She grew up in Round Rock, Texas, a suburb outside of Austin. An athlete since she was two, Rachel dedicated many of her early years to gymnastics, putting in long hours and winning a state title before retiring.
After gymnastics, she participated in a variety of sports, including swimming, softball, volleyball, competitive cheerleading, and track and field. Her most recent endeavor was learning how to pole vault. Her coach, Brian Elmore, trained her so well that during her senior year of high school, she pole vaulted her way to the Regional Championships.
Rachel is now a freshman at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She will be transferring to the University of Texas at Austin in January to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. We hope that it will be in sports because one can never get tired of seeing smart, attractive, passionate women reporting on athletics.
She already enjoys interacting with fans. In fact, that was one of the main perks when she worked as a Dell Diamond food vendor for the Round Rock Express AA baseball team. “It wasn’t glamorous, but I got to watch the game from every vantage point and had the opportunity to connect with the fans,” Rachel said.
Seeing rabid fans up close and personal was what initially attracted Rachel to becoming a Texas Longhorns football fan. When she was seven years old, she performed a gymnastics routine with the UT band at halftime during Ricky Williams’s final season. “The crowd was amazing! I decided right then and there that I would become a member of their fan base,” she said.
Rachel has spent the majority of her life cheering for the Longhorns on the football field and basketball court. Her favorite players are Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Jordan Shipley (Cincinnati Bengals), and James Kirkendoll (current UT football player who went to high school with Rachel).
But, she also looks up to athletes who don’t play basketball or football. Two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva, a Russian pole vaulter, and Nastia Liukin, an Olympic All-Around champion in gymnastics, are two of Rachel’s favorites.
In fact, her best fan experience came from meeting the 2000 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. The team trained in Austin prior to leaving for the Sydney games. Capital Gymnastics, the gym that Rachel competed for, happened to host the event. “It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with the gymnasts, and I even went to the airport for the big Olympic send-off. Bela Karolyi (legendary coach) was gracious and amazing.”
Rachel is so cool that she describes herself as a “casual girl”. On most days, she enjoys wearing sweatpants with no makeup on, and puts her hair up in a ponytail. She said, “I save dressing up for the special moments.”
Those special moments will most likely be reserved for her future significant other. That’s right – she’s single. Her ideal guy must be a sports fan (obviously) and be able to take her as she is. That’s pretty easy because she’s pretty fantastic.
Be sure to follow Rachel on Twitter @KnappRachel.
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