BOONTON — 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 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 age 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
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 dual citizenship via her paternal grandfather, at the
“I’m excited to continue on this international journey, and I’m getting better each time,”
said, Kelly. “I am grateful to have this experience and to represent beautiful Barbados, a
country that my family and I 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. Women’s National
Gymnastics Team member. Kelly is verbally committed to competing 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, and 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.”
The Class of 2024 athlete documents her training and travel on her personal sites:
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, 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, click here.