CONCORD, Calif. (KTVU) - Aaliyah Campos is a young gymnast from Concord who envisions the Olympics and Division 1 gymnastics in her future.
A competitor since she was three years old, Aaliyah, who just turned eight, has laser focus and exceptional drive for her age. So for the twirls and dismounts, devotion and skill, Aaliyah is this week’s talent on That Kid’s Got Game.
For about the last year, Aaliyah has been at Liberty Gymnastics, which is an invite-only, competitive program in Concord designed to take gymnasts to the next level. She competes in all four events – vault, bars, beam and floor. Currently, her favorite is beam. Aaliyah is on the 5-member Tops Team, a position designed for elite gymnasts that’s achieved through multiple tests, her mother said.
Tough tests, too. Like climbing a rope with your legs straight out in front of you in under 12 seconds. Or holding a handstand – without moving – for 30 seconds. But Aaliyah gets her training in wherever or whenever possible, even if it’s in the supermarket or while conversing.
“She just hangs out in a handstand, like just talking to you,” said Monica Campos, Aaliyah’s mother. “We don’t even notice it anymore because it’s nonstop.”
Amid impromptu handstands, practicing six days a week and competitions, Aaliyah has already planned where gymnastics is taking her future. “She’s super organized and focused. I’ve picked up drawings of the Olympic rings with 2028 and LA written on it,” Campos said.
You’ve got to be at least 16 to compete in the senior-level events of the Olympics. In 2028, the games will be in Los Angeles. Campos says she never told her second grade daughter the Olympics were coming to California.
“I have a nine and six-year-old and their biggest concern is V-Bucks for Fortnite,” Campos said, speaking to the popular video game her other two kids play. “[Aaliyah] is very driven for an eight-year-old.”
Recently Aaliyah and her four teammates qualified for nationals in Indianapolis next month – a feat available only to the top 100 gymnasts in the country, according Lisa Terry, one of the team's coaches.
And a bit closer to home, this weekend Aaliyah took second place at a competition in Santa Cruz and she has the Gypsy Invite on her home turf coming comping up next weekend.
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