Pearl Perkins, a seven-time National AAU Champion, was regarded as one of Philadelphia’s crown jewels in the gymnastics world. She trained on scholarship with the Turngemeinde Athletic Club of North Philadelphia and was the AAU Middle Atlantic All-Around Champion by the age of 21.
With a career seemingly destined for Olympic success, Perkins passed on her 1936 Olympic opportunity after making the team, choosing not to attend the Games in Berlin at the request of her parents. Nonetheless, Perkins’ success earned her honorary Olympian status for the 1940 and 1944 Games, which did not take place because of the Second World War. By 1948, however, her window of opportunity for Olympic competition had closed.