Amari Jackson takes home gold in Tumbling.
As fans and gymnasts from around the country converged in St. Louis for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, USA Gymnastics also held their national championships where 11 year old Plant City native Amari Jackson took gold in tumbling.
Jackson was one of five gymnasts from Elite World Gymnastics in Lakeland to qualify for the national competition.
While participating in a number of different disciplines, Jackson qualified for nationals in both double mini trampoline and tumbling.
In double mini, Jackson finished sixth out of 28 competitors. And in her favorite and most successful discipline, Jackson finished first in the Level 10 tumbling competition for the 11 and 12 year old age group. Level 10 is the highest level of competition in the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Program.
“It meant a lot to me,” her father Hasani Jackson said. “Just sitting there watching her and seeing her up on that podium, it almost made me want to cry. I didn’t, I had to keep it together but it was just a real proud dad moment.”
To reach nationals, Amari Jackson took first place at the state level and also had to go through regionals.
While in St. Louis, Amari Jackson was excited not only to compete, but to meet 2021 U.S. tumbling champion Kaden Brown and watch an idol and gold medalist in Symone Biles compete.
In the presence of the world’s greatest gymnasts, Amari Jackson says that she too hopes to one day compete at the olympic level.
“Just to see a kid excel at that high of a level, it meant the world to me,” Hasani Jackson said. “I see the sacrifices that she makes. She goes to practice five days per week and it’s year-round. So for an 11 year old kid to have to do this every single day, to get out of practice around eight, to not get home until nine and then have to eat dinner and do homework, to be able to achieve and persevere through all of the things that an 11 year old kid is persevering through, it meant the world to me. I was so happy and so proud of her.”