Ten-year-old gymnast Chiara Andrew possesses one of those rare athletic gifts that you can’t quantify.
Work ethic? Check. Demeanor? Check. Personality? Check. Talent? Check. Toughness? Check.
From a young age, Chiara (pronounced KEE-are-UH) could complete front flips by simply watching and copying others. She could perform splits and painful maneuvers which her peers would have to work hard at to achieve.
“She never tires, she never gets scared — nothing ever hurts,” veteran Arizona Dreams Gymnastics Academy coach Heather Davis recently said of Andrew. “It’s just different than other children when she started right at 4 years old.”
And yet not everything has been a bed of roses for Chiara, a six-year gymnast at Arizona Dreams. She still labors as diligently as anyone in the gym, even if it may not always seem apparent.
Last winter, Chiara overcame a stress fracture in her right arm to become the only Arizona gymnast in the 8- to 10-year-old age group to qualify for both USA Gymnastics’ prestigious National TOPS (Talent Opportunity Program) Testing and the TOPS ‘A’ National Team.
Chiara made the 50-member cut on the ‘A’ Team among a field of thousands of gymnasts from across the U.S. She was one of just three Arizona girls who attended National TOPS Testing.
There’s little wonder why Chiara’s so good. She’s known for begging her mom, Summer Andrew, to work out four and five hours at a time several days a week.
“She will never miss gym,” Summer said. “She’s been putting in 20 hours a week since she was 6 years old. I would have to tell her when it was enough. It can be a thing of pushing too much.”
Davis said Chiara’s work ethic has been a staple in her everyday routine.
“That, for her, was part of why she progressed so quickly – because she just wanted to do more than the average kid at 5 and 6 years old,” Davis added
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