Rising Gymnast Focuses Upward Before Weekend Championships

By   •   April 15, 2014

Lloimincia Hall performing
Lloimincia Hall is a junior at Louisiana State University. Her gymnastic skills, and her faith, have drawn nationwide attention.

Louisiana State University gymnast Lloimincia Hall is 4-foot-11 with a giant personality. This 21-year-old LSU Tiger has a contagious energy that’s recently earned her the spotlight, though she’s quick to deflect all credit to Christ. She spoke with BGEA before heading to the NCAA gymnastics championships in Birmingham, Ala., this weekend.

“When you look back at my life, I never would have truly made it without Christ by my side,” Hall says matter-of-factly.

Hall speaks quickly and with confidence. She may be fierce in competition, but this self-described “girly girl” is gentle in speech.

Jesus Christ comes up naturally in conversation. It’s Christ who has kept her on course at one of the country’s top party schools, she said, and helped her stay focused when negative comments or typical college challenges could have been a distraction. Her family has also been a great support.

Lloimincia (pronounced Loy-men-see-a) Hall has a father, grandfather and a late grandfather who have all served as pastors. All have been impacted by Billy Graham’s ministry, an impact that has trickled down to Hall. She regularly sees Mr. Graham’s books around her house.

Lloimincia Hall with parents
Lloimincia Hall with her parents at her father’s church.

“My dad would always say, ‘If you’re going to do something, do it with all you’ve got,’” she said. “He said he took that wisdom from Billy Graham.”

Hall definitely gives it her all. She’s scored five perfect 10s throughout her career and is a three-time defending Southeastern Conference floor exercise champion, setting two new records for LSU. She ranks No. 3 nationally on floor exercise.

On April 5, her flawless floor performance at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional helped secure her team’s place at the NCAA championships this weekend.

“We have an awesome chance (to win),” she said, but isn’t one to gloat. “It’s exciting, all this that’s going on, … but we still have a mission and the season isn’t finished.”

Hall has another mission, too, one that extends beyond this weekend’s championships. That’s to be a champion for Christ, to represent Him well in all that she does.

Last year, the music playing during one of Hall’s performances was a mix of gospel tunes. Early this year, she used another gospel song to start her routine.

“I want to remind people, yes, I’m still about Christ,” she said.

That hip-hop inspired routine thrust Hall into the spotlight when a video of the performance went viral. It was a gymnastics competition against Alabama, and Hall nailed it. Soon, she was catching the attention of USA Today, People Magazine and Good Morning America.

Hall4005 crop
Lloimincia Hall points upward at the end of a floor routine that’s had thousands of people talking.

While it’s obvious that this muscular gymnast is physically strong, she’s more concerned about her spiritual strength. At the end of the performance that garnered widespread attention, Hall points upward with one hand. Originally, she made a tiger claw in honor of the LSU Tigers, but changed it to honor Christ instead.

Hall grew up in Dallas, Texas, where her parents made sure gymnastics didn’t interfere with school or Bible study.

“Our family was very much wrapped around the church, then academics, then athletics,” she said.

Years later, Hall got a full-ride scholarship to LSU and has mentored other athletes through a Christian group on campus. She’s also a spiritual dance instructor at Greater Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La., where she works with young girls.

But being a black athlete in a predominately white sport can be difficult, she said; people might not like her style, or what she’s about. She’s getting good at weeding out the negativity and remembering that first and foremost, her identity is found in Christ.

“As long as you stay on your knees, there’s no obstacle too big enough for you to handle,” Hall says about her prayer life. Yes, she’s experienced pain and asked God “why,” but says Jesus Christ keeps her head up. “There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

After college, this sports commerce major hopes to work in college athletics or in corporate. She’s considering a master’s in public administration. Whatever her future holds, she said, she will give Christ the credit.

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