Bright Spot: 4th grade roller skater has dreams for the Olympics

4th grade roller skater has dreams for the Olympics
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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California (WFSB) - A young girl who just picked up roller skating is inspiring young athletes around the country.

She may only be 8, but this gymnast is already getting attention from elite athletes and top sponsors after learning to roller skate in the midst of the pandemic.

“When COVID hit, all of us parents who were bringing our kids to the skate park regularly, was one of the biggest outlets for all of us,” explains Jolie Macias.

So, Jolie, brought Lyla a pair of her daughter’s old skates, and as they say… the rest was history.

Lyla has only been skating now for nine months, which is hard to believe when you see the videos of her. “Doing gymnastics has helped me doing all these tricks, and handstands,” she said.

Mae Dougherty, Lyla’s mom says the new hobby was fitting. “She’s a very brave and artistic kid. So, she has a lot of energy, and this is the perfect outlet for her to display all these talents.”

It’s also a great lesson in perseverance for this fourth grader. “Thinking about all these tricks I’ve done, and all the falls I’ve had encouraged me to keep going.”

One of the goals she’s skating towards: “Going to the Olympics and after the Olympics going to UCLA.”

Nino Ella, Lyla’s father says it’s important for parents to help children find their passion and to encourage it. “Find what your child is good at and [you] know fully support it. Try to harness that goal, that talent that they have and at the same time, partner with them and have fun.”

Lyla says one day she wants to own a roller-skating shop with a skate park in the back that could be accessible to all.