Elizabeth Price using gymnastics to help others
Writer MARK SOLTAU profiles elite gymnast ELIZABETH PRICE, a junior biomechanical engineering major who has endured injuries to emerge as a leader on the women’s gymnastics team.
Prior to starting classes in 2015, she suffered a foot injury while participating in a summer engineering program at Stanford. Not that it slowed her down.
Price won the NCAA title on vault with a 9.9333 and earned first-team All-America honors in vault and bars. She won 13 events and scored 9.900 or higher in 21 of 25 performances. Against Oregon State, she received a perfect 10 on vault, becoming only the third Cardinal gymnast to accomplish the feat.
In 2016 at Stanford, she was selected Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year and repeated as a first-team All-American. At the NCAA Championships, she finished fourth in all-around and bars, ninth on vault and 12th on beam.
Although limited at times this season, she was named a first-team NACGC/W Regular Season All-American on bars, first-team All-Pac-12 in the vault and bars and second-team All-Pac-12 on floor.
“Everything she does is big, explosive and dynamic,” said Cardinal head coach KRISTEN SMYTH. “It kind of makes your jaw drop. And then she does it with such beauty, which is hard to do.”
Now in her 16th year at Stanford, Smyth has worked with many talented gymnasts, including current team administrator and former Cardinal standout IVANA HONG. Price is near the top.
“She’s one of only three national champions,” Smyth said, referring to LARISSA FONTAINE (vault, 1998) and CARLY JANIGA (bars, 2010). “She has beautiful lines, beautiful artistry, great ranges of motion and she’s a great dancer. All of the gifts you could possibly want. She’s also a feisty competitor, someone you can count on every time. A world-class athlete and person.”
Price is interested in developing inexpensive medical devices for underserved countries. Her advisor is SCOTT DELP, founding chair of bioengineering.
“I took a class last year that focused on health problems around the world,” Price said. “Through that, I saw a couple products that really helped people in these underdeveloped countries. I think it would be really cool to simplify the technology we have.”