Mireya Maymi is a senior at Johnson High School and at a very young age started gymnastics.
Over the course of her childhood, Maymi competed in gymnastics all over the country. It was that background that landed her an offer to be on the acrobatics and tumbling team at Duquesne University.
The team will be Duquesne University’s inaugural Acro & Tumbling team.
“I’m most excited about getting to be a part of a team sport because gymnastics really is an individual sport,” Maymi said.
When it came to picking a university, Maymi was searching for a school with good academics and a place where she could still be involved in athletics.
“As a school, when I stepped on campus, I felt like I could call that place home,” Maymi said.
Gymnastics and acrobatics and tumbling are similar sports, but they are also very different.
In gymnastics, you have one athlete competing on the vault, bars, beam and floor. In acrobatics and tumbling, you are doing stunts and primarily showing off tumbling abilities with the help of your teammates.
Acrobatics and tumbling is a relatively new sport at the collegiate level. The first competition was held in 2010. Since the birth of the sport, many schools have been adding programs to their schools.
In April of 2022, Duquesne University announced it was adding an Acro & Tumbling team. The team will compete for the first time in August 2024.
For her senior year, Maymi will still compete in gymnastics with her gym, 360 Elite. The gym opened its doors this June and head coach Karen Medellin said Maymi has stepped up as a leader of the team.
“She was recently voted our first team captain for our new gym here at 360 Elite, which is really special because they were voted by the athletes,” Medellin said.
Just like any other sport, gymnastics has its ups and downs. For Maymi, she said those hard days are important.
“The hard days, as they’re happening, are hard to get through, but once you’re looking back on them and what you’ve accomplished, and you realize that the bad days are necessary, because without the bad days you have nothing to learn from,” Maymi said.
Medellin has coached Maymi for three years now and said it’s bittersweet seeing her gymnasts move on to the collegiate level. Despite the sadness she has for them leaving for college, she hopes she is able to make a positive impact on each one of her gymnasts.
“What I’m most excited about is to provide a place for them to learn and grow in a positive environment,” Medellin said.
Maymi believes her background in gymnastics will be a huge help for her when it comes to moving to college and away from her family.
“Discipline and perseverance, I think, are the biggest things that I have taken away as a person from this sport,” Maymi said.
Maymi will receive an academic and athletic scholarship to attend Duquesne University. She will move to Pittsburgh in the fall of 2024.