Local gymnasts excited about U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials coming to MN

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(ABC 6 News) – The U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials will be held in Minneapolis for the first time ever next summer. It’s around one week of the best gymnasts in the country going head to head. By the end of it, the 2024 Olympic team for the Paris Olympic games will be chosen.

Local gymnasts are thrilled to have their idols so close to home.

Eight-year-old Hero Riska has been doing gymnastics at Rochester Gymnastics Academy for about one year. As an experienced gymnast herself, when she watches the Olympic Games, she gets most excited about gymnastics.

“That’s my favorite part. I’m amazed how those people do that what they do,” Riska said.

Riska and her family are just one of many families at Rochester Gymnastics Academy considering taking the trip to Minneapolis for the Trials in June 2024. Top gymnasts from around the country will fill Target Center, hoping to secure a spot on Team USA.

Gold medalist from Minnesota Sunisa Lee said this about the news:

“Watching the Olympians who came before me was such an inspiration when I was growing up, and it means so much to know that the young athletes of Minnesota will have a chance to watch and be inspired by the best gymnasts in America. I can’t wait for the Olympic Trials to be in my backyard.”

That rings true for older, competitive gymnasts in the state too.

“When they [Olympians] do well, people see it and people want to follow after them. And they get inspirations and ambitions to do well in gymnastics,” said Troy Fuchs, a head coach at Rochester Gymnastics Academy.

The trials, which are open to spectators, will likely draw crowds from around the country. Along with cut-throat competition, the trials will provide gymnasts of all ages with some very important life lessons:

“Learning how to fall is one of the first things kids learn, and as we all know we fall down in life. So, it’s learning how to fall and get back up in a big picture in gymnastics,” said Fuchs.

The Minnesota Sports and Events Commission expects tens of thousands of fans to come to the area for the trials. Tickets for the trials are on sale online.

The Target Center also hosted the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the last time an Olympic trials was held at the arena.