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Young gymnast eyes future Olympic games

Young gymnast eyes future Olympic games
June 13
05:00 2018

Samantha Davis is a 12-year-old seventh-grader that picked up the sport of gymnastics a little more than three years ago.  She has jumped headlong into the sport and spends six days a week practicing her craft hoping to one day showcase her talent on the national stage.

Back in April, Davis competed in the USA Gymnastics Region 8 meet in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Davis started off strong, winning the uneven bars and finishing second on the vault.  Her day was derailed by a fall on the balance beam, which dropped her scores dramatically.  Overall she finished eighth among 59 competitors.

“I love gymnastics,” she said.  It gives me a chance to get out there and compete against other girls and have fun along the way.  It is something I plan to pursue as I get older and maybe even make it to the Olympics one day.”

Each year she has participated in the sport she has taken another step in the direction of her dreams.  Her first year she competed in mostly local meets with a few regional meets thrown in here and there.  Last year she met the same kind of success, fairing well in competitions throughout the state and earning a berth in the state AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) meet.

This year has been a breakout one for Davis.  She started the season by capturing the all-around competition at a big meet in Asheville.  She made the biggest splash at the U.S. Gymnastics meet capturing second place in the all-around competition at the Platinum level.  At the state meet, her scores were all 9.4 or better.

“I thought I did well in the state meet,” she went on to say.  “It was a lot of fun and my scores were consistent.  That’s what I have been working toward accomplishing since last summer.”

As she progresses, Davis says she wants to follow in the footsteps of her idol Simone Biles, who won the all around and four other gold medals at the 2016 Olympics.

“Simone Biles in incredible,” she stated.  “She has set the bar high in gymnastics and she is who I want to be like.  I really like her enthusiasm and desire.”

Not only does Samantha stand out in gymnastics, she’s also an outstanding student.  She has attended private school for most of her life.  She started out at Forsyth Country Day School at 4 years old and stayed in that program for four years before attending public school.”

“I really enjoyed going to Forsyth Country Day,” she said.  “I made a lot of friends and had a lot of fun there.  The academics were really good.”

Following her time at Forsyth Country Day, Davis enrolled in Cook Elementary.  In her two years at Cook, she scored in the 98 percentile in math on the end of grade test as a third-grader, which was the top score in Forsyth County.  She now attends Faith Academy Christian School, a private school started by her grandparents Sam and Denice Davis.

“Cook was a lot different from what I was used to,” she said.  “But the kids there were fun and I made a lot of friends.  My parents and grandparents have always pushed academics.  I just tried to always do my best and have fun.”

Samantha seems to be blessed with a strong academic and athletic gene pool on both sides of her family.  Her mother and grandfather were star athletes on the high school and collegiate levels.  Her uncle was also a member of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team in the 1990s.

“I have had great support from my entire family,” she says.  “Gymnastics is an expensive sport and a lot of my family members have stepped up to help out.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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