MANSFIELD, Mass. — Everyone at Arnold’s Gymnastics Academy wants to someday be just like Simone Biles.
“She’s the best in the world,” said superfan Liliana Ferreira, who like many others was surprised to see Biles withdraw from the Olympic competition.
“She did her vault and stumbled and didn’t finish the rest. I didn’t expect her to do that at all.”
Simone Biles may not have had the perfect routine, but the coaches at Arnold’s Gymnastics Academy want their gymnasts to know that’s okay. In fact, the coaches appreciated Biles, saying her decision to withdraw allowed them to have conversations with the gymnast that they would not have ever had.
“One of them called her a quitter,” said Sarah Medeiros, owner of Arnold’s Gymnastics Academy. “It was like, ‘oh one of those things that takes care of yourself is never quitting.’ To hear that from a 7-year-old, you were like, ‘oh no, that’s what they’re getting out of this?’ And that’s not what it is.”
The coaches were able to have a conversation with their gymnasts, telling them Biles was setting a good example.
“Gymnastics is about perfection every time you go out there, you’re being judged, so to see the G.O.A.T. Simone Biles, not perfect, it’s a really important lesson for our kids,” Medeiros said. “You’re not a machine. You have to take care of your mental health and your physical health to be a complete package.”
And the students are listening.
“It made me feel like when I do make mistakes that it’s okay because you can try harder next time,” Ferreira said.
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