If you have been to an Oregon State gymnastics meet within the last four years, chances are you have heard the name Isis Lowery, and chances are, your were impressed by the time she finished her floor routine.
Oregon State senior gymnast Isis Lowery knew how to put on a show for those in attendance at OSU gymnastic meets, and watching her compete in a gymnastics meet was truly a work of art.
But Lowery is also known for a particular quote: “Lower your crown and wear it with pride.” Lowery even incorporates putting on a crown in her gymnastics routines.
“To me, the crown stands for empowerment, and owning who you are and everything you are,” Lowery said. “It’s really a symbol of confidence, and I didn’t used to have it. And I’m obviously still working on it.”
As a fan of Beyoncé, Lowery found it important to include a crown in her floor routine.
“There was something about when I put that crown on, I thought to myself ‘Let’s go. This is me. This is my time. This is what I do. I’m damn good at it, and I’m proud of it,’” Lowery said. “That turned into all these little girls being like, ‘Oh my gosh, crown!’ And I’d always say, ‘Lower the crown. Don’t try to be anyone else, just be who you are.’
The crown is a symbol of confidence for Lowery and her fans.
“It’s not ‘Here’s my crown, I’m better than you,” Lowery said. “It’s [more], ‘Here’s my crown, I’m putting it on, everybody put it on with me.’ And that’s what I loved about it.”
But unfortunately, Lowery never got the chance to lower her crown again in Gill Coliseum for her fans, as her season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lowery said it was a difficult time for her with the changes to the season.
“The first two weeks were definitely the worst,” Lowery said. “I feel like a piece of me, not to sound dramatic, had died. I knew that the time was coming, and I knew that I was going to be done with gymnastics, but I think it was how abruptly it all ended and how soon it ended.”
The cancellation of OSU Gymnastics’ senior night happened soon after the cancellation of basketball conference championships in mid-March.
“Knowing we didn’t get a senior night, and knowing that our friends and family didn’t get to see it, so the first two weeks, rather than being sad, I was just mad,” Lowery said. “But since then, I’ve kind of figured out what I am doing with my life, and I’ve dived into a few new opportunities, so that’s been really fun.”
Lowery, however, wasn’t too affected by the announcement of Oregon State postponing the graduation ceremony, since she knew that nothing could really be done.
“That was just random. Initially I thought ‘This is useless,’” Lowery said. “I thought, ‘Don’t do virtual.’ I’d rather have it postponed, so I was actually kind of happy about that decision.”
Lowery also recognized the impact of the coronavirus on everyone, not just student-athletes.
“It’s happening to everyone around the world, not just me, or us,” Lowery said. “So I think that helped me put things into perspective. Like it’s not my world coming to a halt, literally everyone in the universe has been affected by it. When I found out about the ceremony, I was kind of like ‘We can’t do anything now,’ so I really didn’t care.”
Lowery’s favorite moment as an OSU gymnast was competing with the team at the NCAA Regional Championships in 2019. She reminisced on the feels of experiencing and rewatching her teammates compete.
“Every single time I watch that video of Kaitlyn and her double tuck, I get goosebumps, because we just pulled the most epic comeback and seized the opportunity that was in front of us,” Lowery said. “The crowd and the energy in that arena, that when I was like ‘Gill is special.’ You would’ve thought that we were competing in Reser, with 70,000 people. But there were probably only 4,000, and it was the most exciting environment to be in. I’m so grateful that I was part of a team that made history.”
Lowery is not done with Oregon State quite yet, as she plans to stick around for graduate school. But she will certainly miss the family atmosphere that defines Oregon State Gymnastics.
“I knew that every single day, regardless of how far away my family was, I was still going to be surrounded by people who care and love me,” Lowery said. “But just being surrounded by so many people who are so driven and so passionate within the athletics community in general, and that’s what now drives me to want to work in student athletics. I’m just so grateful that I even had half of the opportunities that I had here. There’s something about this little town.”
Lowery also had advice to the next generation of OSU Gymnastics seniors.
“I would tell all the seniors that they owe it to themselves to just have the most fun and embrace everything. Just stay in the moment,” Lowery said. :And this goes out to all my teammates: All of you just come together and love each other genuinely. That’s when Oregon State gymnastics is most successful, when it's based on a genuine loving foundation of hard work, trust, and vulnerability. I’m just super excited to see them all grow.”
So next gymnastics season, if you hear someone cheering their lungs out, chances are, it will probably be Isis Lowery, cheering for her team, cheering for her family.