Below is the official list of the top 35 nominees for the 2016 International Gymnast Magazine Gymnast of the Year!
I am a 10 year old Level 9 gymnast at Texas Dreams and a member of the exclusive Dream Team. I am in 5th grade. My home is in Louisiana but my mom and I moved to Texas last August to pursue my dreams of becoming an elite gymnast. My dad and 13 year old sister, Caroline did not move here with us. My sister is a 12 year cancer survivor. She is my inspiration. In my free time, I love to play board games, swim, fish with my dad, and do crafts with my mom.
I am a native Californian, living my whole life in Los Angeles near the beach. Being the middle child of 3 kids, makes me more independent and competitive at whatever I do! I love swimming and hanging out with my friends and family. My teachers say I am the sweetest, most focused student and love having me in class. I started pre-team in gymnastics when I was 4 years old and haven't looked back, even though I am still one of the smallest girls in my Level 8 Group, don't let my size deceive you! Training 20+ hours a week is fun...everyday I work harder than the last.
My training schedule is 7:00 am to 11:00 Monday through Friday and 7:00 to 12:00 Saturdays. My favorite event is bars. My favorite skills are triple twist on floor; tuck stand turn on beam, and Shaposhnikova on bars. Doing triples makes me feel like I'm doing the impossible and I feel like I'm flying when I do a shaposh.
I am Elizabeth Gantner and I am 12 years old from Indianapolis, Indiana. I train at JPAC with my coaches, Dave Marus and Jaycie Phelps and I hope to qualify Junior Elite in 2018. After an amazing level 8 season in 2016, my coaches and I decided I would compete level 10 and try to qualify Hopes in 2017. Early in the year, I competed one meet at level 9 and achieved my elite compulsory score before competing my first level 10 meet at Metroplex in Texas. In February, I made my Hopes Optional score at the Brestyans Qualifier in Las Vegas. In my second ever level 10 all around meet in Orlando, I went 4 for 4 and qualified to the Nastia Liukin Cup with a 38.175. I followed that with another 38+ all around at our own JPAC Midwest Showdown. I had an amazing time at the Nastia Cup even though it wasn't my best meet. I went on to States, Regionals, and JO Nationals where I was State and Regional beam champion and finished third on beam at JO Nationals. I am thankful for all of the support from my family, my coaches and my teammates and look forward to 2018.
Lauren was 3 years old when she started gymnastics, and quickly found her passion in gymnastics. During the 2008 Summer Olympics, she was glued to the TV, wearing a USA leotard, and singing the national anthem during Shawn Johnson's gold medal performance. Just a year later, she met Shawn at the 2009 Visa Championships. She began competing as a Level 4 just after she turned 6. She advanced through the JO levels each year. In 2013, she began attending the US Women's Team Developmental Camps at the Karolyi Ranch. She qualified as a HOPES elite in 2014, and attended the 2014 Secret Challenge in Chicago, where she earned 2nd place on beam. She continues to train for elite competitions, and hopes that someday she will wear the red, white and blue and compete for the United States in international competitions. When not in the gym or attending home school co-op with her friends, Lauren enjoys arts and crafts, pop music, hiking and biking outside and playing with her Bengal cat, Zeus, and Labradoodle puppy, Athena.
At the age of 4.5 year's old, Myli Lew was put into the Hot Shot's group and was doing 3 hours of gymnastics a week. She was slowly learning TOPs skills. At the age of 6, Myli began competing level 3 where she made the NorCal South State Team 2nd place all around. Myli made TOP's Diamond Team in 2014 and was also on the NorCal South State Champion for Level 4 placing 1st all around. After competing level 4, Myli competed one level 5 meet off season. She was the only level 5 off season gymnast to compete from her gym and won 1st place all around. Myli also made TOPs National A Team in 2015 and attended her first Developmental Invite camp in Feb '16. Myli was the NorCal South State Champion for level 7 in 2016 and represented level 7 NorCal South State Team at Regionals where she was 1st place all around. Myli has attended Developmental Camp twice so far in the later part of 2016. Myli can't wait to learn more skills. She has met a lot of great gymnasts from other gyms on my journey and loves being able to connect with them on social media since they live far away.
My name is Skyelar Noel Kerico. I am 10 years old. I live in Toms River, New Jersey. I am in 4th grade and I am homeschooled at my gym. I go to MG Elite and my coach is Victoria Levine. I travel about an hour every day to get to the gym. My favorite color is lime green. I have 1 younger brother named Zack. I have 2 dogs named Mushroom & Rella. When I am not at the gym, my favorite thing to do is swim in the pool. My second favorite event is beam. I love gymnastics!
My name is Tory Layne Vetter, and I am 13 years old. I live with my mom and dad, my brother Mitch, my sister Tessa and my dog Teddy in Hilliard Ohio. We have a big yard with a trampoline and I try to jump on it every day. I first started in gymnastics when I was 4 in a little kid class. I was also a cheerleader for my brother’s football team right after that. It was fun, but what I liked the best were the cartwheels and splits we were allowed to do during the game to show our spirit. When my mom asked me if I wanted to cheer for basketball or take another a gymnastics class, I was so excited, I chose gymnastics!!
My mom put me in recreational gymnastics with my younger brother when I was about 4.5 years old. The teachers asked my mom if I would be interested in doing team gymnastics and I of course said yes. I have been competing ever since I was 5 years old. I also started to homeschool in fourth grade after qualifying to the TOPS A team two years in a row.