At the height of her gymnastics career at Punahou, Sarah Harding Traverso was one of the best. At nearly 5 feet, 7 inches, Traverso is considered tall for a gymnast. It didn’t prevent her from success – rather it provided a sense of drama in her routines that helped Traverso stand out.
Traverso also won the state diving championship as a senior – despite not diving competitively prior to her junior year. Nailing the difficult 1 1/2 reverse dive through her nerves in the state meet was a difference maker.
“When I felt my nerves start to escalate, I remembered my dad’s words, ‘Feel the butterflies and have them fly in formation,’ ” she said.
Following a prep career where she nearly swept all of the annual awards given to Punahou athletes, receiving the Billy Weaver ’62 Award as a freshman, the McEldowney-Matthias Memorial Award as a junior and the C. Dudley Pratt Athlete-of-the-Year Award as a senior, Traverso went on to study at Stanford. She was an original cast member of the Cirque du Soleil show, “KA,” and won Ms. Fitness USA twice.