All Jamaican eyes on Cal gymnast Toni-Ann Williams

UC Berkeley gymnast Toni-Ann Williams was Pac-12 Freshman of the Year for the University of California last season. Now, she’s about to compete in the world gymnastics championships, which started today in Glasgow, Scotland.

Toni-Ann WilliamsIf she succeeds there, not only will Berkeley be celebrating but the island nation of Jamaica, where Williams family comes from, will be too. Doing well could even mean a trip to the Summer Olympic Games in Rio next summer.

“When I first started, everyone had told me, ‘You’re the first gymnast to compete for Jamaica,’ and I never realized — you’re the first gymnast for an entire country,” Williams told Associated Press writer Janie McCauley for a story published in the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere today. “I never realized how big that was. I never allowed myself to think that highly of myself before, but I do recognize it now. It helps me stay humble and keeps me going through this crazy journey.”

Read McCauley’s story about Williams and see a slideshow AP photographer Ben Margot’s photos of her in action on sfgate.com.

Read about Williams’ Pac-12 title on the Cal Athletics website.