CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Mary Jane's Gymnastics Training Center in Corpus Christi kicked off its 2021 Olympics celebrations. This is the first time Mary Jane's has hosted a viewing party for the Summer Olympics. Coaches and members say although they are disappointed over the latest lineup for team U.S.A, they will continue to support the gymnast as they pursue the gold.
“Having an Olympic year tends to spark a new interest in the sport,” said head coach, Rachel Glover-Lightfoot.
Parents, coaches and aspiring Olympians gathered in the early morning to watch the U.S. artistic gymnastics routine.
“We’ve made them Olympic themed you know just to make them excited and make them more aware of what it is and what’s happening,” said Lightfoot.
Last year the pandemic paused the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, putting a halt to the original plans for day camps and watch parties.
“We were really bummed out because the Olympics is like the Super Bowl of gymnastics,” said young athlete, Payton Nicholson.
Early Tuesday morning news broke that Simone Biles pulled out of the U.S. gymnastics team final in Tokyo due to medical issues. Athletes and coaches here said they cant help but feel a bit disappointed over the announcement.
“She’s so amazing and everyone just wants to watch her and just stays watching her and I love her," said 11-year-old athlete, Rielle Carillo.
Coach Glover-Lightfoot said she can understand the stress one of the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history must have felt.
“She’s had a lot of pressure on her you know, an expectation that she’s going to win it and take it all,” she said.
Despite the news, teammates and coaches at the gym will continue to watch.
“If she goes out that pulls another American into that spot. So, that actually just makes it more interesting,“ said Glover-Ligthfoot.
Mary Jane's Gymnastics Training Center will have another watch party Thursday, July 28 for the individual all around championship, a competition that will showcase each gymnast unqiue talents. Coach Glover- Lightfoot said this is the one her athletes are most excited for.