Tia Marie Orlando was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 18, 1988. She is the daughter of Tina and Joe. She has one younger sister, Taylor, and a younger brother, Joey. She began gymnastics at the age of two at Cherry Hill Gymnastics in New Jersey. In 1999, she moved to Parkettes. Tia trained there until her family moved to Arizona in the summer of 2005. She made the National TOP Team in 1999.
In 1998, Tia competed as a level seven. She won every event at States except for uneven bars. With Parkettes in 1999, Tia placed first on bars, floor and in the all-around at States. At Regionals, she finished second all-around. Her season ended at Easterns. She finished second all-around and on vault! She moved up to level ten in 2000. She finished third all-around at States. At Regionals, Tia placed second all-around. She ended her season at the JO National Championships. She finished sixth all-around!
Her first season as a junior international elite was in 2001. She qualified at a zone meet. At the US Classic, she finished tenth all-around. This placement qualified her for the US National Championships. At Nationals, Tia finished sixth all-around. She won floor! She was selected to compete at the Goodwill Games in Australia. Tia made floor finals.
Her final year as a junior international elite was in 2002. She started her season by placing second all-around at the Parkette Invite. She finished third all-around at the Dragon Invitational. Tia won the Elite Qualifier. At the Gymnix International, she finished first on floor and third all-around! Her next meet was the Jurassic Classic. Tia finished second all-around. She won another Elite Qualifier before competing at the US Classic. Tia finished sixth all-around and first on floor! She moved up a spot at Nationals to place fifth all-around. She won her second consecutive floor title. Tia then went to several international meets. She finished first on floor again Mexico and then again Brazil and Ukraine. At the Junior Pan Am Games, she finished third all-around.
Tia moved up to senior international elite in 2003. She finished second all-around at the WOGA Classic. Tia won the Parkette Invitational. At the National Elite Podium Meet, she placed fifth all-around. Her next meet was the American Classic. Tia won floor and finished fourth all-around. At the Pacific Challenge in California, she finished second on floor! After a few months off, Tia competed at the US Classic. She placed fourth all-around and first on floor. At the US National Championships, Tia finished eighth all-around! She was picked for the Pan American Games. She won floor!
In 2004, Tia won the all-around title at the US Classic. She finished eighth all-around at Nationals. She could not complete the competition at the US Olympic Trials. In 2005, she competed at the Friendship Classic as a level ten. She easily won the all-around title.
In the fall of 2005, she began attending Arizona State University. As a freshman, she missed six meets because of a foot injury. Before being injured she competed in the all-around three times. She came back to compete on beam at the NCAA Championships. In 2007, she did not compete due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. In 2008, she was a mainstay in the lineup on bars and beam. She was named Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week after she won bars, beam and floor. During warmups at the Pac-10 Championships, Tia tore her Achilles while performing a double pike. She retired after this injury.
Full Scholarship to ASU
US National Team 2001-2004
2004: Olympic Trials Qualifier
2004: US Classic Champion
2003: Pan Am Games- 1st FX
2003: US Nationals- 8th AA
2002: US Nationals- 1st FX
2001: US Nationals- 1st FX
Photos copyright to Lloyd Smith, Nelse Hansen