Stella DePaola got her start in gymnastics at the age of eight in recreational classes. Shortly after beginning classes, a JO coach at Gold Medal Gymnastics Centereach in New York noticed Stella and invited her to join the gym's level 4 team. After training for one summer, Stella began competing level 4 in December 2015. Stella had a great first year of competitive gymnastics and went on to win the floor title at the New York Downstate Championships. Competing level 5 during the 2016-2017 season, Stella won the beam title at the New York Early Season State Meet.
Stella began her optional career in November 2017 as a level 7 at the Turkey Tumble Meet. Here, Stella won the beam and all around titles. Stella continued to have a great level 7 season and went on to win the bars title at both the New York State Championships and the Region 6 Championships in the spring of 2018.
Following her 2018 season, Stella and her family moved to Arizona and Stella began training at Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics. Stella tested out of level 8 and competed level 9 during the 2019 season. At her first level 9 meet, the Fiesta Bowl Invitational, Stella finished tenth on beam. In March at the Arizona State Championships, Stella won the floor title and finished fifth all around and advanced to the Region 1 Championships. Stella concluded her season at regionals with an eighth place finish on beam.
Competing a second season of level 9 in 2020, Stella began her season at the California Grand Invitational where she won the vault and floor titles and brought home a bronze on bars. Two weeks later, Stella competed at the Palm Springs Cup Elite Compulsory Qualifier where she earned her Hopes 12-13 compulsory score. Stella was able to compete four more meets before the season was unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19. Stella had her best meet of the season at her last meet, the Valley of the Sun Challenge where she earned silver medals on beam and floor. Due to the remainder of the 2020 season being canceled, USAG allowed for all Hopes and Elite Qualifiers to retain their qualifying score for the 2021 season. With this, Stella will keep her compulsory score for Hopes 13-14 for the 2021 season.
Currently, Stella trains 28 hours per week under coaches Dan Witenstein, Pam Evans, Brian Carey, and Wendy Fiarkoski at Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics. Stella's goal for the 2020 season is to qualify to the Hopes Classic. In the future, Stella hopes to qualify elite and compete internationally and earn a college scholarship for gymnastics.