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Olympics bring excitement to gyms

With the excitement of the USA Gymnastics’ Final Five team and the all-around gold medal-winning Simone Biles, Madera gymnastics classes have been brimming with excitement.

“It’s really helped with the lead-up,” TEC Gymnastics owner Tammi Britton said. “The girls are so excited. They want to be like Simone Biles and Aly Raisman (2016 Olympics silver medalist). The fact that some of our kids have met those girls and have pictures with them makes it even more exciting.”

TEC Gymnastics will host the TEC Olympics today with two sessions at 528 Noble St., beginning at 8:30 and 11 a.m.

“Since the Olympics, we’ve had way more people wanting to be in our Olympic show and are asking when our next one will be because they are so excited about it,” Britton said.

Britton, who has coached gymnastics in Madera for more than 20 years, said she was excited to see what the Final Five team did, especially since she was able to meet Biles and Raisman.

“It’s been amazing to watch,” Britton said. “ I’ve had some of my old gymnasts text me and tell me how amazing those Olympics were and amazing gymnastics is. We’re now doing an adult classes and those girls want to come back to do fitness and gymnastics.”

All About Dance and Gymnastics owner Alexis Hix has also seen an increase in kids interested in the Olympics at her studio at 2591 Mitchell Court.

“We are getting more sign-ups,” Hix said. “Every little girl wants to be on the Olympic team.”

Because of the interest, her studio will begin a rhythmic gymnastics class. Rhythmic gymnastics includes routines with ribbons, hoops, balls and clubs.

“We start with the basics and moving up with what USA gymnastics suggests,” Hix said. “We’ll be doing a rhythmic gymnastics performance in the Old Timer’s Day parade in celebration of the gymnastics. The kids will start learning that in a couple of weeks.”

In the lead up to the Olympics, Hix’s studio also hosted a sleepover for children to watch the opening ceremonies.

“We had more kids than we could imagine,” she said. “We loved it. They stayed up until 5 in the morning. We had Olympic games they could play. We decorated the gym red, white and blue.”

Meanwhile, V-Force Gymnastics, 40429 Brickyard Drive, owned by sisters Katelyn Walls and Megan Verduzco, has also seen interest level rise.

“These little kids are dancing are trying to be Aly Raisman in front of the TV,” Megan said. “They light up when they see the girls. It’s been good.”

V-Force Gymnastics will host a Gymnastics Day on September 17 with some Olympic-style events. However, Megan said the success of the Olympic team has motivated her own gymnastics team.

“It’s been good because it’s been motivating our team girls,” she said. “Just watching them (the Olympians) compete is just amazing. They are just so well conditioned. They are even more amazing in person.”

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