INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 8, 2023) – Braxton “Brax” Battaglia, a Level 7 women’s artistic gymnast from Blaine, Minnesota, has been named as the USA Gymnastics 2023 Robert Miller Spirit of the Flame Award winner. Battaglia will receive the award at the 2023 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the San Jose Convention Center in August.

Battaglia, 13, was selected as a recipient of the award by the USA Gymnastics Athlete’s Council in recognition of her fortitude and perseverance after being diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-Cell ALL) in 2019.

“I am so honored and thankful to receive this award,” said Battaglia. “It means so much to me and without the amazing gymnastics community I would not be where I am today.”

“[Battaglia] is a young individual who demonstrates how to live a life full of passion as well as serve by giving back to the community. Her foundation, the TB1 Fund, is a wonderful, charitable organization that supports families going through similar diagnoses,” said Jessica Renteria, USA Gymnastics’ Athlete’s Council Chair. “In the past few years, Brax’s battle with leukemia has and continues to be challenging; however, she exhibits a fighter spirit that shines through adversity. The Athlete Council is honored to recognize Brax as this year’s recipient of the Spirit of the Flame Award. We are proud to have her as part of the USA Gymnastics family.”

Following her diagnosis, Battaglia, underwent two and a half years of treatment, including hundreds of visits to M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Through it all, she never stopped fighting and in May of 2021, Battaglia completed her cancer treatment.

Unfortunately, her fight wasn’t over – her cancer returned in November of 2022. She is currently going through her second round of treatment and has kept a positive attitude throughout her journey.

“Brax has always been a very smart, athletic, and determined individual and that did not change when she was diagnosed with cancer,” said Erin Battaglia, Braxton’s mother. “Her positive mindset was a huge part of her fight over 2.5 years of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Her determination to stay strong and return to her love of gymnastics has been a huge motivator throughout her treatment.”

A student at Westwood Middle School, Battaglia and her family have documented her cancer journey on her website, On the site, she posts about her treatments and also fun things in her life, including her favorite foods and movies, and her love of gymnastics. The site also includes well-wishes from around the country, and a donation option to help support her foundation.

“We are so thankful for the gymnastics community and how they have rallied around Braxton from day one. The support from across the country, and at all levels of gymnastics, has truly helped to keep Brax positive and motivated during intense treatment to return to the sport that she loves,” said the Battaglia family. “We are so proud of her and the way she has handled her journey all while helping other patients and families along the way. Gymnastics has taught her so much about mental toughness, determination, perseverance, and how to fight with grit and grace.”

Brax is set to finish her current round of treatment on November 15, 2024. After that, she aims to continue her gymnastics journey at Twin City Twisters in nearby Champlin, Minnesota.

The Spirit of the Flame Award was renamed in 2011 in honor of gymnast and Staff Sargent Robert Miller, who received the Medal of Honor after saving the lives of fellow soldiers while serving in the war in Afghanistan. For more information on the award, please visit