Tired of talking about the election? Then this next story is for you: Olympic all-around champion, Simone Biles is in the DMV today. She’s in town to promote the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions – Thursday at the Verizon Center. But on Wednesday, she took a little day trip to an Arlington gym.
Simone Biles is used to being the center of attention, whether it’s holding court with the press or winning Olympic medals in Brazil.
Simone is a natural leader and a star. But she’s most comfortable in a gym, talking to young athletes. “The Olympics were a lot of fun for me, we did so many routines so once I got up there to compete I wasn’t even nervous,” Simone said gymnasts gathering to meet her at Arlington Aerials gym.
Not long ago, Simone was sitting in where they are, filled with Olympic dreams. “I was that little girl, the same as them trying to pursue my dreams looking up to my idols,” she says.
That concept is not lost on these girls. “I look up to Simone because she understands the struggles that gymnasts go through and she pushed through them to get where she is,” says Arlington gymnast, Gabrielle Spranger.
“She is just what every little girl who starts gymnastics wants to be,” says Olivia Zabrel, who takes gymnastics at Arlington Aerials. “She embodies what we want to be, being the best in the world.”
Hundreds of young gymnasts lined up to meet Simone Biles on Wednesday afternoon. “I just have butterflies in my stomach,” says one gymnast, Emi Bowers.
Some are nervous, some anxious for the moment to see the gold-medalist. “I started gymnastics because I loved her so much,” says Alexandra Bullock.
“I’m overwhelmed,” says Nokie Din, another gymnast. “We’ve all heard she’s going to be coming and we were OK about it but now that we are actually here in person looking at her, it’s like, she’s right there!”
Simone signed autographs and gave advice to every single gymnast, because she knows just how far those few seconds of inspiration can go.
As for Simone’s future, she plans to finish the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. The next performance will be at the Verizon Center on November 10, featuring the Final Five: Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Simone Biles, Madison Kocian. The 2016 Olympic men’s team will also be there.
Simone also says she will be competing in the 2020 Olympics, and, believe it or not, she says she has some room for improvement: “I think anyone can get better as long as you put your mind to it,” she says. “I would still like to improve on bars better cleaner lines more consistency.”