Polk County, Team USA gymnast set to represent Florida in World Championship games – Bay News 9

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Team USA is gearing up for another year of competitions and this year a Polk County tumbler has a shot at taking home the World Championship title.

“This year at three of my competitions I have hit first place at each of the three qualifying competitions.”

Nastia Katchalova is 16 years old and at the top of her game. The Team USA Tumbler said she’s been practicing her craft since she was two years old.


What You Need To Know

  • Polk County tumbler has shot at World Championship title

  • Nastia Katchalova, 16, only Florida tumbler in worlds competition this year

  • Kachalova will travel to Azerbaijan to represent Florida in championships

“The gym here was like a second home for me, it was my babysitter; my mom has been a coach since before I was born,” said Kachalova. “She’s my coach now.”

Kachalova is the only tumbler in the state of Florida chosen to compete in this year’s World Championship games. Her mother and coach, Kristina Mezzarelli told me the love for dance is a part of their family history.

“Both of my parents did gymnastics growing up in Russia,” said Mezzarelli. “They came to the states in the 90’s, doing a circus show at cypress gardens. They decided to stay and pursue their dreams of opening a gymnastics facility and so 25 years later, here we are.”

Kachalova will travel to Baku, Azerbaijan to represent Florida in the tumbling competitions.

“It’s an honor for me to represent my country for team USA,” said Kachalova. “I have a sponsor letter reaching out to my parents in the gym asking them to help out.”

Kachalova trains at her family gym in Lakeland, Elite Training.