Our next 20 Questions Athlete is Oakland Gymnastics Senior Nyah Smith. Nyah, who has trained at Oakland her entire career, has been a Level 10 since 2016 in her 2nd her as a 10 she qualified to the 2017 JO National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana. Nyah, who’s younger sister Nikki is also a Level 10 at Oakland, is known for her double back beam dismount, which ironically her sister competes as well. Nyah, who attends North Farmington High School, is a talented young athlete who in the fall will be continuing her gymnastics career at Michigan State University, which I am sure her coach Ruth Miller loves being a Michigan State Alumni herself, the Spartans are home to quite a few Oakland Gymnastics Alums. So, let’s get to know Nyah a little bit better as she tries to qualify to one last JO National Championships in her Senior season as an Oakland Gymnast and a Region 5 Gymnast.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I started gymnastics at age 2 in the Mommy & Me class at Oakland Gymnastics. I had lots of energy and loved jumping off everything – furniture, steps, and landings. My parents thought gymnastics would be a great fit to channel my energy and love for jumping around.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event is Vault.
Favorite Skill to train/compete: My favorite skill is double back off beam dismount.
Dream Skill? My dream skill is a Full-in on floor.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics?My favorite part of gymnastics is competition because I feel energized and confident.
What college do you plan on attending? Why? I plan to attend Michigan State University.
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? My favorite meet to compete is the Classic Rock Invitational in Phoenix, AZ because it is in a warm location and I have had great experiences competing there.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment is qualifying to JO Nationals.
Who do you most admire in the sport of gymnastics? Why? I admire that each gymnast has her own personal style or unique way of competing skills.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? Region 5 Spotlight is my favorite feature because it is a chance to learn about other Region 5 gymnasts.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? My go to song is Dreams & Nightmares by Meek Mills.
3 Things you could not live without? The top 3 things in my life are (1) family, (2) friends and (3) phone.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? I would be a polar bear because they are cute but vicious.
5 Most Important or Must have Items in your gym bag? I must have (1) my headphones, (2) my grips, (3) fragrance body spray, (4) deodorant, and (5) Aquaphor.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? I love to shop. I am a shopaholic.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? At Elevate the Stage Meet, during warm-ups, going into my leap pass on floor, I slipped and fell because I used too much Aquaphor.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try? I would play Volleyball.
What are you most looking forward to this competition session? Having a great final JO season with my teammates.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? “Your mistakes do not define you.”
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. I can cross one eye.