Staff Report

MIAMI – Eight-year-old Miami gymnast, Nya Harris-Middleton may be small in stature, but like Simone Biles, she is tall on talent and full of Black Girl Magic.

Harris-Middleton recently returned from competing at AAU Gymnastics Age Group National Championships in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she won four medals.

The five-day competition involved more than 1,500 athletes from around the United States. Harris-Middleton, who attends Gym Kidz in North Miami Beach, placed 3rd in vault, 5th in bars, 4th in floor and 5th AllAround.

Harris-Middleton has been taking lessons since she was four and competing since she was seven.

An honor roll student at Phyllis Ruth Miller Elementary School, Harris-Middleton works very hard balancing her school studies and gymnastics practice with her team three days a week.

Every day one can see her somewhere practicing her cartwheels and back walk over.

“I had a lot of fun this week. I am happy about my accomplishments and can’t wait to get to level three,” said Harris-Middleton.

“I have had the pleasure of coaching Nya for three years. Nya’s hard work ethic and positive attitude are a winning combination. Although she is very young, Nya’s focus and determination has progressed her greatly through gymnastics at a fast rate,” said her gymnastics coach Tawana Daniel. “Not only is she dedicated to the commitment of her training, whenever she is in the gym her carefree, easy-going attitude is a great infectious stress reliever for her teammates. Nya continually strives for great, whether she is in practice or at a competition. She is a pleasure to coach and I am honored that I have the opportunity to watch her grow in the sport.”

Her mother, Yvette Harris, echoed that sentiment.

“I am extremely proud of the way she competed. What I love about Nya is that she works hard and really has fun with gymnastics. She competed on beam first and fell off. She could have just given up, but in true Nya form, she jumped right back up on the beam and finished perfectly,” Harris said. “She embraced it and went on to do well in all of the other areas of the competition. Her mental attitude and work ethic is strong. I learn from her daily.”

This is the second year Harris-Middleton competed at AAU Gymnastics Age Group National Championship. She is looking forward to training this summer at to qualify to move to level three.