Girls Night Out with Simone Biles

  • Away from the pressure of the competition, the gymnast has walked with other elite colleagues on the Gold Over America Tour through 32 cities in the USA.

  • More spectacle than sport and with a focus on empowerment and mental health messages, it delights the predominantly child audience

Americans have an undeniable talent for surrounding spectacle sport, or making it one. There’s the cheerleaders, the Super Bowl halftime concert, any game of whatever, or troupes like the Harlem Globetotters. Gold Over America Tour it continues that tradition, but goes further. Because the tour led by the gymnast Simone Biles that this fall it has traveled more than three dozen cities in the United States, and that on Saturday in its penultimate stop it landed in Brooklyn, is a empowerment exercise, a celebration of mental well-being and self-care, a show similar to a pop concert much more light on sports display that in music, dances or videos but that conquers the infantile public to which it is clearly aimed.

The tour had been planned since 2019, when Biles thought of it as a “totally different & rdquor; to the tours that the American gymnastics federation usually organizes after the Olympic Games, but it has come at an opportune moment for the fans and the athlete. Occurred when the worst of the pandemic is over and with vaccines or masks you can satiate your appetite for entertainment. And it has come after those Tokyo games without audience in which Biles put his mental health ahead of his own or other people’s expectations and withdrew from the team competition after encountering what he called “the demons of the head & rdquor; (Although he returned to add a balance beam bronze to his unequaled medal table).

Inspirational message

The show gives the 24-year-old gymnast the opportunity to get away from any pressure and dedicate herself, above all, to fun and to launch that message of inspiration to new generations and of self care to which he now dedicates a good part of his efforts (it has just been added as “Impact advisor & rdquor; of an application what lends remote mental health care ). And although on the poster and on the ground, the balance beam and the asymmetric ones that are deployed there is sports talent in abundance, as the show has the Olympic medalists Jade Carey, MyKayla Skinner, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum, with the world champions Chellsie Memmel and Morgan Hurd and other elite gymnasts such as Laurie Hernandez, Katelyn Ohashi, the French Melanie De Jesus dos Santos and the Canadian Ellie Black, Biles is the magnet.

The Texan, who has recently recognized that she is “still scared of gymnastics & rdquor;, moderates her pirouettes and has also admitted that it is strange to see how classmates do what she used to do. But it is her without a doubt who she has gone to see Avvy, an 11-year-old black girl who, like her idol, has also found her passion in gymnastics. She is already, according to her proud account, “at level 4 & rdquor; and can even boast of having already won a competition. “The coaches said to go out and have fun, I did it and won & rdquor ;, he says.

$ 100 per head

For the little girl’s mother, Cassandra Patterson, there was no question about shelling out the almost $ 100 a head per ticket for a few seats in the middle tier of the Barclays, not the cheapest but not the most expensive either. Because he sees that “Simone is a inspiration for black girls, especially in a predominantly white sport & rdquor;. And he believes that he also leaves many lessons to adults. “Many times parents press and we press but sometimes it is better to tell them to stop & rdquor ;, he reflects, before also applauding Biles for how he has publicly denounced, including in his recent testimony in Congress, the sexual abuse to which Larry Nassar subjected him and the cover-up of the system and federation.

Although the stands are full of girls, delivered to a soundtrack where BTS, Dua Lipa or Katy Perry are not lacking and where songs like ‘Love myself’, ‘Don’t you worry about a thing’ or ‘Girls just wanna have fun sound ‘There are also young adults like Clara and Agustina, two Argentines, 27 and 22 years old respectively, big fans of gymnastics. For them the show is a bit too much of that, and although at various times they have been able to verify “the mind blowing level& rdquor; of the gymnasts, add a list of regrets, although nuanced by their understanding that the goal is to inspire the children’s audience: “you can’t pay attention to everything & rdquor ;,” the dancers are over & rdquor ;, “it is not sport but spectacle”.

The best ever

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It all ends with a group of girls whose parents have paid extra by going on stage with the athletes and then, under a shower of golden confetti, saying goodbye. And the feeling of having lived remains in the air “a special night& rdquor; for little girls like Lily Draper, who at seven is euphoric, and not just from having missed her usual bedtime by far. “Today was a girls night& rdquor; exclaims. “No bro power! & Rdquor; What did you like the most? “The Wonder Woman Leotard & rdquor ;.

The public begins to leave, although there are still queues to buy “merchandising & rdquor ;, including those shiny jerseys and a plush goat with horns and golden hooves, this GOAT which is the acronym of the name of the Tour but also of what Biles is almost without discussion: the Greatest of All Time, the best of all time.

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