though Samantha is only 17 years old, she has already accomplished many amazing
things in her gymnastics career while training at All Olympia Gymnastics Center
(AOGC) in Los Angeles. There she is coached by Galina Marinova and Arthur Akopyan.
And although she enjoys being a normal kid by hanging out with her friends, swimming, and watching movies, Samantha is a little out of the ordinary! She is
working hard to reach her goals, which include one day competing for the United
States in the Olympic Games! Born on May 18, 1993, she is just five months too young
to try out for the 2008 Beijing Olympics so she is setting her sights on 2009 and
SAMANTHA was a three-time USA National TOPS team member (2002, 2003, 2004) as early
as age nine! She had the highest overall National TOPS scores in her age division in
both 2003 and 2004 in both strength/flexibility and skills level, which is quite a
feat! Samantha was also crowned the 2002 Level 6 and 2003 Level 7 California State
HER talent was noticed early on and she skipped her first level 8 season,
choosing to go directly to level 9 in 2004. She had a strong season and finished
21st at 2004 Level 9 Western Championships, the biggest meet that a Level 9 can
participate in. Samantha went on to compete level 10 the next year, when she became
the 2005 Level 10 State Champion and qualified to the 2005 JO Nationals Championships by placing second at Regionals.
AT the biggest meet of her young career, Samantha placed 9th in the all-around and
7th on bars and floor! Samantha entered the exciting world of elite gymnastics in
2006! After competing successfully in several spring invitationals, Samantha tested
elite and qualified to the U.S. Classic in Kansas City. There she had an amazing
meet, finishing 4th in an impressive field of talented gymnasts. But despite competing with such accomplished gymnasts, Samantha stood out thanks to her
beautiful form, choreography, and technique. These attributes helped to earn her a
spot on the USA National Team after competing at the VISA Championships in St. Paul.
Samantha finished just out of the top 12 in the all-around, but was hand-selected to
make the National Team based on the quality and skill-level of her gymnastics.
CONTINUING down the road of success by placing 2nd in the all-around at the
2007 US Classic, Samantha qualified to her second Visa Championships.
Competing in her home state in San Jose, she faired well, earning a silver medal
on bars, a gold medal on beam, a silver medal on floor, and a silver medal in the
all-around. She also qualified to her 2nd National Team based on her standing!
for her first international competition in spring of 2008, Sami traveled to Montreal,
Canada with the rest of USA Squad for the 2008 Gymnix International. She had a very successful meet
there, earning three gold medals on bars, beam, and the all-around competition!
Her international success continued after she was selected to be a part of the six
member team traveling to San Jose, California to compete in the Pacific Rim Championships.
Samantha helped team USA to a gold medal finish and also earned an individual gold
medal on bars and a silver medal in the all-around. Samantha her third and
final Jr. Visa National Championships, where she defended her gold medal on finish on beam and also earned a gold medal on uneven bars.
She also repeated her silver medal finish earning a spot on her third National Team.
Sami finished off her 2008 season by competing in yet another international
competition - this time the PanAmerican Gymnastics Championships in Buenos
Aires, Argentina! The USA team swept gold and silver on all four events, with
Samantha taking gold on bars and beam.
After ankle surgery in 2009 to repair cartilage damage a long recovery began to prepare for the 2010 US Classic and VISA Championships. Sami traveled to Chicago, IL for the 2010 US Classic where she placed 4th on beam and 4th on floor. However, Sami hyper-extended both knees at vault at the Championships qualifier. Sami fought back to compete at the VISA Championships just three weeks later, not wanting to miss another championships after sitting out 2009 due to injury. In Hartford, CT Sami qualified to her 5th USA National Team and also placed 5th on floor, 7th on beam, and 7th AA. After a successful first world selection camp, Sami was named to the nominative roster for the world team but had to pull out of the selection process due to sustaining a stress fracture on the navicular bone. Sami was recently cleared to resume full training and she is currently training for 2011 Classic and Championships.