A ‘Budding’ Gymnast: Cenla boy places at national competition
PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Nine-year-old Jonathan “Buddy” Lewis, Jr. of Pineville, Louisiana was awarded the Nationals All-Around Champion of the NGA Gymnastics Competition in Orlando, Florida.
“Buddy” attends Montessori Educational Center. He started recreational gymnastics at Hall’s Gymnastics, and that is when he said he wanted to do what the girls do when it comes to competing. He was recommended to Acadiana Gymnastics Training Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he has been training since August 2020.
His mom, Ayrial, said he started teaching himself how to do flips and it just evolved from there.
“We were all amazed,” she said. “I have a bunch of videos of him just doing back flips and back handsprings.”
In 2021, Buddy took first place at State in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. He then took third in Nationals in Orlando, Florida.
In 2022, he took first place all-around at State in Lafayette, Louisiana. He competed at Nationals in Orlando, Florida at NGA Level 3NA, 8-9 years old. He took 3rd place (bronze) in Floor, then 1st place (gold) in Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars, Still Rings, High Bar and Vault, thus making him Nationals All-Around Champion.
Buddy will be featured in Inside Gymnastics Magazine. He wants to thank Coach Kane Mathews, Gym Manager Autumn Gautreau and Gym Owner Jessica Smith for giving him a chance.
Buddy and his family hope to see the Olympics one day.
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