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Plant City Observer Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 9 months ago

Athlete of the Week: Amari Jackson

Amari Jackson is a local rising gymnastics star.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

After a solid performance at the Dallas Metroplex Challenge, Plant City-based gymnast Amari Jackson followed up at the Cirque Challenge last weekend by placing first in the double mini event, second in the floor routine and fifth on the trampoline in her age group. Jackson, 8, wants to one day bring Olympic gold home to Plant City.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at [email protected] by the Friday before the next issue.


You’ve done pretty well in competitions over the last few weeks. What’s been your favorite moment?

Whenever I went to Texas.


How cool was it?

It was cool. We went to Magnolia Market at the Silos and we ate there, and I did my competition. I rode a bull and I did a maze and went to a candy shop.


What other states have you competed in?

Oklahoma, North Carolina and Texas.


What’s your favorite state you’ve visited?

North Carolina because I got to see snow.


What have you learned in the last year that’s made you better?

On vaults, where you jump on a springboard and you flip over it. I’ve learned different handsprings. It’s like a handstand but you arch your back. When I was in the lower level I did a handstand and then I just went to the mat.


What’s your favorite thing to do now?



How long did it take you to get your double mini routine down and ready for competition?

Almost about a year.


Where do you go to school?

Lincoln Elementary.


What’s your favorite subject?

Art and P.E.


Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an Olympian.


Who do you look up to in gymnastics?

Simone Biles.


What would you do if you could hang out with her for a day?

I would want to see her gym and her home.


Do you play any other sports right now?



Before a big meet, how you do you get yourself ready?

I just think like I’m just practicing at my gym, and I can do it just like practice.


What’s the best advice someone has given you for competitions?

They say to just think of the judges in their underwear.


What’s your main goal for gymnastics?

I want to compete in the 2024 Olympics.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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