The last time we saw 12-year-old Jaiya Patillo, she was becoming a social media sensation. Getting hundreds of thousands of views, on a video shared by SportsCenter, of her running 17 miles an hour.
“I didn’t even believe it. I had to go check for myself, so I did some research on that because I wasn’t expecting that to happen for sure,” said Patillo.
Recently, that video even caught the attention of superstar actor, Michael B. Jordan.
“Since I saw the video go viral, I thought about I wonder who sees this video, so to know that Michael B. Jordan saw it is very crazy so I’m very grateful for that,”
The timing couldn’t have been better. Jaiya just qualified for her 11th Junior Olympics. Her coach, Skyy Simmons says when it comes to this young phenom, the sky is the limit. No pun intended.
“Her biggest thing is her confidence is in Christ, and that’s what she puts forth every single day and every single time so as long as she’s got that, as long as she’s got confidence in her faith, and confidence in her actions, everything else is just natural ability. She’s gifted, she’s smart, she’s intelligent,” said Simmons.
One day, those gifts could take Jaiya far beyond the track.
“I also want to be a singer and I love drawing and doing art, so I also want to have my own art museum one day, and continue doing track and make it to the 2024 Olympics,” said Patillo.
As she sprints toward her goals, she wants to inspire other young people to chase their dreams.
“I think that they should just continue doing what they like doing and continue doing it for themselves and knowing where they want to get to, and to just stay focused, stay humble as they try to get there, and never give up. Don’t worry about what other people will say about you because as long as you’re doing it for yourself, you can make it however far you want,” said Patillo.