12-year-old North Myrtle Beach gymnast is heading to Junior Olympics Eastern Nationals

Grand Strand

One North Myrtle Beach 7th grader is going to the Junior Olympics gymnastics Eastern Nationals at Level 9 out of 10.

“It teaches you a bunch of things, like how you fail in life and you have to keep going,” said Lanie Stone.

Tumbling, flipping, and swinging is something Lanie Stone has been doing since she was two.

“When Lanie was little, she was not fearful of anything,” her mother, Mary Kathryn Stone said. “She would fall and get right back up.”

“She rarely, if ever, misses practice. She’s always here on time, and that makes a big difference, you know,” said Louie Liguori, Lanie’s gymnastics coach and owner of Gymnastics and More. “Others have come and go, and she does, she works very hard.”

Only five gymnasts in South Carolina qualified like Lanie, and she was the youngest.

“We’re extremely excited, you know, that she made it. It is something that is very difficult and a lot of gymnasts don’t, even really talented gymnasts,” her mother said. “So, we’re really excited, really grateful, thankful for all the prayers from our family and friends that we had.”

She practices 18 hours a week, and is a straight A student at North Myrtle Beach Middle School. 

“My favorite part is the relationships you build, and like, the bonds with your teammates, and all the life lessons it teaches you,” she said.

Vault, bars, beam, floor, and all-around placement are categories Lanie could earn medals in at Eastern Nationals.

“Being from the sports side of it, it’s just great to watch how talented all these girls are,” Lanie’s father, Kevin Stone said. “The time, dedication, effort, it’s just a great sport.”

Lanie will compete in Eastern Nationals at the end of next week in Kissimmee, Florida.

Lanie’s goal is to earn a Division 1 gymnastics college scholarship at either University of North Carolina, NC State, or University of Florida.

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