did you manage to get back to this point so quickly?
Smith: "In all honestly the past few months have been some of the best in my life. While I experienced a large setback this summer, the event has helped shape who I am as a person and athlete. From the rehab I was doing four days a week back home, to the transitioning back to school on my own, there was a lot of hard work that went into this process. My family, friends, teammates, coaches and other members of the University of Kentucky community helped push and support me during my time recovering both physically and mentally. People in the UK cheer program both past and present were very positive, providing inspiration and motivation for me daily.
"How did I get back to this point so quickly? I had no doubts. I wanted it so badly that I truly believed it wasn't possible for me NOT to be healed and participating again. I worked all spring and the beginning of summer with a goal in mind and I was not going to let my accident this summer keep that from becoming a reality. This experience has shown me that by believing in yourself, with hard work and faith all things are possible."