Nyla Elizabeth Smith was born on March 24, 2003, at Fort Stewart, Georgia to the proud parents of Donald and Alesha Smith who were serving as military officers in the Army. She has one younger brother named Bryce. Bryce is a Christmas Eve baby, 7-years younger than his sister and athletically gifted in multiple sports. Nyla is in high school, in the medical program at Central Academy of Technology and Arts and will graduate in 2021. She is undecided about what she will study in college, but she is opened to the possibility of Veterinarian Science, Biology, Dentistry, or Business.
Nyla started gymnastics at the age of five after trying dance, swim, cheer, and soccer. With the help of her aunt who took notice of Nyla‘s flexibility and fearless attitude for the tumbling and acrobatics, Nyla's parents took the Aunt's recommendation and enrolled Nyla in gymnastics.
Her first experience with gymnastics was at a week-long camp at the YMCA in Hinesville, Georgia. On day two of the camp, the gymnastic's director approached Nyla’s mom about Nyla’s prior gymnastic experience and asked her to consider joining the team. The family was honored that the director recognized her talent, but had to decline the invitation because the family was scheduled to move to the Northern Virginia area in eight days. Despite the family's soon departure, the director was still invested in Nyla pursuing gymnastics and provided the family with the tools to find the right gym and program for her. This move will be one of many steps that the family will take in relocating and finding the right gymnastics family for Nyla.
When the family finally got settled in Northern Virginia, Nyla had an opportunity to try out for three teams in which she received invitations for all. The family soon found out that the demanding summer gymnastic schedules would be the driving force to help them make their decision. With two of the gymnastic programs having midday practice, the family chose the program that worked best with the parent’s work schedule. The family search for the right gym fell in their lap because they were clueless about the sport of gymnastics. Nyla began her gymnastics career as a level 3 gymnasts at Apollo Gymnastics in Woodbridge, Virginia. Nyla’s experience and gymnastic fundamentals at Apollo have set the tone for her success to this day. Before leaving Apollo, Nyla was the Virginia Level 4 champion in the all-around with a 38.5; bars with a 9.6; beam with a 9.6 and floor with a 9.75.
With Nyla’s dad still proudly serving in the Army, the family has accrued several relocations that have given Nyla the opportunity to train with some of the best coaches and gymnasts in the country. While living in Williamsburg, VA, she trained under Tami Harrison at World Class Training Center in Newport News, VA and Galina Yordanova at Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex. As a World Class Gymnast, Nyla trained with the HOPES program. In 2014, Nyla was named to America's Top 100 on bars with a 9.85 in level 7. The family stay in Williamsburg was a little shy of 20-months before they received the news about relocating to Tampa, Florida. The summer of 2014 Nyla joined Tampa Bay Turners (TBT), coached by Brad Harris, Colleen Barger, and Diane Amos.
She competed level 8 and 9 at TBT. As a level 8 gymnast, Nyla made it to Regionals and placed 2nd in the All Around with a 37.625. Nyla made her mark on the bars during her level 8 season by winning 4 different gold titles to include the Florida State Championship with a 9.625. In 2015, Nyla completed her first year as a level 9 gymnast and was a National alternate. At regionals, she won bronze on the vault and beam, and silver on the Floor with a 9.425. At the level 9 Florida State Championships Nyla placed 2nd in the All-Around with a 37.675; 1st on Floor with a 9.650; and 3rd on Bars and Beam. As a 2nd-year level 9 gymnast at Perfect Balance Training Center, Nyla made it to Eastern Nationals in Lansing, MI where she hit her second 9.45 on her level 9 bars. During Nyla’s 2017 Level 9 Season, she won gold 4 times on floor to include the Regionals Floor Title with a 9.625. Additionally, she won gold and silver twice on the beam during the meet season. Her beam personal best scores were 9.55 and 9.5. Nyla competed as a level 10 gymnast during her 2018 season and made it to regionals. Due to a minor injury, Nyla did not compete at Regionals.
Currently, Nyla is a Level 10 gymnast training 20 hours a week at First In Flight in Gastonia, NC. Nyla is coached by Trevol Williams.