"Never graduate" "Honestly shocked": Fans react to LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne's surprising return to the Tigers in 2024

Fans react to LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne's surprising return

Olivia Dunne is set to make a return to LSU for her fifth and final year of eligibility in collegiate athletics. The gymnast made the announcement on her social media channels on Monday.

“These past four years have changed my life. There is something about putting on a purple-and-gold leotard. … And no matter how many opportunities come my way off the mat, there’s just something about LSU," Dunne said. "And that’s why I’m here to say, 'I’m not done yet.'"

Olivia Dunne's decision to return to LSU came as a huge surprise to many college gymnastics enthusiasts and a lot of her fans. Following the success of the previous season, it was believed that the internet sensation was calling it a day at the university.

Here’s a look at some of the reactions online:

Here's a look at other reactions online.

"So excited for what’s next!!," a fan wrote.
"That tiger gets in your blood," another fan wrote.
"This one took me by surprise," a fan posted.

Olivia Dunne has found a renewed love for gymnastics

The 2024 season was a fulfilling one for Olivia Dunne. The outstanding success she was able to achieve by helping the Tigers to their first national championship has led her to find a renewed love. This played a role in her decision not to forego her final season of eligibility.

“This past year, I found a renewed love of the sport," Dunne said. "I had trained a lot in the offseason, so I felt really strong and healthy from the start and ready to contribute.
“I really enjoyed the dynamic of the team this year, and it all came together well. Winning the national championship was a great team accomplishment, but I feel like I have more to give as an individual competitor.”

Dunne won’t be the only LSU gymnast to return for her final season in 2025 season. Haleigh Bryant, who may be the greatest gymnast in LSU history; Sierra Ballard; Chase Brock; and Alyona Shchennikova will also be returning to the program, ensuring a solid team for the upcoming season.

Olivia Dunne rules out participating in the Olympics

The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics is fast approaching, and Team USA assembled a strong gymnastics team last month. However, Olivia Dunne won’t be going.

“I don’t think I’m going to try for the Olympics or anything after, since I once competed for Team USA and I closed that chapter and went to LSU,” Dunne said.

Dunne last represented the national team in 2017. Her decision might have come as a disappointment who wanted to see her compete in the Olympics.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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