Alumni Spotlight: Kelly Parkinson Evanson
PROVO, Utah – Kelly Parkinson Evanson was a standout gymnast on the BYU Gymnastics team from 1999-2004. She now resides in Prosper, Texas with her husband and five children.
Before committing to BYU, she was a member of the U.S. Women’s National gymnastics team for three years; which gave her opportunities to compete in Italy, Guatemala and Australia. With this experience, she knew she could earn a scholarship to any of the top gymnastics schools in the nation.
“I wanted family, education, and being surrounded by friends that shared my same standards to be my priority," Evanson said. "I knew that BYU would offer me much more than gymnastics.”
As a Cougar gymnast, she embraced the chance to contribute in a team atmosphere and her favorite memories are on the competition floor, where she didn’t waste any time leaving her mark.
During her sophomore year, she broke the school All-Around record with a 39.700, a record that still stands today. She is a three-time All-American, qualified to the NCAA National Championships once with her team and once as an individual and was the first gymnast ever to be inducted into the BYU Athletics Hall of Fame. She won the Cougar Club “Competitor Award” her junior year and the “Outstanding Female Athlete” award her senior year. Evanson graduated in 2003 with a degree in business finance.
After her time at BYU, Kelly supported her husband Rich as he joined the Army and pursued medical school in Missouri. In 2014, while completing orthopedic residency training in Georgia, he was deployed to Kuwait. After returning, they moved to North Carolina for a 1-year hip fellowship at Duke University.
They now reside in Prosper, Texas with their 5 children (4 boys and a girl caboose). They love to ski, camp, hunt or do anything outdoors. Her children participate in cross-country, basketball, soccer and yes, gymnastics. Evanson even ran her first marathon this year.
She says her biggest accomplishment is her family. “My hope is to always be a good influence and to help them accomplish their goals like my parents did for me growing up.”
Evanson has stayed connected to BYU Gymnastics by supporting the team at meets whenever possible and contributing as a member of the Cougar Club. Her advice to BYU gymnasts today: “Be all in! Your years at BYU will go by fast, so make the most of them. If you fall, get back up. Work hard in school and in the gym, be a team player and have fun!”
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