Native Gymnast From Flathead Rez Qualifies for National Championships

A story about Native American gymnast Kiyana Price, from Montana's Flathead Reservation, who has qualified for this year's national championships.
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Kiyana Price, Lakota/Wampanoag, of Dixon, Montana has qualified for the 2013 Junior Olympic National Gymnastic Championships in Minneapolis. The championships begin tomorrow, May 9, and run through May 12.

Price, 16, is one of the top-ranked gymnasts in the state of Montana. She was the all-around state champion at Level 10 for the state of Montana in March, then competed at regionals in Seattle in April, qualifying for the national championships in Minneapolis. 

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Louisville head coach Jeff Walz has another year to enjoy the sister act.

This is the first time in nearly 20 years that Missoula, Montana has sent a female gymnasts to nationals. Price has been competing in gymnastics since she was 7 years old at Mismo Gymnastics in Missoula. She has been Montana state AA champion for levels 5, 6, 8 and 10 (twice). A sophomore at Hellgate High School, Price is aiming for a college scholarship for her sport. Price lives with her grandparents, George and Barbara Price, on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. After 9 years of hard work (she works out about 20-25 hours a week, year-round) this is her first time qualifying for nationals.

"Gymnastics has been my passion almost my entire life. It's not a casual sport, it requires daily dedication and drive all year-round," says Kiyana. "I've put so much into gymnastics for so long so that, for me, going to nationals is finally having something to show for what I've put into this sport. I see it as my chance to prove to myself and everyone else that I'm capable of being great and I deserve to be there."

To learn more about Price, including the family's efforts to fund-raise for their trip to Minneapolis, click here. And to watch Price in action, check out this video:

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErSomosMaDI[/video]