United States

Young Gymnasts in San Jose Watch Team USA With Awe, Aspirations

As the U.S. women's gymnastics team dominated Tuesday on their way to winning the team gold, back here in the Bay Area, a group of youth gymnasts watched and cheered and studied what could perhaps be a glimpse of their future.

Many of the young girls at Apex Gymnastics in San Jose have Olympic aspirations. Some train 16 hours a week.

After Team USA captured the gold, Apex coach Olga Pantelus said she wasn't surprised to get numerous parents calling the center, wanting to sign up their kids.

"They want to be like them," Pantelus said. "It's a great example. It's an example of confidence, hard work, dedication, desire and so much commitment that those girls put in, and that's the result."

She expects more new gymnasts coming in this week.

Parents agree that the Team USA gymnasts serve as great role models.

"It's not just their athleticism, it's their poise, it's their focus, it's their commitment," said Mari Beal, of San Jose.

All the girls have a favorite on the team, whether it's Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez or Aly Raisman.

Best of all, they have validation, knowing their Olympic dreams can be achieved.

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