Isabella Pappas, 9 years old, of Canton Massachusetts won the all-around title for Level 5 rhythmic gymnastics in her age category at the US national 2014 Star & Stripes Cup competition held in Daytona Beach, Florida on May 8-11.
Rhythmic gymnastics, an Olympics sport, combines coordination, agility, artistry, and grace, all in choreographed floor routines, molding gymnast, music and apparatus (such as a hoop or a ribbon) into one.
Competing with gymnasts from across the country Isabella achieved an all-around score of 40.2 after four routines, finishing first in the floor routine, first in the ball routine, first in the rope routine and third in the hoop routine. This is the second consecutive national all-around win for Isabella, having finished first in last year’s national competition in Orlando.
Before competing in the 2014 Star & Stripes Cup competition, Isabella won the Massachusetts state championship and the Northeast region championship for her level. After the competition, Isabella was invited by the head coach of the US rhythmic gymnastics team to a training camp for elite US athletes at the USA Gymnastic’s Olympic training facility outside Houston Texas to be held in September – the youngest gymnast to be invited.
Isabella is coached by Varduhi Nahapetyan, of the New England Sports Academy in Westwood Massachusetts, who has been her coach since Isabella first started rhythmic gymnastics at the age of 6. Varduhi is the former coach of the Armenian national rhythmic gymnastics team.