Team spirit is the ticket

Former teammates, coaches rally to fly Wall of Fame inductee back for October ceremony

Nina Schubert, ’06, was originally training for the Olympics in Germany before she came to UWL. Once here, she broke records and became a three-time national gymnastics champion on the uneven parallel bars. The former UWL athlete deserves recognition.

Nina Schubert headshot

Nina Schubert, 06, a former UWL gymnastics athlete originally from Germany, is one of seven athletes in 2017 to be inducted into the UWL Athletics Wall of Fame.

That’s why her former teammates and coach were disappointed to learn Schubert wouldn’t be able to make it to an October ceremony at UWL inducting her into the university’s Athletic Wall of Fame. The wall tributes former athletes and coaches for exceptional athletic ability and enhancement of school tradition. The airline where Schubert, of Germany, had reserved her ticket, Air Berlin, declared bankruptcy in August, and she was notified her ticket was lost.

Schubert left a message on Facebook that she wouldn’t be able to come.

Kaitlin (Haack) Graff, ’07, a former teammate, read the message thinking there must be something she and other former gymnastics athletes could do. A separate Facebook thread began among them where they shared ideas to chip in and get Schubert back to UWL.

“We saw her put in so much time and energy as an athlete. To have something so out of her control be the reason she couldn’t come, we had to step in and do something,” says Graff. “She needed to be there to be recognized for her hard work and the leadership she brought to our team.”

Coaches and teammates rallied together and purchased another plane ticket for Schubert. By mid-October, 25 teammates and two coaches contributed. They also lined up transportation from the Chicago airport, and a place for Schubert to stay with former gymnastics coach Barb Gibson.

“Everyone was wanting to get her here,” says Gibson. “It is just amazing the extension of care for a teammate.”

2017 Athletic Wall of Fame inductees from left, Nina Schubert, ’06; Bob Hehli, ’99; Mike Schnur, ’97; Jason Gonnion, ’95; Julia Rudd Webb, ’06; Joe Werner, ’06, ’08; and Bill Hehli, ’95.

Although it has been a decade since Graff was in UWL gymnastics, the relationships with former teammates always seem to pick up where it left off whether at weddings or Wall of Fame inductions, she says.

“You spend so much time together during those four years and you are working toward a common goal … it pushes those bonds to become deeper and deeper,” explains Graff. “To see a career like Nina’s — not only as a team member but as an individual —recognized so many years later is thrilling. We are excited she can come back and be there for it.”

Gallery: Photos from Athletic Wall of Fame breakfast.

Nina Schubert file
Athlete: 2003-06

Schubert won three National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) championships on the uneven parallel bars , claiming titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006. She is one of two gymnasts in NCGA history to capture three crowns in the uneven parallel bars. Her score of 9.825 on the uneven parallel bars at the 2006 national championships is tied for second in school history. She finished second on the uneven parallel bars at the 2003 national meet. Schubert was named to the 2006 NCGA All-Academic Team.

Selected to the WIAC All-Time Team, Schubert won the league title on the uneven parallel bars in 2004 and was named the 2006 WIAC Scholar-Athlete.

Schubert won three (2004-06) uneven parallel bars titles at the UWL Gershon/McLellan Invitational. She was a member of four WIAC and NCGA championship teams.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006. Schubert is the diving coach at the Dresden Sport Club in Dresden, Germany.

Nina Schubert speaks at the Wall of Fame induction