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Sydney Lynanne Jude Laird was born on September 5, 1999 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (SK), Canada to Scott and Jodi Laird. Currently, she lives in Kings Mountain, NC with her parents and one younger brother, Van. Van was the 2013 Level 4 North Carolina Gymnastics State Champion. Sydney is a junior at Schul Yeshua, a homeschooled program.
Sydney, like the rest of her family, adheres to a predominantly vegan diet with a focus on clean, organic foods. This diet helps her maximize athletic performance and improve muscle recovery (Click here to read about Sydney's plant-based protein diet). Like her dad, who is a naturopathic doctor, Sydney plans to pursue a career in holistic medicine or sports nutrition.
Sydney's mom was a gymnast for ten years and knew that gymnastics would provide a good athletic foundation for any other sport Sydney would choose in the future. Therefore, Sydney started taking classes in 2003 at Marian Gymnastics in Canada.
In 2008, Sydney and her family moved to the United States. She started training at First in Flight in Gastonia, North Carolina. She competed level 6 in the fall of 2008 where she finished third on vault and tied for first place on floor exercise at the State Championships.
Only one month after her final level 6 meet, Sydney started competing as a level 7 gymnast in January of 2009. She placed first on floor exercise and in the all-around at the Beach Break Meet. At the Tiger Paw Classic, she placed fourth on vault and floor exercise as well as fifth in the all-around. She then finished third on floor exercise and fifth in the all-around at the National Gymnastics Challenge. She concluded her level 7 season at the State Championships, finishing third on floor exercise and tenth in the all-around.
Sydney started training at Precision Gymnastics before her level 8 season in 2010. She won the balance beam title at the Tiger Paw Classic. At the Sparkle City Invitational, she finished first on uneven bars and floor exercise, second on balance beam and third in the all-around. Sydney placed third on uneven bars at the Charleston Cup. At the State Championships, she finished fifth on uneven bars and sixth on balance beam.
In 2011, Sydney repeated level 8. She placed first on uneven bars and floor exercise as well as second in the all-around at the Flip Fest Invitational. At the Tiger Paw Classic, she placed first on uneven bars and second on floor exercise and in the all-around. Sydney won the balance beam title at the Greensboro Invitational. She brought home gold medals on uneven bars and balance beam at the Charleston Cup. At the State Championships, she placed second on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise and third in the all-around. She concluded her season at the Region 8 Championships, finishing fourth in the all-around and first on floor exercise. After the 2011 season, Sydney returned to First in Flight.
Sydney missed 2012 season due to a change in coaching. She came back strong in 2013 where she grabbed gold medals on vault, uneven bars, floor exercise and in the all-around at the Atlanta Crown Invitational. At the Metroplex Challenge, she finished third in the all-around and second on balance beam. At the WOGA National Elite Qualifier, Sydney scored a 9.500 on floor exercise, the highest floor score in compulsories in nearly a decade. She then competed at the Gasparilla Classic, finishing fourth in the all-around and second on floor exercise. At the Region 8 Championships, Sydney placed seventh in the all-around and fourth on uneven bars. This qualified her to the Junior Olympic Nationals in Minneapolis, MN where she placed 29th in the all-around and 16th on balance beam.
During the 2013-2014 season, Sydney was busy competing level 10 in USA and elite in Canada. In December 2013, Sydney qualified to junior international elite (High Performance) in Canada after finishing first on uneven bars, balance beam and in the all-around. In January, Sydney grabbed gold medals on vault, uneven bars, balance beam and in the all-around at the Gala. At the Atlanta Crown Invitational, she placed first on vault and in the all-around. She had a great meet at the Sand Dollar Invitational where she finished first on uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise and in the all-around with a 37.900. Sydney returned to Canada for the Elite Canada where she finished fourth on floor exercise and in the all-around with a 53.050 out of 29 gymnasts in the junior session. She qualified to three event finals where she placed fourth on vault, fifth on balance beam and sixth on floor exercise. Sydney finished first on uneven bars, balance beam and in the all-around with a 38.000 at the Greensboro Invitational. At the State Championships, she earned gold medals on balance beam, floor exercise and in the all-around. Sydney placed fourth in the all-around at the Region 8 Championships. She qualified to the Junior Olympic Nationals in Jackson, MS where she finished 11th on uneven bars and 12th on balance beam. At the end of May, Sydney competed at the Canadian Nationals where she placed eighth in the all-around and seventh on floor exercise in the event finals.
In August 2014, Sydney made the Junior Canadian National Team and was selected to represent Canada at two international competitions. In November 2014, Sydney traveled to Malmédy, Belgium for the Coupe Avenior where she placed third in the all-around in the junior division. She qualified to three event finals on the next day where she earned a gold medal on uneven bars and placed sixth on balance beam and seventh on floor exercise. A week later, she competed at the Top Gym Tournament in Charleroi, Belgium, finishing second in the all-around, fourth on vault and sixth on uneven bars.
In February 2015, Sydney competed at the Elite Canada as a senior elite gymnast where she placed 13th in the all-around out of 36 competitors. She returned to Canada for the Gymnix International in March, however, she sprained her ankle during training and only competed on uneven bars where she came in fifth during the event finals. She was unable to compete rest of the 2015 season due to an injury.
In 2016, Sydney finished second in the all-around with a 38.550, first on uneven bars and balance beam and second on vault at the State Championships. Sydney had a great meet at the Region 8 Championships where she won the all-around title with a 38.800. She earned gold medals on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Sydney achieved the highest score of the entire meet, outscoring level 9 and 10 gymnasts. Sydney was on the Canadian National Team last year, so she was not permitted to compete at the Junior Olympic Nationals in 2016.
Currently, Sydney is preparing for the 2017 season. She trains 24 hours per week at First in Flight in Gastonia, NC under coach Elke Williams. Sydney will join the University of Arkansas gymnastics team during the 2017-2018 school year.