Yeraliz “Smiley” Crespo-Cruz got her start in gymnastics at age eight when her mom had a Groupon for Smiley’s current club, Olympiad Gymnastics. Smiley began mastering basic skills and was quickly moved up through the recreational levels. One day, the club’s owner came in to evaluate Smiley and asked her to join the club’s elite developmental program.
In May 2016, Smiley began homeschool and began training in Olympiad’s elite developmental group. Smiley began competing in November 2016 as a level 2. At her first meet, Smiley won the vault, floor, and all around titles. Smiley went on to compete at the Delaware State Championships where she won the vault, bars, beam, and all around titles. Following her level 2 season, Smiley skipped levels 3 and 4 and began competing level 5 in December 2017. After two meets of level 5, Smiley began competing level 6 in January 2018. At her first level 6 meet, Smiley placed third on vault. Smiley finished her season at the Delaware State Championships where she took home silver medals on bars and in the all around.
Currently, Smiley trains 35 hours per week under coaches Sue and Steve Heitz at Olympiad Gymnastics in Delaware. Smiley hopes to be a level 10 by next season and in the future to make it to the Olympics.