Pocket-sized Emirati Gymnast Sets Sights on Olympics

Small in stature she may be, but seven year old gymnast Lamia Tariq Malallah AlFarsi has got some big plans. 

The young Emirati has already claimed Gold numerous times on the international stage, and has even had a documentary made about her life.

We caught up with Lamia's Mother, Malak, to find out how Lamia has propelled herself to stardom at such a tender age, and what the future holds.

Malak, explained that initially it was Lamia's excessive energy levels that led her to find the sport she now excels at.

"Lamia was full of energy as a toddler, and by the age of four she was running wild and jumping all over the house! We soon realised that we had to find an activity that would allow her to channel her energy in a positive way. The first activity we took her to was ballet, but it was very structured and I could see straight away that she felt restricted.

I then heard about Dubai Youth Olympic School of Rhythmic Gymnastics' open trials through a friend, so we took Lamia along. The coaches instantly recognised a natural talent in Lamia, and she was invited into the programme."

Although Lamia instantly fell in love with the gymnastics movements, it took time for her to adapt to the intense flexibility training regimen.

"For the first six months Lamia would have nightmares about the stretching programme, but in time her body adapted and she began to embrace the challenge of pushing her body to new limits. Now her body is constantly contorted in all directions – even when she's eating dinner her leg will be sticking out at some obscure angle."

Lamia’s dedication to training soon began to pay off on the competition floor. Malak believes it is this success that drives Lamia to strive for greatness.

“What drives her is the will to become a champion; nothing but Gold will do for Lamia. She watches Olympic Champions on YouTube and strives to emulate them. With every gold medal she receives, she is further motivated to continue improving.”

Having already achieved so much, Lamia has now set her sights on the Youth Olympic Games in 2024.

To get there will be a massive ordeal, but luckily for Lamia, she has some of the best in the business in her corner. As part of the Elite Group at Dubai Youth Olympic School, she hones her skills fours per day, five days per week, under the watchful eye of former World Champion Ksenia Dzhalaginya.

The Chouiefat International School student also spends her school holidays attending intense 'Gymnastics boot camps' in Europe. Led by Olympic champions and world renowned coaches, the gruelling camps involve 8 hours per day of training; fine tuning young bodies and minds for the rigours of life at the very top of what is one of the most demanding and awe inspiring sports on earth.

Why does she do it? According to her Mother, above all, Lamia pushes her body to the limit so she can represent her country by bringing honour and merit to the UAE flag on the international stage.

We are sure you are already doing that Lamia, and we look forward to seeing you represent the UAE with pride for many years to come!

To see more photos and videos of Lamia in action, check out her incredible Instagram page: lamia_lilwonderofuae.

To find out more about Dubai Youth Olympic School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, check out their facebook page, or head to https://www.uae-gymnastics.com/