News Department

NJ gymnast places 10th all-around at Pan Am Games

Qualifies for Worlds a Second Time

BOONTON, NJ (Morris County) — Olivia Kelly is getting closer to her dream of competing in the 2024 Olympics Games as Barbados’ first gymnast to qualify on an intercontinental level for the second consecutive year.

The 17-year-old Mahwah Township teen hit all four events and placed 10th in the individual all-around at the Pan American Championships in Medellin, Colombia in May, where she went up against senior division gymnasts from the United States, Canada, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. She was 16 at the meet and scored 49.468.

Kelly also is making history as part of the island nation of Barbados’ first women’s gymnastics team ever to compete at Pam Ams this year, governed by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), the worldwide gymnastics body. She competed alongside Anya Pilgrim, 18, of Maryland, who is set to compete as a freshman for the University of Florida Gators’ upcoming season and Erin Pinder, 18, of Barbados.

Kelly will move on to the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, which is slated for Sept. 30 to Oct. 8. If she qualifies there, she will represent Barbados, where she maintains a dual citizenship via her paternal grandfather, at the Summer Olympics.

Im excited to continue on this international journey and Im getting better each time, said Kelly. “I am grateful to have this experience and to represent beautiful Barbados, a country that me and my family are rooted in and love.”

The Bronx, N.Y. native moved with her family to New Jersey to train at North Stars Gymnastics Academy with Umberger, a former two-time U.S.A. Womens National Gymnastics Team member. Kelly is verbally committed to compete in the NCAA for Division 1 program at The University of Missouri Tigers, where she will be a freshman in the fall of 2024

Watching Olivia continually develop into this world-class gymnast is a coach’s dream,” said Umberger,  CEO, head team coach at North Stars, where Kelly trains 30 hours a week, year-round. “She is up against deep talent from across the globe and she still sets herself apart with consistent, beautifully-skilled routines.”

She also has a fundraising page to help her family cover fees associated with international travel meets

North Stars Gymnastics Academy is a national training center in Boonton, Morris County, N.J. with athletes earning placements and awards at the state, regional, national and international levels. It boasts medalists in U.S. Olympic Trials, USA Championships, Goodwill Games, Pan American Games, Pacific Alliance Bulgaria, Colombia and more.

In its 50th year, North Stars prides itself on its ability to train athletes to build the necessary skills to secure athletic and academic college scholarships.To learn more, visit

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button