South Miami Gymnastics student places first in national competition

By Nancy Eagleton

Gabriela Silva and her team from South Miami Gymnastics center placed first in a recent national gymnastics competition.

Gabriela Silva, age 9, recently won the 2010 AAU Age Group National Gymnastics competition held at Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. Gabriela trains at the South Miami Gymnastics Center and is a third grade student at Gulliver Schools South Miami Campus, both located on Red Road.

Gabriela’s team from South Miami Gymnastics Center also came in first place in the team competition at the event, which was held July 1 – 3. The team consisted of good friends, Melanie Martucci, Meagan Schoffner and Mia Murrieta.

Gabriela is the daughter of Corina and Carlos Silva, the owner of the two Old Lisbon Restaurant locations, one in South Miami on Sunset Drive and the other in Coral Gables on Coral Way.

Gabriela competed in her age division against 15 other girls who came to the competition from Florida, Georgia, Missouri and the New England area. She took first place in bars and beam and second place in vault and floor exercise to achieve first place overall.

“We were all so very proud of her,” said Gabriela’s mother, Corina Silva. “Gabriela was very surprised when we were all so elated with her first place finish. She didn’t realize the magnitude of this competition and she performed like she does in every event.”

During the past year, Gabriela has competed in nine competitions throughout Florida to prepare her for this final event of the season. She placed first in most of those competitions. She is coached by Jorge and Suzette Rodriguez at South Miami Gymnastics Center and trains for two hours, three days each week.

Gabriela started in gymnastics when she was 3 years old and started competing two years ago. She also attends gymnastics training as part of her curriculum at Gulliver Schools South Miami Campus.

“She really loves the sport of gymnastics,” said Corina Silva. “She’s actually quite athletic and also enjoys basketball, swimming and other sports. She’s a very happy, active girl!”

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