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Honor DurhamHazel Dell Elementary School student Honor Durham has her sights set on becoming a future Olympian.

After winning the First Place All Around title at both the state and national gymnastics competitions in 2019, Honor defended both of her titles in 2021, continuing her dominance despite an altered 2020 season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, Honor was one of only eight girls to be named to  First Team Indiana, which competes at the Regional Championships in Illinois against the top gymnasts from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois.

Now in her fifth-grade year at Hazel Dell Elementary, Honor says she first discovered her love for gymnastics at a very young age.

“I went to my first preschool class with my twin brother [Royal],” Honor says. “I fell in love with it right away, and I haven’t stopped flipping since. I like working hard and getting new skills that I wouldn’t think I’d be able to do.”

Through the years she’s found plenty of U.S. gymnastics greats to look up to.

“I like Simone Biles – that’s obviously not a surprise,” she says. “I also love Nastia Liukin because she looks a lot like me. I also like how she’s made a career through her love of gymnastics, and that she also likes fashion.”

Honor DurhamThroughout the years, Honor’s mother Amy says many people have made comparisons between her daughter and Liukin, specifically when it comes to their appearances and the way they perform.

 “It is neat to see the parallels between Nastia and Honor,” Amy says.  “Nastia is beautiful, tall, long-legged and blonde with gorgeous gymnastic lines. Honor fell in love with Nastia’s bold fashion choices. Luiken has made a career out of her love for gymnastics. She is a renown sports broadcaster, most recently commentating NBC’s Olympic coverage in Tokyo.”

When it comes to specific events, Honor is a jack-of-all-trades.

“I do bars, floor, vault and beam, and my favorite is bars because it’s very fun and challenging,” Honor says. “I also like floor because I get to show off my personality.”

Outside of gymnastics, Honor enjoys exploring her creative side via outlets in school.

“Some of my favorite subjects are writing because I just love to express my opinions,” Honor says. “I also like art because, like gymnastics, you can express your personality through being creative.”

Honor’s athleticism isn’t just limited to gymnastics. Her parents feel that it is important for her to be well rounded. Somehow she has managed to squeeze in time to play three years of travel basketball. She has played soccer and has just started playing volleyball.  Honor Durham

As she continues to forge ahead with her gymnastics career, Honor also has goals for herself outside of the sport.

“I want to become an Olympic gymnast,” Honor says. “I also want to become an interior designer and design things.”

“I’m very proud of being a two-time national champion,” Honor says. “My mom has choreographed both of my floor routines, which has also helped me with that.”

Honor will look to defend her state and national all-around titles as the gymnastics season picks back up again this winter. For now, she has plenty to be proud of and is grateful for the support she’s received from her coaches and family along the way.

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