Fresh off the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, members of the ’12 and ’16 U.S. Olympic teams flipped and tumbled their way into San Antonio for another stop on the 36-city Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Fans filled the AT&T Center to get a glimpse of the stars that captured America's hearts over the summer.
The Olympians put on a dazzling display, performing a number of choreographed acts in front of a crowd full of young gymnasts. The video board introduced each of the gymnasts to explain how they got involved in the sport and told how each style of gymnastics, whether it be artistic, rhythmic, or acrobatic, is unique.
Both the men’s and women’s teams had members at the show, including two of the beloved Final Five: Aly Raisman and Simone Biles. While the building buzzed with excitement all night, the roof just about exploded any time Biles popped up, especially when she completed her magnificent gold-medal-winning floor exercise routine.
Before the show, local gymnasts performed to showcase the growth of the sport. A big goal of the tour is to try and build off of the excitement created by the Olympics.
“It is a big opportunity because it’s not something you always get to do, and I’ve always wanted to come here and see the Olympic team perform. It’s just amazing,” said 12-year-old Ayana T., one of the local gymnasts who performed. “Seeing Simone Biles inspired me to hopefully be just like her.”
Former Olympians Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin joined the fun, as they danced against each other at center stage. At about the halfway point, 2012 gold medalist Jordyn Wieber spoke to the crowd, and she surprised a little girl by inviting her to the floor to learn a backflip with the help of Biles and 2016 Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner.
Gymnasts from the men’s team showed off their strength and rhythm, as they danced all night, did multiple routines on the bars, and hung off of the five Olympic rings in one of the most impressive moments of the show. Rhythmic and acrobatic gymnasts also displayed their incredible skills in a number of eye-popping acts.
These Olympians are role models for so many people not just in the United States, but around the world as well. Rosa Delia Martinez, an owner of a gym in Coahuila, Mexico, drove eight hours to bring her students to watch their idols live.
“I immediately bought tickets on the first day the announcement was made that they’d be here in San Antonio,” said Martinez. “Simone and the girls are an inspiration to all gymnasts. Seeing them in person changes their perspective. My students will think of the future and they’ll be inspired to keep going in gymnastics.”
Photographs by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images (2, the tour stop in Los Angeles)