Sophina DeJesus

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Sophina DeJesus
— Gymnast  —
Full name Sophina Saadé DeJesus
Nickname(s) Soph, Sophina the Diva[1]
Country represented  Puerto Rico
Former countries represented  United States
Born (1994-10-06) October 6, 1994 (age 22)[2]
San Jose, California[3]
Hometown Temecula, California
Residence Los Angeles, California
Height 5 ft 0 in (152 cm)
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
College team UCLA Bruins
Head coach(es) Valorie Kondos Field
Last updated on: February 15, 2016.

Sophina Saade DeJesus (born October 6, 1994 in San Jose, California) is an American artistic gymnast and dancer of Puerto Rican descent.[4] A former elite gymnast, she has been a member of the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team since the fall of 2012.[5]

Life and career[edit]

1994–07: Early life, Hip Hop Harry and career beginnings in Gymnastics[edit]

DeJesus was born on October 6, 1994 in San Jose, California, to parents Geraldo 'Jerry' and Maria DeJesus (née Moore).[6][7] Her mother is African American and her father is of Puerto Rican heritage. [8]

DeJesus was a member of the hip hop group, Mix 5. She participated in both the 2005 and 2006 World Hip Hop International competitions with the group.[9] Also in 2005, she was in an advertising campaign for American yogurt brand, Go-Gurt. A year later, in 2006, DeJesus and her sister, Savannah, were cast in Discovery Kids show Hip Hop Harry.[10] She appeared in three episodes of Season one and one in Season two. In 2006, she was selected to be in Debbie Allen's Bayou Legend at the Kaufman Hall on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles – the school she'd go on to attend.[11] Her different ventures have landed her appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show and Maury.[12]

She started gymnastics at the age of six at Fallbrook Gymnastics, in Fallbrook, California. After the 2003 season, she moved to train at prestigious Southern California Gymnastics Academy (SCEGA) in Temecula, California, where she would be taught by Kathy Strate, Luis Garcia and Meredith Paulicivic.[13] As a Level 8 gymnast in 2005, DeJesus took both State and Regional titles for her age division,[14][15] and took nine of ten possible individual titles throughout both meets. A year later, in 2006, she'd moved up to Level 9 where she was fifth in the all-around at States[16] and third at Regionals.[17] As a result of her placement at Regionals, in March 2006, she advanced to the Level 9 Western Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[18] She was tied fourth in the all-around with Claire Boyce.[19]

After the 2006 season, DeJesus moved to SCATS Diamond Elite Gymnastics in Chino, California.[20] For the 2007 season, DeJesus moved up to Level 10, and was the State champion.[21] Although she performed just as well at Regionals, she finished tenth in the all-around, and didn't advance to Nationals.[22] She left SCATS after the 2007 season and moved to Precision Gymnastics. In July 2007, DeJesus participated in the July National Elite Qualifier at the Karolyi Ranch where she competed in the Junior Elite Optional category for 11-13 year olds.[23] As a result, she qualified to the U.S. Challenge on July 28, 2007, in Battle Creek, Michigan. She finished second in the all-around, ahead of 2012 Olympian Alexandra Raisman.[24]

2008–12: Focus on gymnastics, turning elite[edit]

In March 2008, Sophina participated in the Heart of a Champion Invitational as a Level 10 where she won the all-around title.[25] After qualifying to Junior International Elite status, DeJesus competed at the 2008 U.S. Classic on May 23, 2008 in Houston, Texas.[26] She finished seventeenth in the all-around.[27] Later, in June, she placed fourteenth in the all-around

She attended Temecula Valley High School from 2009 until graduation in 2012.[28] Whilst attending high school, she choreographed for the varsity and junior varsity dance teams at the school.[29]

2013–present: College gymnastics career[edit]

In February 2016, DeJesus performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for the second time.[30]


  1. ^ ""SOPHINA THE DIVA" || Gymnast • Dancer". YouTube. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  2. ^ "GymDivas.Us". Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Sophina DeJesus, gymnaste anticonformiste". (in French). 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Gymnast Sophina DeJesus Identifies as Black and Latina". 2016-02-09. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  5. ^ Sophina DeJesus (2014-04-23). "Sophina DeJesus Biography - UCLA Bruins Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  6. ^ "The Official Website of Sophina DeJesus". Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  7. ^ "Maria Moore DeJesus". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  8. ^ "The UCLA gymnast who became a viral sensation by just being herself". Retrieved 2016-08-30. 
  9. ^ "The Official Website of Sophina DeJesus". 2010-08-04. Archived from the original on 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  10. ^ "Sophina DeJesus on 'Hip Hop Harry'". LA Times. 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  11. ^ Victoria Looseleaf (2006-12-20). "`The Bayou Legend' gets bogged down - latimes". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  12. ^ Epps, Michelle (2013-04-11). "The Show Goes On: UCLA gymnast Sophina DeJesus shines as a performer". Daily Bruin. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  13. ^ "The Official Website of Sophina DeJesus". Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  14. ^ "2005 Southern California Level 8,9,10 State Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  15. ^ "2005 Reg 1 Level 8 Regional Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  16. ^ "2006 So Cal Level 8, 9, 10 State Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  17. ^ "Region 1 - Level 9/10 Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  18. ^ "Meet results : Level 9 Westerns" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  19. ^ "2006 Level 9 Western Gymnastic National Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  20. ^ "GymDivas.Us". Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  21. ^ "2007 SoCal Level 8, 9, 10 State Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  22. ^ "Level 9 -10 Regional Championships". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  23. ^ "2007 July National Elite Qualifier" (PDF). 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  24. ^ "2007 US Challenge" (PDF). 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  25. ^ "2008 Chris Waller's Heart of a Champion Invitaional". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  26. ^ "2008 Women's U.S. Classic" (PDF). 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  27. ^ "2008 Women's U.S. Classic". 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  28. ^ Glaser, Kyle. "GYMNASTICS: Temecula Valley grad DeJesus' floor routine goes viral - Press Enterprise". Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  29. ^ "The Official Website of Sophina DeJesus". Archived from the original on 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  30. ^