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Gymnast Kia Bazard captures the regional title

Bahamian gymnast Kia Bazard on the floor in competition.

Bahamian gymnast Kia Bazard on the floor in competition.

By BRENT STUBBS

Chief Sports Editor

bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

After dominating the Florida State Gymnastics Championships in Lakeland, Florida in April, Bahamian Kia Bazard came back this month and extended her winning streak at the 2024 Region 8 Xcel Championships in Greenville, South Carolina.

The 14-year-old ninth grader at Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida, was representing the Orlando Gymnastics Club as she competed at the Greenville Convention Center against competitors from Tennessee, South and North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

She was tied for first place on the vault with a score of 9.275 and 9.600 on the floor, but was ninth on the beam with 9.300 and tied for ninth on the bars with 9.025 for her total of 37.200.

Bazard’s concentration has been on the vault and floor and before the championships, she emerged as the winner of those two routines in every competition she competed in this year.

So going into the regional championships, Bazard just knew that she had a big performance in her. “My performance at regionals wasn’t perfect and I know I have lots of work to do, but I am proud that I was able to enter regionals and score as high as I did,” she said.

This was Bazard’s first appearance at the regionals and she admitted that she was extremely proud of her accomplishment.

“Regional was very competitive. There were a lot of talented girls from all over the US competing for the number one spot,” she pointed out after she out-dueled them all. Despite her win, Bazard said there’s always room for improvement and she intent to continue to work on all of her flaws as shew aim to get better day b day.

But looking back at her performance, she acknowledged that she was entirely thrilled with her floor routine.

“It helps me to express myself and show all of the work that I put in, she stated.

She thanked God, her parents, Felecia and Dr Kent Bazard, her family and friends in the Bahamas and the community that keep pushing her to strive for greatness every day.

Among those persons who helped her to excel are Anthony Colon, her Team Rec. Gymnastics Coach; Katie Friedel, the Team Coordinator/Management; Brittany Wilburn and Ricky Raggins.

They took over from coach Trevor Ramsey, who coached her at Nassau Nastics before she left the Bahamas last year as a student at Queen’s College for Florida.

Bazard noted that she couldn’t do it without their assistance because they helped her to enjoy her journey through the sport.

“I love this sport so much. I will never stop loving it,” she quipped. “It has a dear place in my heart. I would love to compete for the Bahamas in the Olympics and show off my skills and my talents.”

It’s interesting hoe she got started in the sport.

“My parents put me in gymnastics because they saw that “I was very powerful and jumpy all around the house and also clumsy, so they thought I was a perfect fit for gymnastics,” she recalled.

But she noted that it actually started from the cradle as her father had her walking on the railings from a baby. What he didn’t know was the that he was grooming gymnastics champion in the making.

“I am extremely proud of her. She came a long way in a very short time,” said her father Dr Bazard, who operates the Empire Fitness and Sports Performance Center.

“Even though in the Bahamas, we are at a disadvantage due to infrastructure and access to high level training, she received a very good foundation at Nassau Nastics and was able to turn it into a very strong junior career.”

Bazard will now prepare for the Optionals on May 28th before she participate in the gymnastics camp over the summer hosted by the Orlando Gymnastics in Orlando.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

Congratulations. Special congrats to Felecia and Dr Bazard.

DaGoobs 3 weeks, 5 days ago

If the government hadn't been so stupid about the lottery, think of what we could be doing getting kids involved in gymnastics, other less mainstream sports, arts, culture and other activities using lottery money? An opportunity missed

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