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The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Bouncing Back: Sophomore Mia Coniglio competes level ten gymnastics after a seven-month injury

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Courtesy of Mia Coniglio
Sophomore Mia Coniglio quickly rose in gymnastics levels and set a new standard. Coniglio suffered an injury and was out for 7 months.

Since she was four, sophomore Mia Coniglio spent countless hours in the gym training for elite gymnastic meets and competitions. With over 11 years of training, Coniglio devoted herself to a future elite career only to discover three fractures in her back. 

“I started figuring it out and it kind of clicked for me,” Coniglio said. “My first real gym was probably Emerald City. I was there from kindergarten to third grade. I excelled a lot more than other people and I was put into groups with 14- and 15-year-olds just because I was really good at a young age.”

Due to her quick improvement and proceeding qualifications, Coniglio needed more opportunities than what Emerald City had to offer, leading her to a new gym.“I felt like I was missing something, and I could do a lot better and I just wasn’t getting pushed hard enough,” Coniglio said. 

After competing in the state competition for Emerald City, she moved to a new gymnastics team: Integrity Gymnastics.“I tried out Integrity and I got put into a top program, which is trying to go to an Elite Hopes Program and go to the Olympics,” Coniglio said. “I was put in a group there and we would go to different elite meets. I skipped levels four and five and I did one year in six, I dominated.” 

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According to USA Gymnastics’ website, The Elite Program’s curriculum consists of providing competitive opportunities for athletes aspiring to claim a spot on the USA National Team.

While on this elite path, the program began to fall apart after Coniglio’s meets. Her mental health became greatly affected by 

“I wasn’t in the best mental state to stay there so we left,” Coniglio said. “I went to my new gym now, Extreme, which is a very positive environment. All my teammates are there for me, my coaches and I are very close and I’m here to try to compete level 10.”

During third through seventh grade, Conilgio joined a homeschool program to be able to put more hours in the gym. 

“In my homeschool program I would go [to the gym] from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Coniglio said.

Attending Abeka Online Academy, gymnastics would run for the first few hours followed by hours of online classes and lessons. In seventh grade, she returned to regular schooling at Saint Peter’s Catholic School.

After gymnastics every day for 11 years, the body can begin to run down. Last year, Coniglio received an MRI containing three fractures in her back. 

“Two years ago, I was doing gymnastics every day and I felt back pain, but I just thought it was no big deal,” Coniglio said. “So I would take ibuprofen before gym and just push through it. Then it went on for five months.”

She began to feel pulls in her spine during weights class her freshman year. 

“I asked my mom for an MRI and once it came back I found out I have three fractures in my back,” Coniglio said. “I just started breaking down crying. I didn’t know what to do with myself. My sport is gone; my everyday thing. I just felt like something was missing.”

While doing physical therapy and rehabilitation, it was still difficult to make up the time lost during an injury.

“I was out for seven months, which took off an entire season,” Coniglio said.“I came back to gym and it was a rough start, but I eventually bounced back and I’m now about to compete level 10 again,” Coniglio said. “I feel a lot stronger and more secure, especially my core. I feel like I’m gonna have a good level ten year.”

From the thousands of gyms in the country, for college gymnastics, there are only 81 NCAA gymnastics programs in the country. 

According to Coniglio, a homeschool program is the best option for gymnasts looking for a Division 1 or Olympic track program in college.

“I feel that I’m just too social, and the Elite path is not what I want,” Coniglio said. “It’s just way too stressful on your body. It’s hard mentally and physically. I feel like going to college is a lot more relaxed. It’s still hard but more reasonable instead of just, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to the Olympics.’ I think college is definitely the better option.”

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Bella Dessert
Bella Dessert, Copy Editor

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