VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Support is pouring in from across the world for Olympic superstar Simone Biles. She just pulled out of team competitions and said mental health played a big part in the decision. Hampton Roads gymnasts told 13News Now the pressure of competition is no joke!
Gymnasts at Excalibur Gymnastics said their training is almost like a full-time job, but Olympic gymnasts like Simone Biles help them push through those long hours.
They put in 34 hours a week and two sessions a day.
“Six hours, every day, Monday through Saturday,” said gymnast Balantina Lorente. “It’s a lot of work.”
Some have college scholarships on the brain, others hope to go for the gold.
“I am trying to be in the Olympics and all that,” said gymnast Isabella Edialin.
So, it’s no surprise who the teams’ favorite Olympic gymnast is.
“This year? Simone,” said gymnast Gabi Dildy.
“I love all of her Simone Biles skills,” Edialin said.
The girls try to catch Team USA on TV in the morning or between training sessions.
“I followed them since I was little and I know they are the best,” Lorente said.
Dildy said Biles has changed the playing field when it comes to the sport.
“She is amazing, she is the GOAT,” Dildy said. “You just wish you could do all the skills that she can do.”
The team was crushed to find out Biles pulled out of the team competition, but Lorente knows the pressure is unlike any other!
“All the athletes know that,” Lorente said. “It’s super stressful sometimes. You can work on it. It’s hard, but with time you can work on that.”
Excalibur owner Gustavo Moure said he coached gymnasts in the 2016 Olympics.
“Athletes, as well as coaches, feel the pressure in these big events,” Moure said.
He recalled watching Biles dominate the competition.
“She was like a machine,” Moure said. “She would never show any break and drop in her performance, but she is still a human being and human beings make mistakes.”
They hope Biles takes another shot!
“We hope she gets back for the finals and does the best she can,” Lorente said. “I know she can! And all the team is supporting her.”